A Travellerspoint blog

Anyone Can Learn to Weave Placemats

Crossnore Weaving Gallery

A Good Place to Learn to Weave

A Good Place to Learn to Weave


Maybe anyone can learn to weave placemats here in Crossnore, North Carolina but you have to be lucky enough to be from Columbia City, Indiana to get the other special invitation that I had!
Susan and Mike Kyler invited me to dinner once again. If you have been riding along with me on this journey, you might remember we had dinner and spent the night with the Kylers at their AirBnb vacation home in Florida. This time we were on the top of a mountain somewhere between Valle Crucis and Banner Elk, North Carolina.
The Beautiful Mounain Home of the Kylers

The Beautiful Mounain Home of the Kylers


What a beautiful home and garden they have! One is filled with greenery and plants that Susan was spraying with some kind of repellant to keep the deer away. The other is filled with beautiful furniture some of which Susan has refinished and finely designed bowls and items that Mike has crafted from local wood.
Good Dinner Companions

Good Dinner Companions


Susan and Mike are charming hosts to all sorts of great people, even if those who are not from CC, IN.
I had a few hours respite at the Kyler home. The rest of my time was spent in a slightly dreary cabin at Land Harbor just a few miles from the wonderful weaving gallery at Crossnore.
My Dark and Dreary Cabin

My Dark and Dreary Cabin


Crossnore Weaving Shop, Museum, Classroom

Crossnore Weaving Shop, Museum, Classroom


Here is the main reason that anyone can learn to weave at Crossnore Weaving Gallery:
Teachers Lisa II and Lisa I

Teachers Lisa II and Lisa I


Another reason, I had such a positive learning week was because I had such a pleasant classmate.
It Really Is This Fun

It Really Is This Fun


Getting the looms ready took Judy and me 2 1/2 days!
Steady, Girl

Steady, Girl


Thread Those Heddles

Thread Those Heddles


Judy and Paula Dress the Loom

Judy and Paula Dress the Loom


Lisa I Helps Me Turn On

Lisa I Helps Me Turn On


Finally, you get to tap your feet on the treadles and slide the shuttle!
Weaving My First Placemat

Weaving My First Placemat


We Take Our Work Seriously

We Take Our Work Seriously


I had to tear out my work more than once. I also broke more than one thread. It is good to make mistakes because you learn there is a solution for every weaving error.
Judy Finishes!

Judy Finishes!


Just because you get an item off the loom doesn't mean your work is done. The finishing doesn't take long, but you need to be exact.
Sarah Teaches Paula Finishing Technique

Sarah Teaches Paula Finishing Technique

She Wants Me To Be Exact

She Wants Me To Be Exact

Cut That Fringe Straight

Cut That Fringe Straight

You really need to know more about the Crossnore School. I hope many of you will add this place to your donation list.
It has been in operation since the early 1900s providing a home, education, and spiritual enrichment to over 100 children at a time in this beautiful little community.
Crossnore Chapel

Crossnore Chapel


Crossnore NC PO

Crossnore NC PO


If you don't want to just give cash, you can purchase some beautiful woven items. All the profits go to the school.
Don't worry! You don't have to buy my placemats. The weavers produce beautiful shawls, ponchos, and scarves in addition to kitchen items. Heidi also curates a beautiful gallery of local artists. Come for a visit.

Posted by pscotterly 16:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

You Have to Be Happy

When You Are In Floyd, Virginia

Having Fun at the Jamboree

Having Fun at the Jamboree


If Floyd, Virginia doesn't make you smile, you must be in a really bad mood.
Jamboree at the Country Store

Jamboree at the Country Store


One reason is the Friday Night Jamboree where everyone comes out for some Old Timey music and flat footing.
I couldn't stomp as hard as most folks because of those old arthritic knees, but the talented wore taps on their shoes, made their feet fly, and kept their hands hanging straight down.
Flatfooting

Flatfooting

Flatfooting 2

Flatfooting 2

Gotta Make 'Em Go Fast

Gotta Make 'Em Go Fast


Concentration

Concentration


I'm not sure I was doing it, but it was still fun.
Slow Dancing

Slow Dancing


Not everyone plays and stays in The Country Store. Many groups play on the street and even impromptu play-along, drop-in musicians join one another.
Playing in the Street

Playing in the Street

Impromptu Group

Impromptu Group

Everybody Comes Out on Friday Night

Everybody Comes Out on Friday Night


This part of the country is known as The Crooked Road. If you want to know why, just drive Highway 40 and 8 to get here!
Follow the Crooked Road

Follow the Crooked Road


As near as I have figured out from my stays during my journey, here along the Crooked Road is mainly Old Timey Music and at the Ozark Mountain School is Bluegrass. Now anyone who reads this and knows better, feel free to make a knowledgeable correction!
Staying with ATC members Judy and Ward in Floyd is certainly one of the reasons why I could be so happy.
Judy and Ward's Home in Floyd

Judy and Ward's Home in Floyd

Supper at the Jamboree

Supper at the Jamboree

Judy and Ward Apply the Floyd Sticker

Judy and Ward Apply the Floyd Sticker


Goldfinch at the Feeder

Goldfinch at the Feeder


There are many nice shops along Main and Locust Street.
Shops Along Main Street

Shops Along Main Street


Shops Along Locust Street

Shops Along Locust Street

Kittens in the Gallery

Kittens in the Gallery


There is always something going on at the community shelter.
Saturday Farmer's Market

Saturday Farmer's Market


Everything you need from boutiques to the hardware are right here. I even found a shirt with a slogan that defined my journey.
That's All You Need to Know

That's All You Need to Know


Unfortunately, I have lost my All Who Wander Are Not Lost cap, so my ensemble will not be complete.

Floyd has a rather modest history museum.
Formerly the Hospital

Formerly the Hospital


What seems more modest is the hospital that this building actually was before it became the county museum!
This is the only museum, town, or collection of more than 25 citizens in the South that does not document what happened here during the Civil War.
The museum's pamphlet has short paragraphs for certain years. For example, 1854-1861 the next synopsis is for the years 1868-1884. The entire Civil War period is omitted from the pamphlet and the museum!
A member of the board of directors was serving as the volunteer the day I visited, so I asked her about this omission. She confided she was not from Floyd, but originally from upstate New York. She learned that people in Floyd were very divided during the war. Most of the residents were more west Virginia-type farmers that would have probably preferred to separate with West Virginia. The wealthy were secessionists. Less than 1/4 of the population was African-American; in most of the plantation Virginia and deep south, around 3/4 of the population was African. Apparently, when the Union marched through, the battle was over in minutes and the only Floyd resident to die was due to influenze or something like that.
Floyd County also has the distinction of having the highest rate of defectors than any other place in the Confederacy. Many of these defectors hid out in the mountains until the war was over.
So to this day, the Civil War is not relived as it elsewhere
Now after writing all that she told me, I just found the link to the museum's web site and discovered they are celebrating a Civil War Living History Day! Who we gonna believe??

One thing I know for sure is that they have a fantastic arts center. The Jacksonville Arts Center would make a town 10 times the size of Floyd proud. When I visited, they had the opening reception for a glass art exhibition.
Judy at the Jacksonville Center

Judy at the Jacksonville Center


Student Created Wall Mosaic

Student Created Wall Mosaic


My Favorite Piece

My Favorite Piece


The Artist of My Favorite Piece

The Artist of My Favorite Piece


My Second Favorite Piece

My Second Favorite Piece


Apparently, in the 1960s and 70s the surrounding area suddenly became populated by a few "hippies and artists." Then, more than a few. Originally, there was a bit of discordance between those folks and the old timers. The old timers forgot about their old differences on secession from about 100 years ago just in time to have differences with these long-haired newcomers.
Eventaully they all seemed to get things worked out. Out of this they created the beautiful Arts Center from a former dairy barn, found a common love of music and ar in the mountains, and have a wonderful place to live and visit.
Evening on the Pasture

Evening on the Pasture

Posted by pscotterly 19:04 Archived in USA Tagged viginia Comments (2)

Most Historic Town in the USA

As Claimed by Tourism Board

Somewhere in a brochure or on line, I read that Fredericksburg, Virginia is the most historic town in the USA.
I think that might be a stretch, but it certainly has a lot to claim and more museums than even I could see in one week.
Tree Line

Tree Line


Originally, after my pet sitting assignment in Takoma Park, I was to move to another assignment just up the road in Rockville. How lucky was I to have found that?
Well as it turned out, not too lucky. Our living styles were so different that we determined it would not be in my best interests to stay there for five days. I felt very guilty, but my selfishness won out in the end.

I pulled out the Atlas to see where I might head. I have scheduled to take a class in North Carolina the first week of June, so I must stick to between here and there. How about some camping?
Fortunately, I checked the campsite availability for about 5 parks before taking off. I discovered they were all full except for an odd night here and there. Looking at the calendar, I then realized Memorial Day weekend was approaching.
I decided to pull some money out of the bank, blow the budget again, and find a place I could rent until time to go to school.
I rented a nice little apartment in Fredericksburg that I found on Air BnB. It was directly across from a bike/pedestrian path.
First Floor is My Place

First Floor is My Place


A Pleasant Place

A Pleasant Place

A Nice Reading Nook

A Nice Reading Nook


I noticed people heading up and down the path with all sorts of boats, floats, and picnic gear. When I went down to look, I realized it was the Old Mill Park and the beach where everyone who could not make it to the shore cooled off.
Down by the Riverside

Down by the Riverside


I took a carriage ride around town. Wish I would have taken the tour bus instead; the carriage driver was not very knowledgeable and spent most of her time reading the pamphlet and talking to the horse.
I was able to keep Ol' 95 parked and ride my bike all around the area. Even over the bridge to Ferry Farm and to Chatham.
Along the Rappahannock River

Along the Rappahannock River


Bird on the Obelisk

Bird on the Obelisk

250 Year Old Steps

250 Year Old Steps

One More Cemetery Scene

One More Cemetery Scene


I particularly enjoyed visiting Ferry Farm, George Washington's boyhood home.
They have finally found the spot where this home stood.
Archeological Dig Site at GW's

Archeological Dig Site at GW's


They are going to use traditional methods and build one to be similar.
Stone Mason

Stone Mason


I stood on the bank where George and many others stood over two centuries ago and looked at the beautiful homes across the river.
Surprise - that evening in a very nice streetside cafe , I met a couple and she lived in one of those homes. Marrilynn invited me to supper two nights later. She is quite an art collector.
Marilynn of Fredericksburg

Marilynn of Fredericksburg

Filled with Art and Charm

Filled with Art and Charm


Mary Washington's (George's mother) retirement home in town was also another nice place to visit. The docent spiel claims she was a Tory even as her son led the revolution but still stood by his choices and gave her blessing for him to be president even though she probably did not understand the importance of the position.
Mother Mary's Retirement Home

Mother Mary's Retirement Home

Monmument to Mary

Monmument to Mary


I also visited the Civil War Battleground. I only went to the battleground because local folk told me I had to; I was not disappointed. There is a house and part of the stone wall that endured the vicious battle that proved to be the downfall of General Burnside who was replaced by US Grant and ensured the nation would prevail.
Behind This Wall the Rebels Won

Behind This Wall the Rebels Won


By the way, did General Burnside wear bushy sideburns because of his name or is that where we got the term sideburns?
Ferry Farm and another historical site were across the Rappahannock River. Both provided a good view back to the town.Road from F'Burg to Chatham

Road from F'Burg to Chatham

Union Lookout Point

Union Lookout Point


Chatham is a home that has served a purpose throughout history.
The Path to Chatham

The Path to Chatham


Approacing Chatham

Approacing Chatham


It began as a plantation home with over 100 slaves (who at one time revolted and paid for it with their lives), served as a Union camp and hospital during the Civil war, passed into hands of farmers who could not make an income without the use of slaves, became a wealthy retreat for some rich and famous, and finally was donated to the National Park Service so that we can all go and view it today.
Originally, I thought it would be "just another plantation home or another civil war statue, but instead I found it interesting to think about how sites have traveled through history.
Plantation Laundry House

Plantation Laundry House

Plantation Kitchen 20th C Sculpture

Plantation Kitchen 20th C Sculpture

Chatham

Chatham


The manor is furnished with only a few pieces of furniture that are from the home. Here is one item you will never see anyplace else.
Many Famous People Used This Potty Chair

Many Famous People Used This Potty Chair


This chair reupholstered in leather was once a toilet chair. A mirror below the seat shows the original seat. I know, I know this is not so rare. We museum goers have see these before. But....
This house is the ONLY house where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Abraham Lincoln visited at one time. Who knows if they might also have used this toilet chair.
Burled

Burled

Bricks

Bricks


Where Slaves Once Toiled

Where Slaves Once Toiled


I thought the mailbox next door was an interesting depiction of changes over time. These were once fields worked by slaves that have now been repurposed into activities as completely different as a home with tennis courts.
Volunteers Maintain the Gardens

Volunteers Maintain the Gardens


As I look at this photo of volunteers, I want to give my spiel about many retired male volunteers.
Gentlemen, if you are only doing this to get out of your wife's hair or to keep from watching Fox News 18 hours a day, then take an interest in what you are doing. Across this land I have visited sites manned by volunteer men about my age. Unfortunately, you are always talking to one another about politics, your retirement accounts, or fishing and way too involved with yourselves to acknowledge visitors or know anything about the history or current events of where you are volunteering. Here at Chatham, I finally had to ask the two volunteers to step into another room so that I could concentrate on what I was reading about the history of the house. It is bad enough you don't learn about the sites and forcing us to read everything, but because you can't hear tyou talk so loudly that the reader can't concentrate. (Harrumph! Don't tell me that I can't read without being bothered by side noise.)
Okay, there, I feel better. If anyone reading this thinks it might apply to them, either change your ways or take up golf.
All of Fredericksburg is filled with beautiful gardens.
Chatham's Garden

Chatham's Garden

Mary's Garden

Mary's Garden


Paula's Garden

Paula's Garden


Unfortunately, the owners had let my garden go to seed and weed.

Posted by pscotterly 03:17 Archived in USA Tagged west_virginia Comments (1)

A Bit of Civil War History

It's Not All Black and White

When my friend Chuck took me on a walk of his neighborhood, we ended up at the African America Civil War Museum.
Memorial to Black Civil War Soldiers

Memorial to Black Civil War Soldiers


Just by chance, it was the weekend celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Grand Review of the Armies, Consequently, there was a reenactment camp set up in a nearby schoolyard that had been an actual surgery site and campground for "colored" soldiers during the civil war. There were a few Black Civil War Reenactors and an anglo surgeonplaying their roles to the fullest.
Civil War Reenactors

Civil War Reenactors

Civil War Surgery Reenactors

Civil War Surgery Reenactors


It was very interesting, but there were only a handful of us there to visit.
There were special lectures going on at the museum, so I left the poorly attended campground to attend these. Each of the reenactors were easily able to give a two hour lecture of their own, so I had to depart to their trailing voices addressing only the empty humid air.

The lectures at the museum were quite informative. The names listed on the memorial and the records presented in the lectures informed us of the thousands of African American soldiers who participated on both the Union and Confederate sides.
I learned that the first soldiers who entered Appomattox were African Americans. You might remember that back in March, I visited Appomattox and attended a lecture and observed some volunteer training for the 150th anniversary of the surrender. Nothing was said about those black soldiers during my tour.
After the lecture, I raised my hand and made this wondering comment and also asked about any African American reenactors who might have attended the surrender reenactment at Appomattox on April 8.
I was the only white person in the audience. The speaker rolled his eyes at me and then said "I am not a reenactor." I am not sure if my comment was naive as in "of course they don't mention it" or insulting because they went on to say how the training manuals for the National Park Service had been changed because of the efforts of the historians involved with this museum.
None of the 50 other people in the audience admitted to being a reenactor.
I wish I would have kept my mouth shut.
I didn't find anyone else to talk to after the lectures even though I had not yet completely curbed my enthusiasm.
I did not know anything about the Grand Review of the Armies until I attended these events. I learned that a Reenactment of the Grand Review would be held on the streets of Washington on Sunday just as it had 150 years ago. Over 1,500 reenactors were expected.
Of course, I had to go to this parade.
It was only when I arrived at the parade and saw all the anglo reenactors in addition to a few African American reenactors that I realized I needed to learn what this was really all about. Until then because of the previous day's activities, I thought it had only to do with the black soldiers, the Civil war, and their emancipation.
African American Civil War Reenactors

African American Civil War Reenactors

Parade

Parade

Sparsely Attended

Sparsely Attended


This year's guidelines for the Grand Review
The Grand Review of Armies was held 150 years ago for the remaining troops stationed near W,DC to officially "muster out." Tens of thousands of soldiers including General Sherman's rag-tag troops and camp followers paraded through the streets. Th line of troops spread for seven miles.
Townfolk Joine In

Townfolk Joine In


The Museum was the official sponsor for this important event - important, of course to Civil War buffs, students, and reenactors.
I talked to some reenactors who attended to participate as "parade watchers." At the actual Grand Review 150 years ago, thousands of observers lined the streets.
They were very disappointed at the sparse attendance. They said the publicity had been minimal. Only a few of the truly committed reenactors knew of the event and none felt they were involved if they were not a part of the African American Civil War Museum. This event is only held ever 25 or 50 years and many people knew it would not happen again in their lifetime.
I wonder if the day will ever come when one group does not have to feel excluded.

Posted by pscotterly 05:15 Archived in USA Tagged washington_dc Comments (0)

Our Hometown

Washington, DC

Our Hometown

Our Hometown


Oh, how I love this area.
If Denver, Colorado were not home base, this area is where I would be.
Wooded Lots of Takoma Park

Wooded Lots of Takoma Park


The question - do you prefer so much humidity your clothes slide off or so little humidity that your feet are dried limbs.
But those of you who live in the west know, you sure won't find any urban residential neighborhood that resembles a forest like I had in my pet sitting assignment in Takoma Park, Maryland.
The sister cats named Merlot and Charlie (changed from Chardonnay thank goodness) were talmost twins except one was very chubby and one had very distinct black lip liner.
Really, They Liked Me

Really, They Liked Me


I was remiss in taking photos at this stay.
If you follow my journey, you might realize this was the time I was in a bit of a funk about logging all the details. I am sure it was because I was lerning my new Surface Pro 3 and the yucky Windows 8.1.
My Home in Takoma Park

My Home in Takoma Park


My home for a week was only two blocks from the Metro station. In less than 30 minutes, I could be anywhere in everyone's hometown, Washington District of Columbia.

One Saturday morning, I visited a former traveling companion from the Friendship Force trip to Azerbaijan and Moscow in 2013. You can read about that trip in my blog PaulaCotterly1.Travellerspoint.Com
Historic T Street W,DC

Historic T Street W,DC

In the Beautiful Sunlit Backyard on T Street

In the Beautiful Sunlit Backyard on T Street


Chuck took me for a walk around the neighborhood.
A Morning in the Park

A Morning in the Park

Little Birds Bathing

Little Birds Bathing

I wanted to do things in W, DC this week that I have never done before.
I took the tour of the Library of Congress.
Library of Congress-001

Library of Congress-001


Fountain Front of the Library of Congress

Fountain Front of the Library of Congress


Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Ceiling DetaIL

Ceiling DetaIL


It is a truly magnificent building. The tour guide was very well informed. I was surprised at the number of people on tours here. for some reason, I had assumed it would not be on the "must see list" for every tourist.
The next time you are in town for a few days, be sure to get your own library card so you can read reference materials. I know I am going to get one - every citizen can get a free card to the library.
My friend Chuck worked for the LofC, but not in this building. The staff on which he worked conducted research requests for members of Congress.

I had also never visited the National Botanic Gardens. I hadn't planned it, but I needed a restroom and their was the Garden.
Banana Tree

Banana Tree

Cool and Refreshing

Cool and Refreshing

I Didn't Read the ID Tag

I Didn't Read the ID Tag

Orchids

Orchids


Because it is such a wonderful walking city, I also spent time on a couple days just walking and looking.
Streets in Bloom

Streets in Bloom

You Can Always Find a Green Spot

You Can Always Find a Green Spot

Tell the Court How You Really Feel

Tell the Court How You Really Feel

Midwesterners Off to Visit Their Representator

Midwesterners Off to Visit Their Representator


Oops did I mean their Representative of their Senator? I am sure it was the Rayburn building they were heading to, so my guess is they are heading to see their representative.
Capitol Maintenance

Capitol Maintenance


There are also two places I always like to go when I am in our hometown.
Union Station to eat at the restaurant in the center of the hall (I don't know why - I just do)
Lunchcounter in Union Station

Lunchcounter in Union Station


The American History building of the Smithsonian just to see what is on display that I have never seen.
Lincoln's Carriage

Lincoln's Carriage

I have already been offered future pet sitting assignments in Takoma Park.
Merlot and Charlie just need to be fed in the AM and any time in the PM
Newt Gingrich (an actual newt, not the pol) needs one pellet a day and the goldfish need a handful every day or so.
I can handle this and still stroll the streets of our hometown!

Posted by pscotterly 15:21 Archived in USA Tagged washington_dc Comments (1)

Only in West Virginia

How Did I Find Myself Here?

A year ago, I never intended to spend six nights in West Virginia. Heck, a week ago I did not plan to spend six nights in West Virginia.
Welcxome to West Virginia

Welcxome to West Virginia


I have made plans for the next month that keeps me in the Blue Ridge to W,DC area. After leaving Roanoke, I wanted someplace different to go, see, do. I looked at the map and there was West Virginia. I had a week or so. I figured I might as well find out about it.
So right-click on this link and let John Denver sing you along on this ride.
The first thing to do was to stop at the visitors' information center just across the state line with Virginia.
By the way, don't take the state side roads if you want to find the visitor center. It is just off I64, but if you don't access it at just the right spot you will keep going back and forth into and out of Virginia and West Virginia trying to get to the correct exit.
Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the young man who distributed information at this center. He was the most knowledgeable about his area that I have met since I rolled into Ontario, Canada months and months ago.
At the same time I was there, a WV resident around my age was singing the praises of his state and its visitors' centers. He claimed that WV had the cleanest restrooms they had seen around the country and "it makes you proud of your state after what we have been seeing."
I started to ask him where he had been because I have noticed the entire country's parks and visitor centers were quite well maintained. But then, I decided maybe it was because I had recently been in Cuba and two years ago in Azerbaijan that I have this positive impression of US public toilets. There was no reason for me to interject into this man's enthusiasm.
An aside - the best public restrooms are in the small towns throughout France.

I decided to have some lunch in Lewisburg while I planned my next few days.
Before I had lunch , I looked up the hill and saw two buildings that certainly looked historic. And, indeed, they are!
One of the buildings I saw was the North House history museum. Of course, I had to visit it.
They were having a special exhibit on funeral customs. As many museums as I visit, it is always fun to see something I have never seen before. The reusable coffins and infant baskets for displaying corpses on the intricately carved planks and "saw horses" were a first for me. These had been stored in a local church until recently. It has been so long that I was here, now I forget what else was a "first."
Hmmmm.....Maybe these items were not firsts but just things I have forgotten that I have seen. In some ways it is nice to be old and have so much appear new again!
Lewisburg History Museum

Lewisburg History Museum


The Technical College is in a very historical building that was once a female finishing school. Although the first two buildings burnt down over 200 years ago, the current facilities have been used as an education facility for well over a century.
Modern Tech College Historic School

Modern Tech College Historic School


I finally had lunch at Stella's which has tasty food and is also in a restored historic building.
Stella's A Fine Restaurant

Stella's A Fine Restaurant

Nicely Restored

Nicely Restored

I Chose the Patio

I Chose the Patio


I highly recommend spending a day or two in Lewisburg. I, on the other hand, had decided to spend my time in the state parks and look for sites I could only see in Wild West Virginia.
As I drove the byways of WV and looked at the mountains, I was struck at how round and gentle everything looked. Even the trees in the forrest seemed to have been pruned by a giant Edward Scissorshand. Yes, the adjective the tourism department uses is Wild, the whitewater rushes, and there are gorges - but I still felt everything looked soft and round.
WV Barn

WV Barn

Little Levels

Little Levels


Somehow, I don't think I captured my feelings of roundness in any of my photos.
At one point driving up the side of a mountain (they are all less than 5,000 feet altitude, but still mountains.) I was suddenly eye level with a row of wind turbines. It was interesting to be at that level. I was not able to pull off the road until the true eye-level position was lost.
On Eye Level with the Turbines

On Eye Level with the Turbines


Droop Mountain

Droop Mountain


There is only one Droop Mountain Battle Site, It is near the Watoga State Park, so I visited. However, Civil War sites are a dime a dozen throughout these Southern states and I have decided it should be a significant spot for me to search it out. I was the only one here one morning and I must say that it is unsettling to sit in a sunny breeze and think of the bloody battle that occurred here.
Why Do We Glory Weapons

Why Do We Glory Weapons


Listen for the Ghosts of Soldiers

Listen for the Ghosts of Soldiers


An aside - if you want to sit someplace and feel surrounded by ghosts of tragedy, go by yourself and sit at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. After much persuasion by Native tribes, the government has finally recognized this site, so it might not be such an emotional site as it was when I searched for hours and found it without GPS and road signs 30 years ago.

Just north of Droop Mountain on WV Route 219 is the birthplace of Pearl S Buck. Who knew? If I did, I forgot. She left here when she was around six months old, so her remembrances are only from visits later in life.
Birthplace of Pearl S Buck

Birthplace of Pearl S Buck


Homeplace of Pearl S Buck's Father

Homeplace of Pearl S Buck's Father


Nothing was open until after Memorial Day. A volunteer was painting the porch in preparation for the season, so he let me go in and look around.

What really caught my eye on the map was the National Radio Astronomy Center.
My eyes stopped reading at National Radio, so my mind registered National Public Radio. No, no, silly girl, you will not see Steve Inskeep broadcasting there - and definitely not Diane Rehms .

Another aside - One of the problems of traveling the country and having NPR as your main source of information and entertainment is that about 75% of the time you are listening to a public fund raiser. When I am Queen, I am going to rule that all NPR stations must have their fund raisers on the same week throughout the entire country! During fall and spring traveling, I would just move out of one station's broadcast area that had just ended the fund raiser only to discover I had driven into another broadcast area just beginning their fund raiser.
National Radio Observatory

National Radio Observatory


But back to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory - it was quite interesting. Even though it was so scientific I didn't understand 1/3 of what I heard. I did manage to put together the jigsaw puzzle in the interactive lab and pulled many levers and buttons to simulate the operations.
You can take an interesting bus tour of the site. No pictures are allowed because the equipment is so sensitive it picks up the waves from digital cameras which interferes with the information being collected.
The observatory does not transmit; it only receives. For several years, they did tried to ascertain if they could pick up signals from life on other planets or outside our galaxy. Finally, they decided it was a waste of money and no longer provide the time for this. If you are interested, however, I hear there is a project that recruits home scientists for this research. I am not sure this link will help you access the correct link, but I do know it was discussed on NPR this winter.
Unfortunately, I drove over a little lizard in the parking lot. I didn't even see it until I got out of the van. I wonder if its high-pitched screams were recorded on the radio waves.
I Didn't Mean To

I Didn't Mean To


The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is another "only in Wild West Virginia" site I visited. I know, I know that is a politically incorrect term. As this is a national historic site, they have decided to maintain the original name.
Historic Lunatic Asylum

Historic Lunatic Asylum


The asylum was built before the Civil War and designed by a Dr. Kirkbride. He had very progressive ideas about restoring mental health that were not well known at the time.
Former Incarceration Wing

Former Incarceration Wing


If you are a follower of the ghost shows on TV, you might be familiar with some of those paranormal activities claimed to go on here. Records prove that from 1889 until 1994 when it closed that at least 50,000 people died here. I imagine there are still a few unsettled spirits floating around.

What seems stranger to me than paranormal activity exists is that a private citizen actually purchased this property with private money. Because he has received National Historic designation on the main building, it can not be demolished and any restoration must be authentic. Rebecca Jordan is the daughter of Joe Jordan who purchased it for $1.5 million in 2007. I can't find anything that says WHY he bought it.

I took the daytime tour and, I must admit, it was well done and interesting. Another visitor kept running around and excitedly asking "Isn't this the most fantastic place you have ever visited?!" I thought about asking him if he had been to the WV Visitor Center restrooms.

Perhaps the most interesting features of West Virginia are the shape and history.
Before the Civil War, this area was part of Virginia. The difference between the terrain and the economy is striking:
- eastern Virginia had plantations with hundreds of slaves and thousands of acres owned primarily by Englishmen.
- this area was settled by poorer Irish and Scots. The mountains did not allow for big plantations and the rivers did not provide the same transport.
Although this area is similar to western Virginia they are are separated by the Appalachian Mountain Range. When Virginia seceded from the Union, West Virginia formed itself. Here is a link to a very involved treatise you can read if interested. Here is one that is a bit more fun.

Have I whet your interest in West Virginia? You might not want to make it a destination, but if you are in the area or en route to the coast or Florida you might as well linger for a few days.

Posted by pscotterly 15:24 Archived in USA Tagged west_virginia Comments (1)

West Virginia

6 Nights; 4 Sate Parks

Ol' 95 and I were glad to have warm nights and pleasant state parks to spend them in.
WV Foliage

WV Foliage


You might enjoy them also.
Little Levels

Little Levels


I think most of them were formed when the Army Corps of Engineers were called in to create dams to stop flooding in the towns along the rivers.
Most of the farmers who had settled in these valleys years ago weren't too pleased. Many of their descendants are still bitter.

Some of these state parks are now called Resorts and are managed by national companies. I must admit these resorts are staffed with just a tad more service-oriented staff members. You stand around waiting for a non-resort park employee to end a personal phone conversation so you can book a campsite or ask a question.

Memorial Day was in the future, so the camps were minimally populated. I had a hard time making friends. Sometimes West Virginians sound a little rough around the edges. Because I generally take on the accent and tone of voice of those around me (even my ESL students from around the globe!), I started asking questions or giving answers just the way I heard them.
Funny, I didn't seem to elicit more than four sentence volleys.
Along the Greenbrier River

Along the Greenbrier River


I journeyed only along the eastern state line; Here, most of the parks are near small town with a populace implementing green practices, farm-to-table restaurants, and art walks. Interestingly enough, I did not meet any people. Maybe I was speaking in my "crafty brogue" here. After visiting some of the towns,however, I mused it might have been better to have let them flood.
Back in the Campground

Back in the Campground


My first stop was in Watoga State Park. I biked a bit, sat a bit, and toured the countryside a bit.
I saw two does in the campground. Later, I saw just their heads above the grass. I think they might have had fawns in these sheltered spots.
Doe in the Copse

Doe in the Copse


My next stop was Stonewall Jackson Resort, which also has a campground. I biked a bit, walked a bit, and ate breakfast at the resort.
Water to the Left of Me

Water to the Left of Me

Water to the Front of Me

Water to the Front of Me


Here in the Stonewall I left my $3000 Sony Vaio sitting out on the picnic table all night.It never worked after that.
One Spring Flower

One Spring Flower

Most Photographed Scene in WV

Most Photographed Scene in WV


My next stop was the Blackwater Falls State Park. Here, I biked into town and around the park.
Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park


The weather became a bit inclement, so I spent some time in the lodge lobby. I like to sleep in the van in the wind and rain, but it gets a bit tedious all day long.
I grew weary of the weather. I was stewing about my crashed computer. I headed to Canaan Valley State Park Resort. The lodge had a senior special of $85 a night if you stayed two consecutive nights.
I took advantage of it.
I take that back about resort staff being more knowledgeable. The desk clerk was sure I had to book on line to get the special, so I headed into the lobby to book. Eventually, her supervisor came out from the back room saying "Oh, we can book that at the desk."
She began to book me a room. The original clerk returned to eating her snack and reading the newspaper flyer with the Walmart ads and not bothering to learn how to complete the booking even though her supervisor tried to point out what to click throughout the process.
By the way, the snack eating, uninformed clerk was not some young airhead. She was just a few years younger than I and should have known better. Forgive me, but this seems to be a West Virginia attitude. I can't remember if I left a comment card.
A Room in Canaan Valley State Park

A Room in Canaan Valley State Park


The temperature had dropped to the 40s after several days in the high 70s. The HVAC staff had figured out how to get the AC working. Every room in the lodge had the thermostats set to 60 and the Cool mode turned on. The rooms and public areas were freezing. Somehow, the pool area had broke down and it was 99 degrees and 110% humidity in there. Many of us spent a lot of time in the pool and then stepping out in the halls.
It was almost like vacationing at a Finnish sauna spa.

Here, the deer came out every evening to graze on the lodge lawn. They stood inches away from the pool and restaurant windows, staring intently. I am not sure if they could see the people or if they could see their own reflections. I only know that several generations have been standing here and doing the same thing.
I spent a lot of time on line researching the computer I should purchase to replace my crashed Vaio. I had to have something besides my trusty Toshiba. It is a workhorse and indestructible, but the 12 pounds is just TOO much.

Posted by pscotterly 10:51 Archived in USA Tagged west_virginia Comments (0)

In Memory Of

The Fallen and Wounded

Half Mast

Half Mast

Make Bread Not War

Make Bread Not War

I choose today to honor and remember all those who have given their lives, their limbs, and their minds to the senselessness of war.
Tribes have been fighting over territory and religion since before there was documented history.
Will we never think of an alternative?

Had I still been in the W,DC area. I would have headed down to the National Mall to watch Rolling Thunder come through town. I stumbled onto the event over 20 years ago - back when no one really knew about it. Even though I was opposed to the Viet Nam war (and almost all wars), this event is so chilling your soul cannot but cheer when you watch all these big bikes ride by with flags flying.
I, for one, am glad that Viet Nam is a tourist destination today and so sorry for the American men who died trying to prevent that from happening.

Posted by pscotterly 10:41 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Who Gives a C#%P?

Do you? Do I?

Some State Park in West Virginia

Some State Park in West Virginia


Generally as I drive along, visit a site, or chat with folks, I make a mental note of what I might like to write here so that I have a good memory and share my journey with you.
About two weeks ago, I sat down to write another blog entry. Initially, I felt I had some interesting pictures to show and useful links to insert. But as I clicked the Write tab in TravellersPoint, I suddenly didn't give a damn about making another entry.
I am in the 14th month of a 12-month road trip. Surely, no one was still interested in what I might be doing and where I might be. I wasn't even sure that I cared!
I never made that entry.
I am still truckin'. Since I last posted:
I had another pet sitting assignment.
I had rather a fiasco concerning another.
I have stayed in some nice places.
I have visited many historical sites.
I watched a parade.
I have even taken a few pictures.
I have several exciting things planned.

Just today, I thought I might want to start writing about all of it again and catching up on what I have omitted.
This is what I produced.

Posted by pscotterly 08:13 Archived in USA Comments (7)

From the Applachian Moutains into the Alleghanys

Wild Wonderful West

I toured around Eastern West Virginia for almost a week.
I stayed in four state parks in six nights.
I camped and slept in Ol' 95 again,
I visited places like Pearl S Buck's birthplace and the National Radio Observatory.
But, you are not going to see any of it.

One night, I left my computer on the picnic table all night.
It gets a little cool and damp at night here in the Alleghany mountain range.
The next day, my Sony crashed. Oh well, I still had my trusty Toshiba.

On nights 5 and 6, it got a little chilly and too windy for me to enjoy being in the campground. I checked into the Canaan Valley State Park Lodge.
I didn't bother to post any blogs or load any WV pictures.
Oh no, I spent most of my time researching tablets and laptops to buy to replace my Sony.

Yesterday, I purchased a Surface Pro 3. Instead of touring Takoma Park, Maryland, I sat in a dim room trying to figure out how to use Windows 8 and the Pro 3. (much to like; much to make me mutter.)

I learned how to load my pictures and do the good old fashioned type of editing with Picasa that I have always done. No sense to trying to learn too many techniques. I loaded all my WV pictures on the computer but not on to TravellersPoint.
But somehow while trying to make Google Chrome my search tool, I downloaded a whole mess of virus and scamming programs. I decided the only thing to do to get rid of them was to restore my computer back to the factory setup.

Before doing this, I neglected to think of all those WV photos I had deleted from my camera.
No worries - Pro 3 saves everything to One Drive on the cloud.
Sure it does unless you are playing around to see if you can delete things from the One Drive and still keep them on your C drive.
Just to let you know - you can. But, I suggest you don't delete your Windows account in the process.
I think that is why my cloud was empty - but this is not a geek chat column.
Long story long - all my WV photos are gone. I might be able to find them floating around out there on Google+ somewhere, but no way am I going to load Chrome as my default browser again until I get some professional assistance.

So if you are in the area, definitely go to West Virginia and see it for yourself, Learn the history. Discover why it has such a strange shape.
I would include some links here so you wouldn't need to visit - unfortunately, the features of TravellersPoint don't seem to work with Windows 8.
That 8 pound Toshiba is looking better and better.

Posted by pscotterly 04:28 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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