Had a lovely day today. It was so warm when we got up at 7 – I was able to walk to the washroom with no sweater or jacket – and it was a lovely balmy breeze. About 76° at 9am. Through the night there was a very strong wind, but it was still very warm.
So this morning we are back on the Blue Ridge Parkway which we rejoined at its lowest point (Otter Creek, 649ft, near the James River) and promptly drove to its highest peak (Terrapin Mountain at 3950ft) – only 15 miles away. Quite a climb for the old Stallion, which groaned a bit en route. There was some pretty dense cloud as we got towards the top of the climb, but the vegetation was interesting – the trees (their trunks) were bright green with moss – from the dampness in the clouds, I guess.
We popped down into the outskirts of the city of Roanoke to pick up some groceries and I was able to get a new mouse for my computer, then we promptly returned to the Blue Ridge Parkway, making our way to Rocky Knob campground (about 170 miles along the Parkway), where we selected and paid for our site for the night, then drove on down to Mabry Mill, about 8 miles south. That was a worthwhile trip. Park Rangers and volunteers were on hand to describe the workings of the Mill (corn) and various other early pioneer activities. There was a demonstration in making apple butter (which takes all day to make), but we only got there a the end (for the tasting!). Bruce was taken with the sawmill which was very similar to the one his mother operated up at Canim Lake, and we bought buckwheat and cornmeal that had been produced by the Mill operators nearby. Loved that visit, then returned to our lovely campsite - still very warm so I sat outside the camper with my book, my wine and some music - a rarity on this trip! (So okay, yeah, yeah - while Bruce washed the windows on the camper!) Not many people here so it was very quiet – not to mention DARK – overnight.
Had a lovely dinner here which made me wonder how the other campers were faring! :) Jim (in Wilmington) had turned us on to some wonderful frozen meats (by a company that supplies high-end restaurants, 'Cuisine Solutions') and we had bought a couple of herbed racks of lamb which we had tonight – absolutely delicious!
Pretty chilly when we awoke this morning in spite of how lovely late yesterday had been, but a fabulous sunrise.
Went to the Blue Ridge Music Centre on the Parkway, which is manned (personned) by Rangers who are doing a wonderful job - yet again. Very informative information and talented demonstrations of "mountain instruments" and music. We actually bought a couple of CDs after listening to a group playing, following a demo by a park ranger. We've been really impressed with the quality of the people who run the Parks here. The Ranger at Appomattox Court House was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her subject as was the fellow who talked to us and demonstrated instruments today.
We detoured ourselves off the Parkway late this afternoon so are now at a private campground tonight at Boone, North Carolina, which is GREAT!!! We have the best internet signal here at Flintlock Campground that we have had for weeks! And right here in the comfort of the camper! Well done Flintlock Campground!