By Saturday I was recovered and cleared up from Thanksgiving Day, and itching to get outside and explore, so after being woken up, pawed at and squeaked at by an impatiently hungry Rosie Lee who was insistent that a sleep in for me wasn't justified, I grabbed my camera, jumped into Stuart and headed west. I was soon trundling along little lanes while listening to the radio personality lamenting about the traffic being backed up all around Northern Virginia. No car fumes or jams for me, just fresh country air and empty roads.
The hotel, built in the late 1870's, reminded me of the hotel in Stephen King's The Shining. It was so imposing as it loomed above me and it was deathly quiet too, there was no one here, the only noises were the crows cawing as they circled above me. As I stood below the ashen skies and ominous ambience, it felt like a horror movie scene.
I walked up the hill and into a shrine, built in 1924 from local stone with wooden benches laid out in an amphitheater shape. I was captivated by this man made place of prayer with a bell tower, a pulpit, a font, even lecterns and seats built into the walls. It was so cute, like a grotto from The Hobbit or a fairy tale.
farm's website is here, and as I left I promised myself I wouldn't leave it so long until the next visit. I stopped outside drawn to a small group near a smoking brazier where a guy with a chainsaw was carving a portrait of a young girl, wearing ear plugs and watching the sawdust swirl and eddy through the air.
impressive website of carved artwork, and has also done his portraits at the Burning Man Festival. I stood and observed for a while but it was too cold for me. The girl looked a little chilly too, I hope she didn't have to sit for too long. But I'm sure it would be well worth it for her unique likeness.
I was thankful to get home before dark so Kota and Rosie Lee could have a quick constitutional outside before we all settled on the sofa, sharing a crackling fire and warm throws. It was good to be home.