Tag Archives: Afton Mountain

Foggy Afton Mountain

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Afton 1 fogA foggy Route 250 driving west while climbing Afton Mountain heading home to Staunton on Monday afternoon. The temperature was 39 degrees and it was drizzling rain making for messy driving conditions for the second day in a row.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
November 30, 2015

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The winter woods have returned to Afton & Blue Ridge Parkway

By Lynn R. Mitchell

After a particularly colorful autumn leaf show, the winter woods have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Howardsville Turnpike can now be seen through the leafless woods from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I love the winter woods … trees are bare and you can see the forest floor. This time of year there are few people on the Parkway so it offers solitude with only the sound of the wind and the dry, rustly leaves on the ground to keep you company.

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Random act of kindness in the midst of tragedy

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Tragedy hit at 6:45 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning southeast of Roanoke, Virginia, when the WDBJ-7 TV shooting exploded onto news networks and social media. Horrified viewers watched the on-air murders of television reporter Alison Parker and camera man Adam Ward who were ambushed while on a remote live-broadcast location on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, a popular resort community.

As morning news shows dropped regular programming and reported minute-by-minute updates, law enforcement officials were in hot pursuit of the gunman.  The gruesome images along with gripping details rippled out into surrounding communities in the Commonwealth and across the nation as the shooter, a disgruntled fired WDBJ-7 employee, led a chase that began at the lake. It continued to the Roanoke airport where the gunman changed cars before speeding north on I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley.

Listening to the news as it broke that morning, we were snugged in our corner of Augusta County, safely away from the tragedy that was unfolding about two hours southeast of us. Or so we thought.

My Richmond sister Lori and cousins Faye and Sharon were in the Valley to visit for the week. Our plans on Wednesday were to meander and explore the Blue Ridge Parkway from Afton to Peaks of Otter where we would enjoy lunch at the lodge overlooking Abbot Lake and Sharp Top Mountain, and then return home in the evening.

However, before we could leave the house we found ourselves drawn to the TV screen as we watched the horror of the unfolding news. As a result, it was late morning before we left, driving through historic downtown Staunton on our way to I-64, Afton Mountain, and Milepost 1 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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That was when, while continually monitoring Twitter and Facebook on my iPhone, we saw that the police chase of the shooter had entered our area with law enforcement searching I-64 east to Fishersville and Afton Mountain in Augusta County, and I-81 north to Verona, also in Augusta County. Area schools were on lock-down. We decided to stay on Route 250 as we drove to Afton instead of taking a chance of getting caught up in any kind of police action that could take place on the interstates.

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Waynesboro Chick-fil-A

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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1Eating on the patio at the Waynesboro Chick-fil-A in the Target shopping center offers this backdrop — the Blue Ridge Mountains. On those ridges are Afton Mountain, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Just another reminder that we live in one of the most beautiful places in Virginia….

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
August 22, 2015

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Vehicle fire on Afton’s I-64

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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The rollback wrecker was on fire Tuesday afternoon on the shoulder of I-64 westbound coming down Afton Mountain around Milepost 98 outside Waynesboro. Flames can be seen shooting out from under the hood and the man running up the shoulder had stopped his truck a safe distance away and had a fire extinguisher. Two men were on the shoulder uphill from the truck.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 23, 2014

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Afton’s popcorn man voted #1 food truck in Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Ron King is riding high these days after successfully facing the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals and now voted the #1 Food Truck in the Valley by readers of the Waynesboro News-Virginian.  In this case, the Valley was extended a bit to the top of Afton. LOL. Congratulations!

For more about King’s Gourmet Popcorn:

Afton Mountain’s popcorn man
NL’s Calvin Trice: ‘Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor’
Popcorn man victorious with Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals
BZA: My remarks supporting the popcorn man
Saturday on Afton at King’s Gourmet Popcorn

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Saturday on Afton at King’s Gourmet Popcorn

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????We stopped at King’s Gourmet Popcorn Saturday morning on our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway and said hello to Ron King. He was making caramel corn (you can see him through the open window of the food truck stirring). It was mid-morning and he had customers beginning to show up ahead of the lunch crowd. With caramel corn in hand, we said goodbye but as we passed by hours later, he was swamped with folks sitting at the picnic tables eating some of the goodies he offers.

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NL’s Calvin Trice: ‘Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor’

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Ronald King addresses BZA as Carrie Eheart listens.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Staunton News Leader reporter Calvin Trice has a great article about Thursday’s Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing where Ronald King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, appeared to request a permission to continue his business (see Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor). Calvin wrote:

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The Popcorn Man victorious with Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals

7a1f1-23By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was the last item on Thursday’s agenda at the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. Everyone else left so only supporters of Ronald King were left to address the board toward the end of the public hearing. Mr. King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, was questioned by the board and then two members of the public spoke on his behalf.

It was officially listed on the agenda:

A request by Ronald King, for a Special Use Permit to have outdoor storage and display in conjunction with a food service vehicle on property owned by Skyline Swannanoa, Inc., located at 5186 Howardsville Turnpike, Afton, in the South River District.

In lay language, he needed a special use permit to remain in operation in addition to his business license and health department clearance.

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Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals … my remarks supporting the Popcorn Man

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Editor’s Note: I attended Thursday’s Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting and spoke in support of Mr. Ron King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain. Following are my remarks.]

Remarks: Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals
August 7, 2014

Good afternoon. Thank you for listening.

When I saw this item on the agenda last week, I called and spoke about it with Mr. Wilkinson [secretary of BZA].

I would like to speak in support of Mr. Ronald King, or as many know him, the Popcorn Man.

He is a ray of sunshine on Afton Mountain in the midst of burned out buildings covered in graffiti.

I Facebooked about this hearing and heard from many people across the state and locally who expressed their support.

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Afton Mountain’s popcorn man

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Reprinted from SWAC Girl blog, October 13, 2013

King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain

[Editor’s note: Ron King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, must go before the Augusta County Zoning Appeals Board today, August 7, at 1:30 p.m. Read more about this public hearing at Afton popcorn man must face Augusta County’s Zoning Appeals Board.]
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“If you build it they will come.” Or, perhaps more appropriately, they will stop and buy.

Ron King has found a market for snacks on Afton Mountain with King’s Gourmet Popcorn located at the juncture of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, I-64, and Rt. 250. With views into the Rockfish and Shenandoah valleys, millions of tourists pass that way annually.

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