October 31, 2023

Discovering Sweet Run State Park

Loudoun County

I read that a new state park was open near Purcellville, so a week ago I went to check it out. I ran into heavy traffic on Route 9 because it is the detour for 340 in Harpers Ferry, which is closed for rock slide repairs.  Other than that, the ride was pleasant. 

I came to the Sawmill Road entrance first. It is basically access for horse trailers, but the road looked splendid in fall colors.

I drove back out to Harpers Ferry Road and found the main entrance to the park. The property was obviously a farm at one time. There is a restored farmhouse among other farm buildings.

I was a little puzzled by some things that were new. Our local state park was basically undeveloped when it opened, but this one is farther along than ours already.  Then I saw a sign that explained it.

The property was improved by the Robert and Dee Leggett foundation as the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. 

Do You Feel Lucky?

With Your Host, Pumpkinhead

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday 

October 30, 2023

Across Massanutten to Luray

Today I drove to Luray by way of the "slow route" across Edinburg Gap and past Camp Roosevelt. It doesn't take much longer than going to New Market and crossing the Massanutten Range using Route 211. I couldn't resist stopping at the scenic overlook on top of the mountain.

Here you’re looking down on Page Valley and Luray with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.

Once I got to Luray, I drove down to Ruffner Plaza to check out the murals. The faded mural I photographed several years ago has been replaced by three different panels.. 

Dogwood is our state flower. The mural in the center shows an old-fashioned scene, perhaps in honor of the mural that was there before.

Monday Murals / Garden Affair 

Nearby were some planters with flowers, including chrysanthemums and decorative cabbage.

There was also a display of painted rocks with a Halloween theme.

October 29, 2023

The Round Barn at Court Manor

For years I wondered about the round barn and the other unusual buildings that I could see from Interstate 81. Perhaps you have seen them between New Market and Mauzy. They do not look like normal farm buildings.

Last year I read that these buildings were once part of a tourist attraction called Zoorama. It opened in 1959 and featured a variety of animals. It thrived for a few years, but then I-81 was built and the main flow of traffic bypassed the Valley Pike and the entrance to Zoorama. It closed and the buildings fell into disrepair.

Now the farm is coming back to life as a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and event venue. Today was the final day for the pumpkin patch and I went there out of curiosity. 

I’ll save the animals for another post because I really don’t care for long posts. (My eyes get easily fatigued from reading, a problem that I first noticed when studying college textbooks.) I took about 100 pictures, but don’t worry, I pared them down.

My admission ticket was reasonable and I paid two dollars extra to visit the round barn, which featured fun activities for children.

Someone said it had once been used for horse shows. It looks well-suited for that.

Barns / Mosaics / Sunday Best

I did a lot of walking. I wanted to view the other old buildings that I have glimpsed from the interstate.

I can’t resist showing you a few animals, because we don’t see zebras around here very often.

October 28, 2023

The Circus is in Town

Shenandoah County Courthouse

The pumpkin people have invaded Woodstock again. They even have a circus. Let’s take a closer look.

Since Charlie was already tired from going to the park, he observed the circus from the car. 

October 27, 2023

The North Fork in Monochrome and Color

The low-water bridges that cross the Shenandoah offer fine views of the river. They are sometimes closed when the river gets perilously high, so our state highway department maintains pedestrian bridges which are considerably higher above the water.

You can’t really see the handrails at a distance, but they aren’t very comforting because they are flexible and this is a suspension bridge that bounces when you walk on it.