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Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Aug 23, 2015.
Fall must be a wonderful time for a drive through the mountains, with all the fall colours.
In the fall & early winter, we've occasionally traveled to the North Carolina Mountains but a little reluctant to get trapped in a major snow storm - below are some of the fall colors in the vicinity - one of my favorite spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is Linn Cove Viaduct (last part of the BRP completed), which runs around the base of Grandfather Mountain (near Blowing Rock, a quick get-away for us) - the fall colors there are just breath-taking, as you as see from two different perspectives of the structure.
But, we also love the winter w/ a small snowfall covering the trees but the roads clear! Below a couple of images around Blowing Rock, including the Moses Cone Memorial Park (I've covered this area in my NC mountain travelogue). And finally, the Biltmore Estate is decorated beautifully for Christmas which is probably one of their most popular seasons (maybe tops?) - we've been a few times (last w/ our son & DIL, who have never seen this property). The final images below of first the outside of the Biltmore House w/ snow and the inside w/ the 35 ft. Fraser Fir in the Dining Room - Dave
Those fall colours are just stunning! Most of the leaves on the trees where I live just turn yellow in the fall.
Biltmore in the winter looks better than in the summer.
The colors are indeed wonderfully variable in the fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway due mainly to the wide variety of deciduous trees on these mountains which of course vary w/ their elevation. In fact, the adjacent
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the most biodiversity for its size in a temperate climate (guess that the Amazon region would lead the world?) - see first quote below.
The Biltmore House is the most visited place in North Carolina (second quote below) w/ over a million annual visitors recently - according to our recent guides the Winter holiday season is the most popular. Susan & I usually go as the summer comes on (typically 10 degrees cooler from the Piedmont area where we live - but not this year - really HOT on our 2015 mountain trips) - BUT, I must say that those snowy pics are beautiful - we need to get to Blowing Rock this year so may do the trip later into December to view some winter scenery. Dave
Shenandoah Valley - Civil War - Part 2
The Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War was an important and strategic part of western Virginia supplying food of all sorts (sometimes called the 'Bread Basket' of Virginia), railroad connections, and a north-south corridor for Southern Armies to threaten Washington, D.C. Control of the Valley, especially the northern end around the town of Winchester was a crucial military goal for both North and South throughout the war - quoted below several paragraphs expanding on this vital mountain real estate (Source).
The Shenandoah Valley Campaigns are numerous and involve both minor skirmishes and major battles - check the links for more details - books have been written on the entire valley involvement during the war to individual conflicts - below are several maps showing the sites of the more important conflicts, along w/ a pic of just one of the many books written. Many officers on both sides made substantial contributions to control of the Valley, Stonewall Jackson in his early campaigns and then Philip Sheridan toward the end of the war (several pics below including his famous ride to rally his men!). Several better know battle locations were New Market (see 2nd quote below w/ link), where VMI cadets from Lexington (an upcoming post) participated; and Winchester in northern Virginia which changed Union & Confederate hands about 70 times! (see 3rd quote below w/ link) - numerous battles were fought there as the road plaques & battle maps indicate.
Well, I have a couple of posts left about two towns/cities in the Valley, i.e. Roanoke & Lexington, the latter my favorite town along I-81 - Dave
Thanks for another very good Civil War article. I found this map of the third battle of Winchester.
I have always been a fan of old TJ. An organization I know changed their name from Thomas Jefferson District to Southeast District because they were offended that TJ owned slaves. A bit short-sighted to me, since that was in the 1700s, but many people would say that racism is racism.
I'm not usually claustrophobic, but when I visit caves I'm always afraid that they will collapse and bury me alive. Luray is spectacular, though, and worth a visit.
Keswick Hall is a keeper! It's so elegant that I felt like a princess in my private castle. No ladies in waiting, unfortunately.
I enjoyed reading with my new friends, James ("Jim") and Dolley. She was quite a hostess. As you might see in the dinner table photo, she sat guests with opposing opinions next to each other, to make for lively conversation.