Thursday, February 4, 2016

My World under a White Blanket

After my 5 day imprisonment at the house during Snowmageddon, and then 3 days behind my desk at work, I was really ready for the weekend. The sun was shining and the temperature was a balmy 45 degrees; I was getting out of Dodge!
My first port of call was Waterloo Bridge, a few miles from home. This has been closed for 2 years and it's looking like it may not be saved. I last visited it in 2013, post is here, when it was still open. Today, it stood silently, awaiting its doom, and I was a little saddened to see that since the snow only one other person had trekked out to see it. (There was only one other set of footprints in the snow).
I was a little nervous hanging out to get a better perspective shot as where there wasn't snow on the bridge there was thick ice instead. I took my photos and then trekked back to the car, my next stop being the Viewtown Saturday Sandwich store, where I hoped to finally try one of their delicious concoctions. It wasn't to be. I spoke with a gentleman outside who informed me that because of the snow they were still closed, but after seeing my crestfallen and starving expression, he quickly added that Hackley's Store up the road made a delicious sandwich. I gave him a big smile and stepped on the accelorator. I was famished! Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the sandwich I ate so you'll have to take my word for it that it was lipsmackingly awesome. I had to wait forever while a little old gentleman slowly counted out over $5 worth of nickles and pennies, but then I was able to rush out of the store with my warm grilled sandwich of ham and cheese on jalapeno cornbread. I munched happily as I continued down on Rte 11 towards the Skyline Drive.
Thanks to Facebook I knew the park was open today and praised the ranger at a job done so quickly. The whole central section had been cleared, but the top and bottom roads were still ice covered. Even so, it was great to be allowed up on the ridge to witness the spectacular snowy scenery below us. Some adventurous folks were hiking with snowshoes, but there was still a good 18" or more on the ground and I had no desire to hike in that, or take a tumble, so I made do with getting out of the car at the overlooks to enjoy the views and crisp, fresh air.
And just as I was leaving I had to brake abruptly for a small flock of turkeys who had decided to cross the road, stop in the middle to look around, and then eventually hop over the wall on the other side. These two were sweet enough to pause and pose for me as I pulled over to get a better look.
Once I was off the mountains I drove to the Luray area. I was heading for a remote farm that I'd come across months before, hoping to call a phone number I'd spotted on the gate previously to ask permission to look around. But the notice was gone, maybe due to the storm, so I stepped out of the car to take just some shots from the road.
I love the yellow tin roofs and white boards. I clambered up the bank but it was very muddy, my boots were soon caked, so I had to give up, trying to scrape the thick gunge off in the deeper parts of the snow. I'll come back at a later date to see if the notice has been replaced.
The sun was starting to drop down towards the horizon, a good reason to start heading homewards. I managed to get back near Marshall before it got too dark, catching some sunbursts and long shadows on the snow, and conscious of the rapidly dropping temperatures each time I stepped out from the nice warm car.But I soon had enough, and finished the drive back to a cozy warm house where 2 chubby cats and a hearty stew were waiting for me.

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