Tag Archives: back roads of Virginia

Late Winter Snow Mixes With Spring Flowers in Shenandoah Valley

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” —Hal Borland

As a frigid breeze blew across my front yard Monday afternoon, I decided to take my camera and snap some pictures of our blooming plum and cherry trees because snow was moving in later in the evening. The temperature had dipped into the teens over the weekend, already causing blossoms to fall to the ground, limply piled up under the trees, but enough were left on branches to get some decent photos. Icicles were on the wind and I shivered as I reached out in the stiff breeze to steady a branch with one hand while focusing my camera with the other.

Pink and fragile-looking, these little guys are hardier than expected. The blooms in these pics had withstood the teen temps but I wasn’t sure they could withstand snow along with cold. So I clicked away, walking around the trees to try differing angles to showcase them in the best way possible.

Monday night the snow showed up right on time although we only saw about three inches instead of the 4-8 inches that had been in the forecast. However, what we got was pretty and so I returned to the trees Tuesday morning, again with camera in hand, to get pictures of soft pink blossoms covered in fluffy white snow.

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Adventures on the back roads of Swoope

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Purple and white wild flowers that grow prolifically on the roadsides throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Here are a few of the sights of Swoope in western Augusta County earlier this week.

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The back roads and November vistas of western Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2While traveling the back roads from Blacksburg home to Augusta County, the winter woods opened vistas of the fields and mountains of western Virginia as we traveled through Montgomery, Giles, Craig, Botetourt, Allegheny, Bath, and finally Augusta. In Giles County, we stopped to check out this covered bridge located within a mile of Rt. 42 at Newport.

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Back roads: Historic truss bridge over Wolf Creek in Bland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

5The road less traveled is usually the one I will take when exploring the back roads of Virginia because life happens on the back roads. That is where you will find abandoned bridges like this one in Bland County — the old Route 61 truss bridge over Wolf Creek at Rocky Gap (intersection of Rt. 61, Rt. 52, and I-77). The road is blocked by guardrail that is now graffiti-covered and the area was very overgrown on the mid-September day when we happened upon it. Wary of snakes, I didn’t go past the roadblock but if we’re back that way in winter, it would be interesting to explore the bridge since it is noted on Bridgehunter.com as open to pedestrians. It was in amazingly good shape with no rotting boards.

Bridgehunter also noted the bridge was built as a railroad bridge in 1890 and opened to vehicles in 1946 when the railroad was discontinued. It was abandoned in 1987 when the road was straightened, behind where I stood to take this photo, with a concrete bridge that allows two-way traffic. The bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 7, 2011.

6Travel route: From Blacksburg we took Rt. 460 west to the picturesque little town of Narrows in Giles County where we picked up Rt. 61, crossed the New River, and followed Wolf Creek through the mountains of Giles and Bland County on our way to Bluefield, West Virginia. This was just one of the interesting sights along the way, typical of meandering the back roads of America.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 17, 2015

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Nelson 151 and other back roads

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Sunday afternoon road trip! With mostly-sunny skies and temps in the 80s, we headed out to meet friends for lunch and do a little roaming along the mountains. Driving from Staunton to Afton where Ron King’s Gourmet Popcorn food truck was open for business, we continued down Rt. 250 to Rt. 6, following the curvy mountain road into the Rockfish Valley where we turned onto Route 151, the scenic byway that offers three breweries (Blue Mountain, Devil’s Backbone, Wild Wolf), six wineries (Afton Mountain Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, Flying Fox Vineyard and Winery, Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery, Pollak Vineyards and Winery, and Veritas Vineyard), a cidery (Bold Rock Hard Cider), and a distillery (Silverback) as well as farm fresh produce, restaurants, shops, inns, and the entry to Wintergreen Resort.

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Summer meadows

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1West of Staunton looking at the Appalachian Mountains.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
July 19, 2015

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Highland Inn hopes to reopen for Maple Festival

By Lynn R. Mitchell


Highland Inn. Monterey, Virginia. October 2014.

The doors were closed to the Highland Inn located in Monterey, the heart of Highland County in western Virginia, at the end of October when the owners sent out a press release notifying the public that it was for sale. The stately building that sits on the main street has been a staple since 1904, serving overnight guests who enjoyed the porches and vintage interior as well as diners who patroned the restaurant. Perhaps one of its busiest times is during the Highland Maple Festival that is held annually on the second and third weekends in March.

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Foggy Ridge Cider in southwestern Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Originally published in September 2013

“It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider .”
Benjamin Franklin

The back roads of Virginia never disappoint, and this adventure was no exception.  Foggy Ridge Cider … what a delightful discovery on the back roads of Virginia as we explored communities near the Blue Ridge Parkway! You’ve heard of Dugspur, right? No? It’s a tiny little community tucked away off Rt. 58 in Carroll County, and that was where we were headed to check out this award-winning cider. After all, September is apple season in the Commonwealth.

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