Continuing on the Blue Ridge Parkway…the other good thing was that we were within three miles of Mabry Mill. This is always at least a ½ day stop. It is probably the most picturesque spot along the Blue Ridge. At the right time, you’ll find them making applebutter, carding or spinning, weaving baskets, and working in the blacksmith shop or the sawmill. Many years ago on a visit to this mountain country, I took a guided hike to a whiskey still on a moonlight night. That was spooky but informative. We had breakfast at the restaurant. Sue ordered Mabry’s specialty, buckwheat pancakes, but they aren’t my favorite. It is worth taking a whole vacation or whole season to see the Blue Ridge Parkway from North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park up through Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. The Appalachian Trail follows the Blue Ridge and provides some great hiking possibilities.
It is also fun to take nearby back roads and get up close and personal to the old tobacco barns still holding their own in pastures with grazing cattle. They are actually in pretty good shape and a few still have tobacco growing in the fields around them. Other barns are often falling down, picturesque in their demise.
A family camping trip to celebrate Will’s 12th birthday with Tracey and Tom’s tent trailer took us down to the Staunton River State Park, only a few miles from the NC border, and also Civil War territory. I thought the campground was really nice with level, graded sites and 4 X 6 wooden borders to define them. It was great until the skies opened up with a drenching rainstorm and those same wooden borders held the water in to the point where everything not up off the ground floated for at least an hour! The kids enjoyed the park’s beautiful pool and Will loved riding his bike on all the paved roads.
God Bless until next time.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”