Earlier this week, we took two-and-a-half days to vacation, visiting my wife's brother and his wife in Virginia. We saw some sights in both Virginia and West Virginia together. Below is a little travelogue of that adventure, along with videos and photographs from some recent days off.
Here I am rhapsodizing about a beautiful morning we spent in northwestern Ohio at the home of friends near Napoleon. That section of the state is reclaimed swampland and is great farm country. It was May 11 and it was only later that day, with all the rain we've had in the Midwest, that farmers were able to get into their fields to plant crops. We were there for a sad occasion: the funeral of a dear friend who was a member of our first parish, Bethlehem Lutheran Church near Okolona.
This boring video was taken on the banks of the Kanawha River in West Virginia. The Kanawha is a tributary of the Ohio River and, as you can see, on May 22, was quite swollen. It was a gorgeous, sun-drenched day for travel. I sat in the backseat, reading most of the time, while my wife drove and my mother-in-law rode shotgun...just the way I like it.
While I gassed up the car, Ann cleaned the windshield. I also shot this video, taken at a filling station as we closing in on Roanoke. The "hills" to which I refer are, of course, actually mountains. Duh!
As I dorkily announce at the beginning of this video, here we were traveling along the New River in Virginia. Catch the mountains. Gorgeous territory! (As in people, so in geography: God doesn't make junk!)
It sounded like an aviary in the Virginia neighborhood where we stayed on Sunday and Monday nights. On Monday morning, I took a stroll and listened to the birds. This one, up on a utility wire, particularly caught my attention.
What follows are some images from our trip to Floyd, Virginia, the seat of Floyd County. If you're looking for the 60s, Floyd is one place where you might find them. Aging hippies live there, leavening the place with galleries, organic food shops, and liberal politics. It's a really neat little town.
Marking the difference in Floyd is an emporium called The Republic of Floyd. That caught Ann's attention because here in Hocking County, the town of Athens, home of Ohio University, in nearby Athens County, is often referred to as "the Republic of Athens" for characteristics like those of Floyd.
The Floyd County Court House, a small building staffed by hospitable people, has, like many southern court houses, a monument to Confederate veterans of the Civil War, in addition to one honoring US veterans.
Floyd has a big blue grass music festival every year, apparently a major draw. It's happening this coming weekend.
There's also a big classical music festival in the works for Floyd.
We had an early Monday lunch at a neat Irish pub called Annie Moore's in Roanoke.
In Franklin County, Virginia, we got to meet several German Baptist families who are involved with organic farming. We visited the produce stand of one such family and later the store of a family who own an organic dairy. (The ice cream was incredibly rich there, and a huge but delicious violation of my heart-healthy diet!)
More to come later.