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Tuesday, November 11, 2008 Road Junkies 0 Comments


SO VERY VIRGINIA, CHAPTER 1:  IN WHICH WE HIT THE CENTURY MARK 

Days 1-2:  Atlanta, GA, to Culpeper, VA.  Since we retired in 2001, we've entertained the idea of moving away from the Atlanta area.  One of the places that has come up in our discussions is Charlottesville, Virginia.  So we decided it was time we visited the area to try to sense whether it might be a good fit for us.

Watauga Chapel
We had an uneventful drive to Virginia on Monday and began our day Tuesday with a visit to Watauga Chapel, a beautiful little church outside Abingdon, Virginia, near the spot where the Virginia Creeper Trail crosses Watauga Road. After locating a letterbox outside the church, we visited the nearby Watauga Trestle. Part of the Creeper Trail, the trestle has been transformed into a boardwalk for bikers, hikers, and horses. As may be obvious, the trail runs along the right-of-way of an old railroad. Coincidentally we found a letterbox on the trail after we crossed the trestle.

Rail trestle turned hiking bridge
We've driven a good many miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but ninety-five percent have been in western North Carolina. So we had to check out part of the Virginia section of this spectacular road. It did not disappoint. Even though we arrived in the area about a week after peak autumn leaf season, the drive was still quite colorful.

Perfect combination—leaf color on the trees and carpeting the roadside
While on the parkway, we found our 100th letterbox! It was a new box planted last week by some grandparents and their two grandsons.  We also took a brief walk on the famous Appalachian Trail.

Hidden among the rocks...#100!

Ken through hiking the Appalachian Trail
Coming off the parkway into Buchanan, Virginia, we found (a letterbox and) the perfect spot for lunch-- The Fountain at Ransone's Drug Store.

Main Street in Buchanan, VA
We ended the day in Culpeper, Virginia. Pam came down from Manassas and met us for dinner at Foti's Restaurant, whose food rivals the finest restaurants we've visited. Fabulous meal and even better companion-- after we lured her out of the historic cemetery she was visiting when we arrived, being the taphophile that she is.

Posing with Pam
The server took our photo with this statue, whom she referred to as Dionysus. Maybe that old Greek god has found a new gender!

MONDAY, 10 NOVEMBER—TUESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER, 2008