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.

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