One or two of you may have noticed that I have not posted a blog in the past couple of weeks.
There comes a time, at least for me, that computer time becomes “enough!” Recently, I have been taking on contract writing assignments—what I have done professionally for the past 25+ years. I have been fortunate enough to have several assignments to assist with proposals, but proposals are not like blogs. This is intensive, detailed messaging and precise language and editing—every word, spelling, punctuation—everything is critical. Over the past several weeks I have worked on two proposals, plus took a week to do some traveling.
The travel was to visit a friend from college, and we both agreed that way too much time has passed since we graduated—two full lifetimes. We get together once or twice a year. This time, he was house-sitting for his sister (Jeanie) and his nephew (Eric) (who live in homes on adjoining properties), who were on a real vacation. We took the opportunity to explore the area around Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia. Jeanie left a list of suggested places to visit, and, in spite of the weather, we managed to get to most of them. We visited (in this order): Botetourt (pronounced “bot-te-tot” County Courthouse and Museum in Fincastle; Roaring Run Falls near Eagle Rock; the D-Day Memorial, Bedford; and Thomas Jefferson’s summer home, Poplar Forest, near Lynchburg.
Botetourt County Historical Museum
Located in Courthouse Square (behind the Courthouse), Fincastle, Va., the museum is run by the local Historical Society. The museum houses documents and articles, art, artifacts and many historical items, many of which date back to the first settlers who moved westward from the coastal areas in Virginia’s earliest colonial days.
Roaring Run Falls
An easy 0.6-mile walk from the parking lot along Roaring Run leads to the base of the falls. There had been several days of rain, and the falls were indeed “roaring.” But the experience includes the stream leading to the falls with many views of rapids and mini-falls along the way. The park also includes a Civil War-era iron ore furnace.
“Moving” and “emotionally stirring” are the best terms I can think of to describe the memorial. Designed to “interpret” the events of June 6, 1944 (only that day), the memorial is located in Bedford, Virginia. That city and county were selected for the site of the memorial because the county of Bedford lost more sons on D-Day than any other county in the country.
Thomas Jefferson needed a retreat from the pressures of public office—Secretary of State, Vice President, and Third President of the United States. He designed his home at his 4,000-plus-acre plantation in Bedford County. The location was within easy access to Washington, but not so close that others would casually stop by, as they did in Washington. The octagonal residence was modestly appointed, intended only for Jefferson and his family. A guided tour shows the unique aspects of the home and Jefferson’s vision.
Look for specific posts on each of these landmarks in the next few weeks.