Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Creative Mowing Shows Seminole Pride

I drive this route to and from school each day. I have enjoyed the Seminole pride on the slope.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's My Brother's Name?

I was on the kindergarten playground before school on the second week of class in August. An unknown child came up to a teacher and wanted to engage her attention in the form of a game.

"Guess my brother's name!"
"Guess your brother's name?"
"OK. Uh. Michael?"

And so it went.

Finally, I said, "Can I guess?"
"Sure!" they both answered.


"That's IT!!"

Only in the South could it be that easy.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Jarrett House and the Swinging Bridge in Dillsboro, North Carolina

We got to Dillsboro just in time for lunch. We have eaten at the Jarrett House several times through the years. The food is consistently good and the setting, charming.

This oil painting inside shows a better view than I can get with a camera, since the busy street is right in front.

The food is simple and delicious. I'm a fan of country ham. 

B's catfish was good, too.

Just up the road is a swinging bridge that our family has been visiting throughout the years. It is almost required at this point that we park and stretch our legs on a little stroll across the river. 

And of course, you have to swing and bounce it a little.

This time, a group of summer campers were paddling below.

They were rather an inexperienced bunch of youngin's and it was a little amusing to watch.

The views are nice as you quickly leave the mountains.

The further south we got, the higher the temperature rose. When we stopped for a little antiquing in mountainous Dillard, Georgia, it was 95 degrees. The fun was done. After leaving Dillard, around 2 or 3 o'clock, we ended up driving all the way home to Tallahassee that evening. Having left Tennessee and driven through the Smokey Mountain National Park, it was about a 700 mile driving day. At the end, the trip meter showed 2,540.1 miles for the nine-day Maryland trip.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee

On our return trip this summer, we stopped for supper in Bristol. This town takes a bit of pride in being in two states. Main Street is the state line. Walk down the the north side and you are in Virginia. Walk down the south and you are in Tennessee.

The state flags help you to keep it straight.

This local officer out on his beat, had a cool, electric ride.

We found a fun, but almost empty place on Main, called Stateline Bar and Grille. the food was good, the service was friendly.

Down the street was this fun, larger-than-life sculpture. I am such a fan of this kind of metal collage sculpture.

Love it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in West Virginia

We took a driving loop in West Virginia specifically to see this mill. It is one of the most photographed places in the state.

Picture the shot below in fall. That is the picture that hung on our walls for many years until humidity warped it and I finally let it go. I had no idea where the commercially produced picture was taken until I saw an ad for the park and instantly recognized it.

This was upstream on the other side of the bridge. Our son's comment was that it looked "trouty."

This was a surprise: truly a sign of the times.

The purpose of this old stone building was not clear, but I loved the way it was incorporated into the stone wall. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Little Engine That Could

This volunteer fire station was located across from our hotel room. In its very own bay was a red Jeep, looking quite proud of itself to be sharing quarters with such big engines.

There was also a brush truck in there on the far end and I could imagine that the two might work quite well together.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Layland Mining Disaster

We drove  a loop in the coal mining area around Beckley. We paused in Layland, a former mining community. Two large homes of miners still stand.

 Some of the original stone buildings are now occupied by a mine supply company.

Layland was the site of the worst mining disaster in the county. It happened March 2, 1915 when an explosion killed 115 men. Another 50 were able to survive four days until they were  rescued. Layland is pretty much a ghost town now.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tamarack, the Best of West Virginia

Beckley, West Virginia, was the one place where we had some trouble finding a room for the night. We spent enough time and then had to  bite the bullet and pay more than we wanted to for a place that felt clean and safe. We were pretty tired and ate dinner at the Cracker Barrel that was within sight of our room. We like Cracker Barrel, but we have one in our town, so we rarely stop in them when traveling. The upside was that we had enough left-overs to have a complete breakfast in our room the next morning, since the pricy room did not include breakfast. Naturally.

The next morning, we popped into Tamarack. It was within a quarter mile of where we slept. It looked like a colorful conference center, which it is. It is also an open gallery of items that are all made in West Virginia. The large and long hall is circular. It was really, really nicely done. There was framed art, jewelry, ceramics, food products, furniture, handmade musical instruments, clothing, blacksmith products, local books, carved wooden utensils, turned wooden bowls, stained and blown glass, quilts, and more!

I loved this whimsical display.

It must be true that they had the very best of West Virginia. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Beckley's Coal Museum

After we took the coal mine tour, we stopped in the gift shop and then went to the little museum upstairs. There were all kinds of historical tools, artifacts and photographs. It is an impressive collection.