Thursday, September 19, 2013

Running to the Virginia Reaper

We spent the evening in Boone, NC in a Holiday Inn Express. HIE and Best Western is quickly becoming, at least for us, the upscale joints to stay in. One of the places I left out of yesterday’s report was lunch at the Pisgah Inn. This came from a recommendation from Giff and EasyEd on the NER forum and they were spot on with the recommendation. I had the chicken pot pie and it was wonderful. If you are traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway around Waynesville, NC this is a place worth stopping. I called Giff to tell him we did stop at the Inn and what a great recommendation it was. During this phone call he mentioned while we were in Boone, we should visit Mast General Store in downtown. We took him up on the mention and headed for the store, however it was too early for them. We took a pic and headed further up the BRP.

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We really do not have a lot of destinations except at the end of the day. We do have one diversion Mt Airy, which is the town that Mayberry was supposedly based on. Andy Griffith was born in this town. We did see the old Ford Galaxie Police car, but I did not take a picture. What did grab my eye though was the Art Deco Earle Theater. MeAsWe was quite impressed with the public restroom in the middle of the town. Lots of folks walking around being touristy and such.

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We made our way thru Roanoke, VA and the whole time we had lunch I was thinking snakes, brimstone and meth addicts. Getting closer to Waynesboro our destination for the night, we stopped in Lexington, VA for some historic sites. Stopped along the Blue Ridge for some camopps. The views are quite spectacular.

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In Lexington, VA our first stop is the Robert E Lee Chapel, a National Historic Landmark.  We spotted  right on the street the RE Lee Memorial Episcopal Church. I took a bunch of pictures, but something just didn’t seem right. I recollected that the Chapel was not on the street. Back to the car, looked at the picture we had and figured I had taken the wrong church.

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We circled back thru downtown and saw a sign and parking for the Robert E Lee Chapel. Out of the car and hiked up the hill. The chapel I was looking for came into view. Lee Chapel was constructed in 1867-68 at the request of Robert E Lee, when he was president of the University, and then known simply as Washington College. RE Lee attended Grace Episcopal Church, which was renamed R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in his honor.  Lee died in 1870 and he was buried beneath the chapel and remains there today. I tried the front door and it was locked.

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Turning 180 degrees around one finds themselves on the campus green of Washington and Lee University.

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Right next door to William and Lee U is the Virginia Military Institute. The Barracks is a National Historic Landmark. The Institute is a military college and the oldest such school in the US. West Point is a federally supported school, where VMI is state supported. All students are military cadets pursuing bachelor’s degrees. It has been called the West Point of the South from time to time.

Barracks, Virginia Military Institute

Barracks, Virginia Military Institute

Before we got out of town I went around the block to get this vintage Pure Oil  cottages style gas station that has been converted to a restaurant called Pure Eats. Love the blue tile roof. Pure Oil was founded in 1914 and started as a group of independent oil refiners to counter the dominance of Standard Oil Company in PA.

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Last stop of the day was the birthplace of the Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the Virginia reaper.

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Sun going down took the last shot of the day capturing the rolling farm land right outside the McCormick Farm.

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Our destination was Waynesboro, the southern terminus of the Skyline Drive and Northern terminus for the Blue Ridge Parkway. I started to smarten up and stopped at a McDonalds to log on to Priceline to find a bargain priced motel. I put my bid in and turned to MeAsWe and said I bet it comes back Best Western. Ding ding ding. It seems that BW is willing to sell a room rather than have a vacancy. This is  smart to me. This BW had a restaurant connected to it, an Irish Pub, where I had a pretty strong brew. I only had one. Dinner was just all right.

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