Archive for the ‘Blue Ridge Happenings’ Category
Day Trips from Dublin: The Blue Ridge Parkway
If you are interested in a day away from Rockwood Manor and driving around the beautiful countryside of the Appalachian area of the US, then traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the greatest drives in America, with wonderful scenic views and chances for hiking, picnicking and visiting some of the natural treasures of the eastern United States.
Work on the parkway started in 1935 during the Roosevelt presidency. As part of the New Deal, it provided work for the men in the North Carolinian and Virginian hinterlands during the depression years. However, work wasn’t completed for 52 years until the Linn Cove Viaduct near Grandfather Mountain was opened in 1987. This piece of road finally connected two of the great national parks of America: the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park almost 500 miles away in North Carolina. Along the route you can see some of the most spectacular natural views in the US. National parkland lines the road on each side so the views of the peaks and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains are unspoiled.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road that stretches through Virginia and North Carolina. Mile 0 is at the Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro in Virginia, which is about 2 hours north-eastof Dublin. But if you are setting out for a drive from Rockwood Manor then the easiest place to join the road is at Fancy Gap, about a 45 minute drive south of Dublin. Take I-81 South, then join I-77 South and take exit 8 heading towards Fancy Gap. From there, depending on how much time you have, you can either take the shorter drive north in Virginia, or head south and over the border into North Carolina.
If you are in rush to get anywhere, the Blue Ridge Parkway is definitely not the route you should take. The road is just a single lane in each direction and though there are passing places at the viewing points along the road, the speed limit on the road is low so you shouldn’t be charging along. The limit is 45 mile per hour along most of the road, with that falling to just 25 miles per hour in some of the more congested sections. The point of the Blue Ridge Parkway is to enjoy the journey and the spectacular views, not to get to a destination.
Image 2: Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful drive all year round. If you go in the spring or summer, you’ll see the abundant greens over the hills, whereas if you visit in the fall you can see the trees and plants slowly changing to their autumnal reds and oranges. Winter can be an opportunity to see some snow settle on the higher peaks, but the pass can get treacherous during the colder months and don’t be surprised to see some of the parkway closed due to snow and ice. The Park Service do signpost any detours thoroughly though, helping you back onto the main roads until it is safe to join the Parkway again. If you do find yourself on the parkway any time after October beware of icy conditions and prepare your car thoroughly before you set out, making sure the tires are in good condition, you have enough gas to complete your journey, you have supplies available in case you get stuck and you have coverage in the case of an accident. Make sure you check out the tips and travel tools from the park service to ensure you have a safe journey.
The flora and ecology changes as you reach higher elevations. At the lower levels you will see oak, hickory and tulip trees, while the upper reaches of the road are lined with fir and spruces more suited to the difficult climate. Trees near the peaks will often be distorted from years of wind and ice. Smaller flowers such as Rhododendrons and Dogwoods are visible during the spring and summer through all levels of the road, and can be seen retreating as the cold weather moves in.
Image 3: Black Balsam Knob in the Fall
Places to Visit
If you do want to stop anywhere along the way then there are hiking trails and picnic spots signposted throughout the roadway, but a map to guide you to the most memorable spots is a necessity. Some of the best sites along the road are Mount Mitchell (Mile 355), the tallest peak in the Eastern United States, the waterfalls such as Glassmine (361), Crabtree (339) and Looking Glass (417) which dot the lower levels of the road, and some of the idyllic rural manmade structures such as Mabry Mill (176) and Brinegar Cabin (238). The Parkway does not have a direct interchange with any interstates but all the major cities and areas along the route are also signposted. In Virginia, Waynesboro, Galax and Roanoke are the major towns that sit nearby the road. In North Carolina, the road passes by Asheville and the famous Biltmore Estate and vineyards if you wanted to pick up a bottled memento of your trip.
Rockwood Manor is honored to be a part of the Virginia Tech/Maryland Football Raffle in support of the Angel Fund.
While remembering the tragic event at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 and supporting the Angel fund ~ We are honored to have been included in this thoughtful offer donated by a former 1986 Virginia Tech Alumnus. This offer included 2 tickets to the November 2013 VT/MD Football game, one night at Rockwood Manor B&B and $50 cash meal/gas allowance.
This kind offer was made courtesty of Wilson Asphalt Mainenace LC.
The Angel Fund is a positive influence in our community and others, as their mission is to help young people that battle issues in every day life. Their goal is to help give solutions and support with the difficulties young people face daily. More importantly they bring awareness to communities and schools, desiring to create safe environment for young people.
You will be moved by the many areas that are touched by the Angel Fund. We encourage you to learn more by visiting their website and reading their newsletters at http://www.angelfundva.org
Rockwood Manor is delighted to be hosting the The New River Valley Friends of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Road Show. We are the Sixth stop since they hit the road in September, how exciting!
The NRV Friends of the Roanoke Symphony is a volunteer arm of the RSO that supports performances of the Roanoke Symphony in our area and promotes music education programs in New River schools. This years show will be featuring jazz bassist Charlie Perkinson & Co. Mr. Perkinson is the weekday host of “Jazz Tonight” He has had a love for Jazz since high school where he played the upright bass. In his college years at Virginia Tech he played in the school dance band, The Southern Colonels.
After college, while overseas as a member of the United States Air Force he had the opprotunity one night to play the bass in the band backing up singer Rosemary Clooney while she was on a USO tour.
We look forward to visiting with our friends and having a relaxing evening listening to Charlie Perkinson & Co.
Learn more about the NRV of the RSO Road Show at http://www.rso.com/about/nrv_friends.html
Listen to Charlie Perkinson on the radio at WVTF Public Radio or more information at http://wvtf.org/people/charlie-perkinson
MEMOIRS FROM REDD “THE CHAIR”
What a beautiful time to be in Southwest Virginia!! I was picked up at Ikenberry Orchards by my next tour guides, Frank and Rochelle, and I have never seen such a variety of apples!! There were apples I had never heard of but they were deee-licious.
We left the orchard and headed south on I-81 to Roanoke. There sure were a lot of trucks on this road. Since we were on a time crunch we were not able to visit the huge star atop Mill Mountain but I did get to see the famous Hotel Roanoke as well as the O. Winston Link Museum which hosts hundreds of pictures of trains.
As we traveled further south on I-81 I was able to take in the beauty of the leaves changing to their brilliant fall colors. I saw reds (my favorite since they matched me), golds, oranges, and yellows as well as greens and browns.
When we arrived at Rockwood Manor Bed and Breakfast in Dublin, VA I was exhausted but not too tired to take in the beauty of this historic gem as we drove up the tree lined driveway. I thought I was going to be in a remake of the movie Gone With the Wind. WOW!! Fortunately my hosts sensed how tired I was and put me straight to bed in one of the guest rooms.
The next morning I woke to a cloudy, rainy day so I was able to spend the morning just looking around this huge 10,000 square foot home. But in the afternoon the weather had cleared up and I was able to explore the New River Valley.
My first stop was at New River Community College where I saw wind generators and solar panels. This small college is exploring alternative energy sources and they offer classes based on this.
We traveled to Pulaski to see a huge model train set that has recently been acquired by the town. A scale model of Pulaski Town that is amazing to see. We also took in the restored train station with Bike Pulaski and entrance to the “New River Trail”. A 57 mile long Rails to Trails path. Nearby was Historic Calfee Park home of the Mariners training team.
That evening I was tempted to get in the Jacuzzi but thought better of it since it may have loosened up my joints too much.
On Thursday morning I awoke to a foggy morning but no precipitation so my hosts took me to Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech. Go Hokies!!! There were so many students headed in so many different directions it made my rungs spin.
Then I went to the football stadium. That place is HUGE!!! It holds 65,000 fans on a Saturday home game and it is packed. The head football coach, Frank Beamer, has been coaching his alma mater for 27 years and is well respected in the football community as well as his local community. I had the opportunity to read his book Let Me Be Frank before I went to bed. What a super person he is!
On the way back to Dublin I got to sit by the cool waters of the New River. Did you know that this river flows from south to north unlike most rivers in the northern hemisphere? I have learned so much on my travels. I wanted to dip my legs in the water but it was a little too chilly for that.
Tonight is Halloween and I am looking forward to the costumes that may come to the door. I will have lots of candy to give out but I also get to eat any that is left over. Yum! Yum!
Tomorrow I travel to my next destination, the Inn at River Bend. I can’t wait to see more of this beautiful valley and learn more about the history that abounds here.
Thanks to my hosts, Frank and Rochelle, for showing me around this area. I look forward to seeing the rest of the country and seeing more sites.
Dictated by Redd to Frank and Rochelle October 29-31, 2013
This is a special story written directed and produced by a Pulaski Hometown Boy. To think that Scott now lives in an area with other personal friends of ours and is near the Navy Seals of whom this story is about. We are blessed to have such a talented individual in our midst and the story he tells of Lt Michael Murphy is enthralling. Thanks to both for making me Proud to be an American.
These lovely Ladies have really got the talent and we are so lucky they are coming to our local Pulaski Theater this Valentines Day 2013. T he Marvelous Wonderettes is a great off -Broadway musical written by Roger Bean . You are taken to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet the Wonderettes. Four crazy girls with all sorts of talent and spunk! As we learn about their lives and loves, we are treated to the girls performing classic ‘50s and ‘60s songs with a do wop style as good as it gets on over 20 classic hits! A real musical trip down memory lane!
Have you been trying to come up with a great VALENTINES Day gift for your Lady. Well here it is. Rockwood Manor has some rooms available on a first come first served basis and at a discounted price of only $125 for the evening and breakfast the next morning. And better still is the fact that “the Marvelous Wonderettes” will be spending the evening and joining us for breakfast.
Ryan Pelton and his wonderful crew are here again to weave another magical tribute to Elvis. We had the pleasure of their staying here at Rockwood Manor and getting to know them on a somewhat personal basis. Their show tonight at the Pulaski Theater is almost sold out and I can see why. He is a true artist with a voice to match his looks and both are so close to the King’s it is scary. I see why he is so popular and traveling the world performing and yet so down to earth and humble. So many of the performers that have stayed with us are completely different from their stage persona and he is too. At this one of their last performances as a Tribute Band, Ryan told of his intentions of creating his own musical style and going for it. I know he has the talent to do so.
You GO Ryan.
Celebrate the 5oth Anniversary of our great local New River Valley Airport in style. So many acts on the ground and in the air that will take you back to the good old days of barnstorming.
Our family has ties to those great days. My wife Rochelle’s father was a young man in Kansas who fell head over heals for aviation and even designed and built his own plane the Murray Sport.
He then went on to teach another young man (Mudhole Smith) to fly and that became his life story in Alaska.
My father engineered and built aircraft with Glenn L Martin in Baltimore during WWII and later sold missile systems to knock them down
and I too worked in the Army Air Defense with Nike Hercules missiles that now stand at the entrance to Radford Army Arsennal next door.
Check out all they have to offer at www.nrvairshow.com and for a great place to stay while you visit the show try Rockwood Manor and all it has to offer.
Honky Tonk Angels’ musical will be performed Tuesday, April 17 at Pulaski Theatre
The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley and the Pulaski Theatre presents “The Honky Tonk Angels” on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m.
It happens every day of every year. Somewhere in America, a girl quits her job, kisses her loved ones goodbye and climbs aboard a Nashville-bound Greyhound. And every day of every year, those girls arrive in Music City with little more than a dream to sustain them.
“Honky Tonk Angels” is a raucous and touching musical by the author of the hit Broadway show “Always, Patsy Cline,” and spotlights three women who gamble everything for a chance to become country music stars. The show is Ted Swindley’s funny and tender valentine to the female singers in the country music pantheon – many of whom rode that same bus from Anywhere, USA.
The show tells the story of three aspiring young singers who walk away from their work-a-day lives and head for Nashville. Hear the classic tunes of Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn as they were meant to be sung. “The Honky Tonk Angels” features powerhouse singer-actresses performing 20 country classics including “Stand by Your Man,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Harper Valley PTA,” “Nine-to-Five,” “Ode to Billie Joe” and “Harper Valley PTA.”
“ ‘The Honky Tonk Angels’ is a unique musical theatre entertainment,” says producer and director Paul R. Pierce. “It explores the unbridled desire that drives a poor young farm girl, a weary housewife or a stressed-out secretary to drop everything and roll the dice in the world’s most competitive and brutal industry – all for the love of music. Of course, the song list for this show reads like a Nashville greatest hits record, so ‘The Honky Tonk Angels’ is also a thrilling nostalgic journey for the audience.”
The show is produced by Springer Theatricals, the national touring unit of the Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia. The Springer is a 140-year-old National Historic Landmark with a year-round schedule of plays, musicals and a top-ranked theatre academy. The theatre also has one of the nation’s busiest touring schedules, performing in sixty American cities each year.
Since Reconstruction days, the Springer has been a cherished Southern cultural institution with the world’s most celebrated artists making pilgrimages to perform in the elegance of this famous theatre. From Edwin Booth, Lilly Langtry, George M. Cohan, Ethel Barrymore and Irving Berlin in the old days to more modern appearances by Truman Capote, Hal Holbrook, Burt Reynolds, Chet Atkins and Garrison Keillor, the Springer Theatre has been a centerpiece for the performing arts in the South since 1871.
“The Honky Tonk Angels” will be performed Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pulaski Theatre, 14 West Main Street, Pulaski, VA 24301. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance and $22 at the door and are on sale now. Ticket outlets are Martin’s Pharmacy, Coffee Buy the Book and the Fine Arts Center in Pulaski and the Pulaski County Visitor Center in Dublin. Call 540-980-7363 for more information. Visit the Fine Arts Center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/facnrv.
– Submitted by Donna Rorrer, Fine Arts Center