After completing all (most) of our assigned jobs for daughter, Jessica, in York, PA we headed south on I-95 to Fredericksburg, VA for a brief visit with friends Larry and Mary Anne Weinberg. We had spent some time with them in York when they came to the park where we were staying as they drove south to avoid some of the effects of Hurricane Irene (see the previous post). We had planned to leave on Thursday but, of course, it rained all day, so we delayed our departure until better weather on Friday. We hate moving in the rain as all the vehicles get very dirty, requiring hours of cleaning and the forecast for Friday was sun shine.
No history buff would dare go to Fredericksburg without visiting the famous Civil War battlefield. The picture below shows the famous “Sunken Road” on a hill on, what was in 1862, the edge of the town. The rebel army of Robert E. Lee took cover behind the stone wall on the wagon road and annihilation troops from Gen. Burnside’s Army of the Potomac as they attacked up the hill.
The next day we took a short ride north on I-95 to visit the Museum of the Marine Corps outside of Quantico Marine Base. This is a relatively new museum, opening in 2006, that highlights the participation of the Marines in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present.
The museum is laid out in chronological order, giving a visitor an appreciation for the growth of the Marines and the increase in their role in military conflicts throughout our history. The display below shows the hardships suffered by Marines in the frozen Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. You are in a room where the temperature is very low and the sounds of the battle are all around you simulating the experience of the Marines there.
This museum is a must for anyone who enjoys military history. It is only about 35 miles south of Washington, DC and is free!
Later that day we made a visit to the “Cat Condominium”. The neighborhood where Larry and Mary Anne reside suffered with a large population of feral cats, causing many problems. A group of residents decided to make an investment in humanely correcting this situation and had each cat taken to a vet for shots and neutering. They then built some shelters in the woods near the neighboring golf course and began feeding the cats on a regular basis.
We ended our visit with the Weinbergs with a great meal at the Park Lane Tavern in the Spotsylvania Towne Center outside Fredericksburg. It’s a great restaurant complimented by the great legs of the servers wearing short skirts!
The next day (Monday) we headed southwest to a little town in the hills of southwestern Virginia called Galax. We have a nice gravel pull-through site at Deer Creek RV Park, just north of the North Carolina state line.
We really like a pull-through site, as we can leave the trailer with the motorcycle hitched to the motorhome and just “pull through” to park and to leave. When we are at a park with only back in sites, we have to unload the motorcycle and disconnect the trailer. As the picture shows, the park is almost empty. This may be attributed to the time of year (late September) and/or the rain that has occurred EVERY DAY! One of the reasons we came here was to ride the bike through the beautiful mountain roads in the area. Well, the bike is still on the trailer and we leave soon. So much for that idea.
But we are only a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, a winding road that runs on the mountains from central Virginia to near Asheville, NC. The road does not allow commercial vehicles and has some great scenery. Just to the north of us along the Parkway is the Blue Ridge Music Center, where every afternoon a different group of local musicians meet for an extended jam session. Friday afternoon we sat there for about two hours listening to the music and to the stories the oldest participant told about growing up in the area.
Galax’s claim to fame is as the mountain music capital of the world. The Rex Theater is a classic small town old style movie theater once scheduled for demolition until a group saved it and completed restorations. Now every Friday evening it features a performance from a mountain band that is simulcast on the local radio station. We enjoyed a two hour performance by a group called Kopper Kanyon.
The picture above was taken during the band’s sound check so the crowd is a bit thin. By showtime the place was almost full. The band was very good, especially the mandolin player!
Saturday morning we went to an exciting Lord’s Acre Harvest Sale in the local park. Mostly this was a sale of home made items by church ladies. But we did manage to find a few bargains and listen to a bit of music.
That afternoon was what the radio station and posters advertised as first annual “Rock the Block” in Galax (and may be the last). It sounded like something interesting so we parked and walked to “the block” for the action.
The event was scheduled from 1:00 to 5:00. The picture above was taken at 1:15 and, as you can see, the “block” was definitely not “rockin”. Things are a bit low keyed in these mountain communities but this is really too much. We drove by about a half hour later and things had not picked up much. Oh, Well . . .
It’s Sunday night and guess what, it’s raining. It’s rained a good part of every day we have been here in southeast Virginia so what would make us think it would be any different. Today we took a beautiful motorcycle ride through the mountains, except we were in the car! Tuesday morning we leave here and head south to Gaffney, SC where we will have the motorhome serviced at the Freightliner Factory Service Center. The chassis of our coach was made in Gaffney and they provide excellent service. At the end of the week we head for the hills of southeast North Carolina for a month. We want to ride the motorcycle through the Smoky Mountains so hope that the weather improves. Maybe the new month will bring a change for the better ! ! !