October with its beautiful bright crisp days, vibrant leaves and especially, fresh crunchy apples. Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA have their Apple Harvest Festival throughout the month and I went down on Saturday to meet some friends and enjoy the scene. And buy some apples.
The place was packed but extremely well organized. So many vehicles were lining up to find parking that I thought I would miss my friends but within 5 minutes I was parked in a field and walking to cross the road. I was so engrossed in readying my camera that as I crossed over to the entrance I was obviously moving too slow and an elderly man directing the traffic called out, "C'mon on ma'am, hustle along!" I looked up, startled, and was rendered completely speechless, so I nodded and hustled along. I'd never been asked to hustle before and I grinned as I marched forward.
One of the first things I realized as I entered the festivities was that there was no cell phone reception, and this was a good thing, judging by people's faces as they socialized with each other. Everyone was very friendly and we spent a lot of time chatting with vendors and visitors.
After a few hours I left with a bag of apples, apple butter and various preserves and drove back through the winding country roads enjoying the autumnal colors, and wishing after half an hour or so that I'd got some more of those apple butter donuts and fried apples to go; they were enough on their own to warrant a return trip next year.