Sunday, December 30, 2012

From My Email


President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office when his telephone rang.

"Hello, President Obama" a heavily accented southern voice said. "This is Jimmy Boy, down here at Bump's Catfish Shack, in Vicksburg , and I am callin' to tell ya'll that we are officially declaring war on y'all!"

"Well Jimmy Boy," Barack replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"

"Right now," said Jimmy Boy, after a moments calculation "there is myself, my cousin Tom, my next-door-neighbor and brother Gerald, and the whole dart team from JD's Bait Shop. That makes eight or maybe nine depending if Bump can close the store.

Barack paused. "I must tell you Jimmy Boy that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command."

"Wow," said Jimmy Boy. "I'll have to call ya back!" Sure enough, the next day, Jimmy Boy called again. "Mr. Obama, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"

"And what equipment would that be Jimmy Boy?" Barack asked.

"Well sir, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and my brother Mike's farm tractor."

President Obama sighed. "I must tell you Jimmy Boy, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also I've increased my army to one and a half million since we last spoke."

"Lord above", said Jimmy Boy, "I'll be getting back to ya."

Sure enough, Jimmy Boy called again the next day. "President Obama! I am sorry to have to tell you that we have had to call off this here war." 

"I'm sorry to hear that" said Barack. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

Well, sir," said Jimmy Boy, "we've all sat ourselves down and had a long chat over sweet tea, catfish, greens and pie and come to realize that there's just no way we can feed that many prisoners."


If you are a REAL Southerner, you won't even need to be told to pass this on! GOD BLESS EVERYBODY!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Painted Ladies

The 'Painted Ladies' of Hatteras Village.
 This one of my favorite photos captured during my weekend on Hatteras Island.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ferries, Rain and Fog!

Quick trip to Hatteras for the weekend. Turned into multiple misadventures with the NC Ferry System. On our way to Hatteras, we discovered that the road was still impassible on Hwy 12 with out a 4x4; rerouting our trip so we could crossed over on the ferry from Swans Quarter to Ocracoke. Making that change in our travel plans led us to discover the unique restaurant, the Hyde Away Cafe. Following a nearly 3 hour ferry ride we were starved! Once on Ocracoke we were all set for dinner at Howard's Pub and made a bee line there - but it was CLOSED; instead we back tracked and ate at the Topless Oyster. After catching the 9:00 p.m. ferry to Hatteras we finally made it to our hotel. Yippee!!

Saturday we headed north on Hwy 12 to find out just where the trouble with the road was and I did get a photo of the construction working to restore the road.

We got hung up in traffic on Hwy 12 for a little while this afternoon. According to local residences the dump truck ran over a passenger vehicle - the driver suffered at minimum a broken femur and broken arm. She had been med-flighted out prior to our arrival at the scene.

Our second mission was to go back to Ocracoke to explore and take photos at the Ocracoke Lighthouse. As we arrived at the Hatteras ferry we were informed that a fishing boat had run aground in the middle of the channel; blocking the ferry traffic in the channel. There would be no trip back to Ocracoke, the ferry operator told us that they were not expecting for the ferry to resume operation until after high tide (around 9:00 p.m.). On a happy note we did find out where the Emergency Ferry was operating out of and it looked like a promising way to return home on Sunday.

As the day broke with a slight drizzle in the air and pelicans perched on the piling in the marina. After gathering our belongings together and getting the car parked, I headed off to the marina to capture a few of those pelicans on 'film'.

Then we went off in search of the Community Center and the Emergency Ferry in Rodanthe Beach, which turned out to be a very easy find. I did spend some time while waiting for our departure to snap a few shots around the area. I'm glad I did for once we board the ferry the rain began to come down. 

All intentions I had of doing any work went completely out the window, with the combination of the chilly air, warm blanket, and the sound of the rain against the car roof sleep was only moments away. That two hour ferry ride passed by in minutes for one minute we were leaving one dock and the next arriving at our destination.  It was about that time that the fog settled in and gave us quite a fit for the rest of the journey.

All in all however, we found a number of beautiful areas to shoot and hopefully were able to capture some unique views of the island.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Mexico Chili Cookoff

I received this in email this evening - it is a MUST read!!

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Santa Fe New Mexico.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe Plaza . Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, MO.

Frank: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off.. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3.”

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. Woman is starting to look HOT .... Just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when Itold her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off.. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 -- No report.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bethlehem Walk

Nativity - Bethlehem Walk, presented by Salem Baptist Church
I attended the Bethlehem Walk last night with Mom. We arrived, what we thought was, early - turned out early would have been an hour sooner. The line was long but did move. Once reaching the head of the line we were escorted through the exhibit. The actors remained in character, even going so far as to ask about the 'magic box' that I was carrying.

Tonight is the last performance (3 to 8 p.m.) - get out to see it if you haven't already done so.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Outing

I went out this morning, just after 8:00 a.m., with Bounce to treat him to his weekend Hardees sausage biscuit. Our normal line around the building was nonexistent, yeah!

Since we were out, I thought a quick trip around to the shopping hotspots on Hull Street was worthwhile. Much to my surprise the parking lot at WalMart was nearly vacant. I've seen more cars in the lot on a normal trip to the grocery store on a  regular Friday.

I then drove out the road just a bit further to see how things were at the Target and Best Buy.

Low and behold...The lot at Target was same way. There were probably more employee cars there than shoppers.

On to Best Buy were the there appeared to be a few more shoppers but the lot was still empty compared to what anyone would be expecting on "Black Friday."

We cruised on back home, and have been watching movies and enjoying a crackling fire as I have been working a couple of freelance pieces.

Hope everyone that ventures out today has a very safe shopping day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Afternoon on at the Chapel

It was a very productive day at the chapel this afternoon. There were a number of opportunities to share with by-passers the goal of restoring the flags to the chapel.

A couple of ladies were very enthusiastic and even climbed up on the tailgate of one of the trucks to have their photo taken with the flags!

The Yankee hawk made an appearance again as well circling the steeple of the chapel and generally showing off.

It was a great day for meeting people, taking photos, and learning something new. Just listening the to learned individuals who participate in theses events weekly I find that they always have something for me to take away from my time spent with them.

Today as I was packing up to head home, one of the residents that lives on the street behind the chapel, called out to me. She said, "Thank you for your dedication. I appreciate it." The Flaggers changing hearts and minds one at a time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

No More Twinkie's

A huge number of snack foods from my childhood are no more. Killed by the very people that were employed to produce them.

So many children and grandchildren won't have the shared memories of Hostess Twinkie's, Ho Ho's, and CupCakes with the loopy white icing down the center. Not to mention the many other products produced by the company.

In this time of economic hardship, it boggles the mind that they were not willing to back down on demands made of their employer (who was already in bankruptcy) in order to keep a job. Instead they chose to strike, and now they are out of work and have become just another of the many that are now on the public payroll of unemployment.

I sometime wonder about the leadership in the unions today. Are they really looking out for the best interests of the employees or only trying to find ways to actually drive the companies out of business? Just how many of these people did not have to lose a job?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Idiocy on Display

This is amazing! I love it when Judge Judy says that they are sending this tape to Congress. This guy hasn't a clue, even though he is a "3rd year" college student. How hard is to understand? You get aid to pay your rent, you pay rent - not use it to buy other stuff. He admits under oath that he defrauded the government. I hope that the taxpayers in the state where he lives are able to have him prosecuted for the it. 

The woman who he was suppose to be paying the rent to wasn't any better. She wasn't paying the rent either! How can you be upset when someone tries to collect on unpaid rent, when you don't pay!

I'm still shaking my head over the whole thing. It is amazing what we the taxpayers are getting as a return on our investment, from the looks of this it is a big fat ZERO!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Signatures on the Rise

It is not terribly hard now to figure out that there are petitions for 49 states to secede from the United State there are at least eight states with multiple petitions.

As theses petitions are reaching the required number of signatures to receive a response from the current administrations, it is going to be enlightening to see how they are handled. Especially from an administration that has a hard time answering any direct questions.

It will be equally entertaining to see how the main stream media is going to handle this story, that they have effectively been ignoring for the past eight days.

Secession Petitions

Only 2 States Left

Well it looks like everyone is onboard with secession, except Wisconsin & Vermont! It is going to be interesting to see what the numbers look like later this evening.

38. Peacefully Grant the State of Illinois to withdrawal from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
39. Grant the State of New Hampshire to withdrawal from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
40. Peacefully grant the State of Minnesota to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
41. Peacefully grant the State of New Mexico to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
42. Peacefully grant the State of Maine to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
43. Peacefully grant the State of Iowa to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
44. Peacefully grant the State of Washington to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
45. Peacefully grant the State of Massachusetts to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
46. Peacefully grant the State of Hawaii to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
47. the State of Maryland to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
48. the State of Connecticut to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Petitions Update

Center Column of the Drudge Report Today
Now there is a minimum of 37 petitions that have been filed to allow their state to withdraw from the United States. There are several states where more than one petition has been created, which makes sense since the petitions are not posted publicly until they have the minimum 150 signatures.

Not to be "outdone" by the secessionist type petitions there several that make requests of the administration to deny the citizens of the United States the right to petition the government:
  • Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them
  • Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdrawal Their State From The United States Of America.
  • Peacefully allow the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the State of Texas & remain part of the United States

New petitions added since my last posting:

28. Peacefully grant the State of California to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
29. Peacefully grant the State of Wyoming to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
30. Peacefully grant the State of Utah to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
31. Peacefully grant the State of Kansas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
32. Allow Alaskans a free and open election to decide whether Alaska should Secede from the United States.
33. Peacefully grant the State of Nebraska to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
34. Peacefully grant the State of West Virginia to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
35. Peacefully grant the State of South Dakota to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
36. Peacefully allow the State of Rhode Island to secede from the United States of America and create a NEW Government.
37. Peacefully grant the State of Idaho to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own NEW Government

Monday, November 12, 2012

Add Four More to the List

New petitions this evening from Delaware, Pennsylvania and Nevada the number is now up to 27 Petitions for withdrawal.

With Texas reaching the goal of 25,000 earlier today and Louisiana closing in on that number, there is going to be some sort of conversation on these petitions from within the administration. If nothing more than bringing the dissatisfaction of the people to light, and perhaps even getting the mainstream media to talk about this then something, just maybe can be accomplished.

24. Peacefully grant the State of Pennsylvania to withdraw from the United States of America and to create its own New government.
25. Peacefully grant the State of Nevada to withdraw from the United States of America and to create its own New government.
26. Peacefully grant the State of Delaware to withdraw from the United States of America and to create its own New government.
27. Allow for the peacefully withdrawal of Ohio from the United States of America such that it becomes its own free nation.

27 States with Petitions for Withdrawal

Signatures as of 9:30 p.m.

Delaware 1,130                                             Nevada 2,271
Pennsylvania 3,186                                   Virginia 7 (does not become public till 150)
Arizona 5,993                                          Oklahoma 6,094
Arkansas 8,632                                          South Carolina 9,305 & 8,126
Georgia 11,818 & 7,261                               Missouri 7,655 & 7,425
Tennessee 11,999                                            Michigan 8,865
New York 8,574                                          Colorado 9,599
Oregon 7,360                                          New Jersey 7,012
North Dakota 6,472                                  Montana 7,148
Indiana 8,847                                          Mississippi 8,648
Kentucky 8,668                                          Florida 13,227
North Carolina 11,908                                   Alabama 12,753
Texas 44,083                                         Louisiana 22,001
Ohio  336

And the Count is now....

Apparently I'm not the only one that has noticed the petitions that have been submitted for signature. WND has also picked up the story, "Now many states want to secede from U.S."

19. Peacefully grant the  State of Missouri to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
20. Peacefully grant the State of Virginia to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. This link was posted as a comment on a previous post but does not seem to be able to be accessed other than by this direct link! According to sources a petition will not appear on the public listing until there are at least 150 signatures.
21. Peacefully grant the State of Arkansas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own New government.
22. Peacefully grant the State of Oklahoma to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own New government.
23. Peacefully grant the State of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own New government.

Texas has been busy collecting signatures. They have reached and exceeded the necessary 25,000 signatures required to have their petition reviewed by the Obama Administration.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Poster Available

Confederate Memorial Chapel by Judy P. Smith
18x24 Poster Available from Judy Smith Photography
Created from over 325 images of the VA Flaggers.
Please email for further information.

The Count is now 18

18. Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 

17 States Petition to Withdraw from
the United States of America

Just hours later and now the count is up to 17 states that have submitted petitions to withdraw from the United States of America.
17 States Petitioning for Withdraw from the United States of America

16. The State of South Carolina to Secede from the Union and form it's own Government as a Sovereign State.
17. Peacefully grant the State of Michigan to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

15 States Petition to Withdraw
from the United States of America

15 States Petitioning for Withdraw from the United States of America

According to the website the following Petitions have been submitted to the Obama Administration. Each petition requires 25,000 signatures before the White House will take any action on the petition. This story about the the petition submitted by the State of Louisiana was posted in the center column of the Drudge Report on Wednesday.

The first deadlines is for the State of Louisiana on December 7, 20112. This will be worth watching and keeping note of any additional States that add their petition to the list.

I looked back onto the sight briefly and the numbers are increasing for the number of signatures.

These are the States that have submitted petitions, with the number of signatures (as of this writing):
  1. Peacefully grant the State of Louisiana to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 8,201 signatures
  2. Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United Sates of America and create its own NEW government. 5,250 signatures
  3. Peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United Sates of American and create its own NEW government  1,287 Signatures
  4. Peacefully grant the State of North Carolina to withdraw from the United States and create its own NEW government  1,233 signatures
  5. Peacefully grant the State of Florida to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own NEW government 912 Signatures
  6. Peacefully grant the State of Kentucky to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own NEW government 875 Signatures
  7. Peacefully grant the State of Georgia to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own NEW government 912 Signatures
  8. Peacefully grant the State of Mississippi to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 871 Signatures
  9. Peacefully grant the State of Indiana to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government 860 signatures
  10. Peacefully grant the State of Montana to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 837 Signatures
  11. Peacefully grant the State of North Dakota to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 600 Signatures
  12. Peacefully grant the State of New Jersey to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 560 Signatures
  13. Allow Oregon to vote on and leave the Union peacefully and remain an ally to the Nation. 591 Signatures
  14. Peacefully grant the State of Colorado to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 663 Signatures
  15. Peacefully grant the State of New York to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. 549 Signatures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't Forget to Vote!

We all have been waiting for this day it seems like for a full four years. After at least two years of hard campaigning it all boils down to the decisions made today. Whether you voted absentee, voted early, or cast your ballot today.

As you cast your ballot today, be sure to check your ballots and voting machines to make sure that it records your vote as you have intended. We will know within the next few hours or at least in the next few days the decision of "We the People".


We Decide Today!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hawk Luncheon

Hawk Luncheon, Judy P Smith Photography
Hawk Luncheon
Hawk with his prey in a tree near the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

I saw him fly into the tree. I was able to maneuver around to the street side of the tree without disrupting him. From there I was delighted to find that he was sitting in a great big opening in the foliage.

It was only after I had gotten the shot did I discover that he was there with his 'squirrel lunch'.

Flagging at the VMFA

The Virginia Flaggers were out in force Saturday afternoon and well into the evening protesting the VMFA. The VA Flaggers are continuing their efforts to have the Confederate Soldier's Flag returned to the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

The group was joined by several new volunteer flaggers, one from as far away as Alabama.
Aerial Flagging

Volunteer Flagger from Alabama
Evening Flagging in front of the VMFA
Using a little Southern ingenuity the colors were hoisted using multiple helium balloons. The balloons attracted visitors to stop by and find out what all the excitement was about.

Following a brief break for dinner the group reconvened for and a little evening flagging.

Flaggers in front of the VMFA enjoying the view.
Throughout the day the group received many positive affirmations from those that stopped and from passerby's on the the roadway. There were only a small number that were negative, and those were from people who did not bother to stop in and find out what the protest was all about.

You too can add help by joining their email campaign to restore the flags.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

We apparently dodged the bullet here at home. As you can see from the photos taken yesterday and this morning, there is no discernible difference in the landscape.

Pre-Sandy, by Judy Parsons Smith
Monday, October 29, 2012 - around 5:45 p.m.

Post-Sandy, by Judy Parsons Smith
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - around 8:45 a.m.
Friends to the north weren't so lucky, a number without power and possible damage to homes and offices. Our prayers are with them as we move forward to recover from this natural disaster.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Covered Bridges of Patrick County

Having been inspired by a posting on Facebook by one of my friends about the existence of Covered Bridges in Virginia, My mother & I began our adventure before 6:00 a.m. We gathered our camera equipment and hit the road for Patrick County and the covered bridges there.

Even with the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy we struck out on our journey. Our route took us along Route 360 West, Route 58, and Route 8.

Along the way, as my dad was out hunting turkeys elsewhere, we saw eight turkeys of our own in a field near the road. Passing through Basset, VA we watched a couple of fisherman out in the river fly fishing.

We reached our first destination, Jacks Creek Covered Bridge around 10:30.

Jacks Creek Covered Bridge, by Judy Parsons Smith
Jacks Creek Covered Bridge
The plaque just inside the bridge reads:
This 48-foot span bridge build of oak crosses the Smith River. It was constructed in 1914 by Charles Vaughan of the Buffalo Ridge area and designed by Walter Weaver of Woolwine. This historic landmark, a silent reminder to the past, has been bypassed by a modern bridge but has been preserved by the County for future generations
The bridge was a little disappointing at first, as it is so close to the roadway that a guardrail had to be place virtually across part of the entry on one end. The bridge however, is extremely accessible and has multiple vantage point from which to shoot photos. One of the interesting aspects of the bridge can be found by taking a stroll through the bridge, inside there is graffiti from across the years the oldest (that we found) was a pair of initials carved and dated 1916.

Back into the car and down the road only a little over 2 miles is the Bob White Covered Bridge. It is off the roadway and is tucked behind an old home.

Bob White Covered Bridge, by Judy Parsons Smith
Bob White Covered Bridge
The plaque inside the entrance reads:
This 80-foot truss constructed over the Smith River was built in 1921. It served as a connection between Route 8 and Smith River Church of the Brethren on the south side of the Smith River. Bob White Covered Bridge, designed and constructed by Walter Weaver of Woolwine, served traffic for more than a half-century.

There were multiple places along the pathway and off to capture this beautiful covered bridge from multiple angles. The river here is seemingly very shallow. Walking across the bridge from the Route 8 side, as you come out the opposite end there are mountain rhododendron on the side of the hill. The odd angle that is now present at the exit to the bridge makes one wonder how any vehicle or wagon ever was able to pass through.

Covered Bridge, by Judy Parsons Smith
Privately Own Covered Bridge crossing the Smith River.
Heading back along our route we spied a third covered bridge behind a home near the Jacks Creek Covered Bridge. The longer lens let us get a few shots from across the field and we even went so far as to take a few photos from the roadway in front of the property.

From what we could tell about this particular bridge a barn door appears to have been added to the rear so that it is only able to be used as a bridge when the owners open it up. Behind the back of the bridge is a hay field.

Fall Foliage, by Judy Parsons Smith
Beautiful Fall Foliage near the Smith River.
Between this bridge and the Jacks Creek Covered Bridge are a couple of fields at the edge of one this stand of trees has been planted. The foliage beautiful against the overcast sky.

Having accomplished our mission of seeing the Covered Bridges we turned to exploring other places of interest in the area.

Fairy Stone State Park was along our route, we popped in for a brief stop and found out where we would be able to hunt for fairy stones. If we had been able to stay in the area it would have made a great afternoon excursion.

Philpot Lake, by Judy Parsons Smith
Back along the way we followed the signs to the A.L. Philpot Dam. It was a great side trip the overlook area provide a terrific view of Philpot Lake and Dam. From the observation area we were able to see the lake as well as the mountains in the distance. To view the dam we drove around to the base of the spillway. Another visitor to the area arrived and told us of a 8-point buck that had crossed his path as he came down the road.

Other things along the roadside that caught our interest were old buildings, the awe inspiring views, fall foliage - full of color, even some old vehicle - some rusty and ready for someone to find them and give them new life.

The Big Chair, by Judy Parsons Smith
Waiting for a new occupant!
We did a drive through of Uptown Martinsville. I couldn't resist adding a Romney-Ryan campaign poster to The Big Chair. I didn't leave it there, but then again maybe I should have.

Our final stop on the way back home was in Danville. I was specifically after a shot of the the mural honoring The Old No. 97. We did get the opportunity to go down to the river and shoot some photos of the bridges and falls.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Wanderings

Fall along the highways and byways of Virginia and North Carolina, during my weekend wandering with Bounce.

The original journey was to have been a visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but we all know how things happen sometimes a series of unexpected incidents caused a changed in plans. So having already mentally committed to getting out of Richmond for the weekend a new plan was hatched.  Instead of heading off to the shore without Bounce, it would be the mountains with him. He was thrilled that he was getting to go. I don't think I've ever seen him make a faster bee line to the car door than he did on Friday morning.

Bounce having fun a the lake.
On the first leg of our journey we were off to explore places along Route 360 West. We found two state parks that I had never been too before - Twin Lakes State Park and Staunton River Battlefield State Park. Bounce enjoyed getting out and exploring.  As you can see from the picture he took great pleasure in wallowing around the edge of the lake. He was so funny to watch trying to "smack" the water with his paws. Even though he's 100% bird dog, he was having a great time playing with the water. 
We also took the time to meander down the Business Loops to see those small towns that are normally passed along the way. There are some quaint shops, rail yards and parks that are tucked along those by-passes. Well worth the extra time to discover what is hiding there.

Our second leg was spent fully in North Carolina - visiting Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, Jordan Lake and Durham. Special thanks to my North Carolina tour guide for spending Saturday chauffeuring me around and even lapping the block a few times so that I was able to take photos. I even learned a thing or two about the area as well from my well versed tour guide.

Canon on the front porch - wonderful way to protect your home.
The UNC campus at Chapel Hill is beautiful. One could speed days just wandering the campus and capturing the architecture and elements of campus life. . Along one of the roads along the perimeter of Jordan Lake yielded the great home shown - what an interesting home security system that they have, a canon on the front porch ready to hold off intruders. I would surely think twice before even showing up if I was a door-to-door salesman. While in Durham I was impressed with the new courts building, I could have done a lot of interesting shots there utilizing the changing light throughout the day - the churches, old and new government buildings. 

Fountain on the James River at Lynchburg
The third and final leg our return trip home, took us into Danville and Lynchburg. The architecture the historic districts, of both of these cities, was impressive. It is amazing what you miss by taking the by-pass around a city. Both city have been busy developing their river fronts and old warehouse districts.

The diversity of architectural styles in the older homes in Danville was astounding. Even on the same block you can see five or six periods represented. The warehouse and mill district are being revitalized. I didn't make it along the whole trail along the Dan River, but the portion that I was on was nicely laid out and gave the opportunity to have a nice level walk along the river.

Lynchburg was a real surprise. I have whizzed past many times on my way further West never thinking about stopping. Sunday was different and I am glad that I decided to make the journey through the historic district. They have a great river front - parking near the railroad tracks (active) the James River has a terrific fountain producing rainbows during sunny days. Definitely not something that I was expecting to see. The old churches are remarkable in their design, the steeples painting the landscape each unique in style and presence.

I'm looking forward to making another trip back with the expressed purpose of just visiting several of these unique locations.