Tag Archives: Blacksburg

Snowy hike to Giles County’s Cascade Falls

By Katy Lord
Guest Post

Snow Katy 1Saturday was sunny and 45 degrees, perfect for a winter hike in the snow at the Cascades, a 70-foot waterfall west of Blacksburg in Giles County. The falls were icy and, a week after more than a foot of snow fell in southwest Virginia, there was still plenty left on the ground.

Snow Katy 5The parking lot was full when we arrived at this very popular recreation area. The snowy, slippery conditions weren’t keeping anyone off the trails.

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Blacksburg ushers in the holiday season with Winter Lights Festival featuring Christmas parade

By Lynn R. Mitchell


Christmas Blacksburg 28

The night was perfect for a Christmas parade … clear, a seasonably cold 35 degrees, and a small town in the mountains of western Virginia. It was the Winter Lights Festival and Christmas parade in Blacksburg as crowds lined the streets to watch the show … and entrants didn’t disappoint.

I walked out of the house and left my camera behind so had to use my iPhone for photos. Sorry for the blurry images and sometimes-poor lighting … but the merriment of it all comes through in the looks of happiness on children’s faces and the festive atmosphere. It was perfect.

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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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‘Feeling Groovy’ troubadour entertains in Blacksburg

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2As we pulled into the parking lot of the Food Lion on North Main Street in Blacksburg Wednesday afternoon, the musical sounds of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s 1967 “Feelin’ Groovy” wafted across the parked cars:

“Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feelin’ groovy, Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy.”

It was this musical troubadour, a hippie-looking throwback to the 1960s in a colorful Dr. Seuss-type hat — entertaining to watch and actually he sounded pretty good.

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Back roads

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2Rockbridge County, Virginia.

3House Mountain, Rockbridge County, Virginia.

4Our roadside picnic spot. There are still some of these left on the back roads of America.



8James River near Springwood, Virginia.





Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 15, 2015

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‘Steppin’ Out’ for a good time in downtown Blacksburg

Blacksburg 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Downtown Blacksburg celebrated the 35th Annual Steppin’ Out Summer Festival this weekend as thousands packed the streets to check out hundreds of vendor and food tents while listening to toe-tapping live entertainment coming from several outdoors stages. Streets were blocked off Friday morning for the two-day event, and the crowds that were small during the day swelled in late afternoon and into the night. Overcast skies kept August temperatures in the comfortable low 70s.


1The event is sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg association that provided free admission, free parking, and free bus shuttle.

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Traveling the back roads from Staunton to Blacksburg offers a slice of America

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Thursday road trip! With SWAC Daughter and her husband now living less than two hours from Staunton, it was time for a day trip to meander the back roads and take the kids to lunch. With maps and a cooler in the car (the places we go aren’t GPS-friendly), we headed out to begin our trip to the land of Virginia Tech and expansive mountain vistas. It was time for a road trip to Blacksburg. Following Rt. 11, we traveled from Augusta County into Rockbridge where we passed through Natural Bridge and its scenic Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop.

2On the back roads it’s easy to pull over and read historical signs with information about those who settled the area, nearby landmarks, and other events from the past. This sign is a reminder that the Shenandoah Valley was once the western frontier of the New World with outlying forts that protected settlers in this once-wild land.

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A boy and his fishing pole

Boy and fishing pole 2Within 15 minutes of Virginia Tech, this quiet day-use area centers around Pandapas Pond with walking trails and picnic tables in a wooded area of the Jefferson National Forest. From our picnic table, I watched this young boy as he stood fishing from the concrete pier, presenting a Hallmark moment I couldn’t miss with my camera.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
June 7, 2015

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Southwestern Virginia … sunrise in Blacksburg

By Colin Lord
Guest Post

Sunrise Blacksburg by ColinMorning sunrise in Blacksburg:  “I forgot that ‪#‎Blacksburg‬ always seems to have totally awesome sunrises. ‪#‎swvawx‬ ‪#‎vawx‬”


Colin Lord was born and raised in  Atlanta so you will never see him drinking a Pepsi but you will see him cheering on the Braves and Falcons, and Chick-Fil-A is his go-to fast food. He is a graduate of Florida State University where he pursued meteorology and computer science. When not sitting in front of a computer at his job as a front end developer, he enjoys running and has participated in 10K and half marathons races as well as the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh. Colin lives in Blacksburg with his wife Katy.

Photo by Colin Lord
April 30, 2015

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Roanoke-Blacksburg tech corridor and the Millennial factor

By Lynn R. Mitchell

There was a summit over the weekend in Roanoke showcasing the city as Millennnial-friendly and a great place to work and live (see Our View: The young and the restless — and Roanoke):

It’s hardly a news flash that the economy is changing. The Roanoke and New River valleys have a small but interesting base of technology companies to build on, usually ones you’ve never heard of because the products they sell aren’t ones for the general market.

One problem they face, though, is finding enough workers. That’s hardly a Roanoke phenomenon; a recent survey by the Technology Councils of America found that 74 percent of executives at tech companies say they face a labor shortage, with about one-third calling it “significant.” Both those numbers are up from the last survey two years ago.
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Friday: The Weather Channel live from Blacksburg

The Weather ChannelBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The Weather Channel is on the streets of Blacksburg, Virginia, this morning with the well-known Jim Cantore making live reports to Sam Champion back in the studio (see The Weather Channel broadcasting live from Blacksburg on Friday morning). Reporter Kevin Myatt noted:

If you see Jim Cantore somewhere in Blacksburg today or Friday, rest easy, all weather mayhem isn’t about to break loose … (and, sorry, Southwest Virginia snow lovers, it doesn’t mean your 2014-15 snow drought is about to be interrupted by thundersnow). Cantore along with Weather Channel severe weather expert Greg Forbes are scheduled to appear in a series of short live segments on The Weather Channel between 7 and 10 a.m. on Friday focusing on a visual presentation of the May 20, 2013, Moore, Oklahoma, tornado in the “CUBE” at the Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology at Virginia Tech.

As a snow lover, if Mr. Cantore could break our snow drought, it would be appreciated.

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