Business was closed yesterday for the Labor Day holiday. Since I have so few vacation days, I economized by using one of these days to extend the weekend to a 4-day pseudo holiday. I’ve spent the bulk of this time organizing my new work space, working on a couple of paintings, knitting, sewing and drinking an inordinate amount of tea. I’ve had a nice break from the office, but I have still been working for the most part. I really needed a little down time, as if I was truly on holiday. Since I cannot afford a real vacation, I have to make do with what I have. And what I have is the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In case you are unfamiliar, the parkway runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains from central Virginia south and west into North Carolina. And, fortunately, I live only a few minutes from the northern most entrance of the parkway. It is my favorite place to take pictures of the fall foliage, and it has great little hikes along the way – not to mention numerous entrances to the Appalachian Trail.
I used to go up to the Parkway regularly to hike throughout the year, but my move last year really threw me out of whack. As I stood at the entrance to the AT this morning, all the good vibes came flowing back to me. I positively adore my little part of the world (despite my bouts of wanderlust), and nothing has ever felt as comforting and homelike as these mountains. As I was reminiscing, I also remembered that I once vowed to hike the entire length of the AT (yes, Maine to Georgia) by my 50th birthday. Hhmmm…..don’t see that happening in this lifetime. HOWEVER, I am working on getting myself back into hiking shape, so anything’s possible.
For a little side diversion, I stopped by Humpback Rocks Farm just a few miles from the parkway entrance. It’s just a small exhibit with an old 1800’s settler’s cabin and farm, but it is charming. Except for the chickens, that is. I wasn’t 10 feet down the path before an entire flock came tearing up to me. I came a breath away from screaming bloody murder, but they all stopped, slowly walked by me with their little beady eyes averted, then ran down the path towards the garden. And I do mean ran. I had no idea that chickens were such great sprinters! Not quite the welcome I expected on a quiet and dreary morning.
I should have devoted more time to this outing, but it was a last minute decision. Plus, the fog was so dense in some places that it really started to get tiresome. But for a 1-hour outing, it was a pure delight. I needed to be reminded why I love this place as I do. I am very fortunate.