Sunday, October 17, 2021

October 17. 2021~ Hartland Orchard, Markham, Va.


Sunday, October 17, 2021......Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, corn mazes, hay rides, farm animals, tractor pulls...... and an abundance of 'fall-scented' edible delights(who doesn't like apple cinnamon doughnuts, warm cider, kettle corn, homemade apple butter, or caramel dipped apples?). 

Sunday was (a perfect weather fall day) a 'bucket-list-adventure' for our daughter. The trip to pick apples was also a first for 2 of our grandkids. Their wide-eyes and open mouths displayed their excitement("What do you mean apples and pumpkins don't come from Kroger?")! Hartland Orchard is located in Markham, Virginia, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Hartland is an old family working farm and orchard with scenic country side vistas near the Skyline Drive. (WORKING, key word here, as these families and employees know the meaning of HARD MANUAL LABOR.

We were thrilled to be climbing up onto the McCormick FARMALL tractor!

It was a 'first experience' for us πŸ˜‚.
The pick-your-own seasonal peaches, tomatoes, and berries were 'history'. Many of the apples had been picked, but the generous abundance available was obviously plentiful.

Surprisingly, the fruit that fell from the trees to the ground was plentiful.
We learned to use the 'fruit picker'.

Sometimes, it was quicker and easier to jump and grab!
And on several occasions, some of the mushy, fermented apples on the ground, made for a few comical 'slip-and-slides'.😁

The Grands were thrilled to pick their own apples. 

Time stood still long enough for us to visit with our daughter. #priceless

Hartland Orchard includes cattle and horses. 
The Grands were able to be as close as they wanted, without touching!

..... as well as experience that down-home-country-smell...πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
The pick-your-own pumpkin field was plentiful.
The family-run farm housed a shop full of treats........ ready to purchase and devour.

Our Sunday adventure was exhilarating, action-packed with laughter!
.......and memories......... we made lots of memories!πŸ’“


Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 15-16, 2021 Haymarket Gang

 Friday night lights.... We were ready to rock and roll. Hello Friday night football game AND the added attraction of granddaughter #minikiddiescheering. The sunset was on fire and made for a gorgeous backdrop at the Battlefield Highschool football field.  We cheered for everyone, and knew only ONE! 

The special occasion ...... 'Pink Out' . The 1/2 time show sponsored by the Battlefield High School Athletic Booster Club , featured Dance for the Cure, with participants ages 3-14. Of course, the star of the evening was Miss Cutie Pie
The fans in the stadium were deck out in pink. Oh how I adore these 'girlfriends'.

The football was great!
But the dancers were the best, of course!
The homes in the area were lit for Halloween. It was magical.

Saturday's events:  baseball. pedicures, VT game on TV, and dinner.  The star of the day was our grandson.
Boy, does he have a handle on this sport!
Go #23!!! Good form, strong arm!

I imagine his Dad has a little something to do with his abilities, since he is one of the coaches!
We managed to squeeze in a photo of just the 3 of us. He is one busy busy guy!
Two days down, one more to go!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

October 13, 2021 New River Gorge Bridge Walk

 V stand for Victory! But in this case, V stands for Victor, an area close to Fayetteville, West Virginia. Bucket list was accomplished on Wednesday October 13, 2021 ✔✔✔. We walked the plank! Actually, we walked the cat walk that is directly under the New River Gorge Bridge.

The NRGB is 876 feet above the New River, and spans over 3030 feet in length. It is the 2nd highest arch bridge in the United States. The bridge is located on US Route 19 just north of Fayetteville. On the north side of the bridge is CANYON RIM VISITOR CENTER, which provides outstanding overlooks of the bridge. We drove the FAYETTE STATION ROAD (8 mile loop) twiceπŸ˜… for some fantastic views from underneath the bridge.

We arrived in Fayetteville early enough to drive the 8 mile loop, (AKA State Rt.82) known as Fayette Station Road. The 8 mile loop is ONE WAY, beginning at the NPS CANYON RIM VISITOR'S CENTER, and ending at the intersection of 82 and Route 19. It was an added plus to have this map marked for stops along the way........ to snap photos!(or course😁)

Lots of rock climbing, stepping opportunities were available.πŸ˜‚

We parked off road, and walked across the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge.
Oh what a view of the New River Gorge Bridge from standing midway! Ron took the first photo shown below with his Canon❣:

The loop included a stop at a small beach area. 

Ron was especially excited to see the Osage orange tree....a very strong tree that he uses to make bows!

We scurried into town to grab a bite to eat at the highly recommended Cathedral CafΓ©. (134 Court St. Fayetteville)
Our Bridge walk started promptly at 1:00PM..... reservations are required. There were 11 of us!(and 11 returned safe and soundπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). We were each given harnesses and heavy duty locks/harbingers to be attached to the cables, once we entered the catwalk.
Our starting point looked like this!↓↓↓ The catwalk is 25' beneath the bridge.
There was no turning back, once we entered the gates.
It was either smile or cry! hahaha We were locked and loaded. I had few more butterflies than Ron, as he was used to being harnessed into a tree stand. The 24" wide steel plank was SAFE, but I was used to being on 'terra firma' and having something a wee bit wider than 24". The side railings are extremely substantial. Everyone was fastened onto a safety cable, making it impossible to fall. 

The height didn't bother me as much as the death-grip around my iPhone, because, you know, I WANNA TAKE PICTURES! πŸ˜†πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„, and I sure didn't want to drop that thing!  The bridge DID shake, due to the traffic on the bridge. The views were stunning, and our guide was gracious to makes 4-5 stops along the way(to catch our breath and take photos)

What a massive iron structure! 
Admittedly, the first 1/4 of the walk took adapting to my mindset, and to calm the butterflies! As soon as I handed over my iPhone to Ron, to safely deposit in his deep pockets, I eased up, and waltzed the rest of the way (sorta😁😁😁) This was a one-of-a kind bridge walk, and I'd do it again! The tour last about 2 hours! Our tour guide was knowledgeable about the bridge, it's history, and the area! We anticipated fall leaves, but honestly, I'm not sure I would have noticed them, while I was on that bridge! The leaves are beginning to turn, though, especially at the intersection of Rt 460 and I77 #wildandwonderfulwestvirginia #fall2021 #almostheaven