Monday, June 25, 2012

Meadows Of Dan

Heading back to Florida from Roanoke I determined to see the Meadows of Dan, a much admired destination for people taking a day trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The parkway is quite lovely in the Spring, green winding and easy on the eyes.

The parkway rises at Mile Zero in Virginia near the Shenandoah park and they mark the miles with discreet little cement markers.

At first sight the Meadows of Dan don't look like much:

And close up it's not exactly scenic. The name of this little wide spot sounds Biblical but in fact Dan is a river that runs through these meadows. During the Revolutionary war Continental soldiers retreating from the British skipped across the river and made good their escape near here, confirming General Nathaniel Greene's tactical brilliance. I have no doubt the river was named for the fifth son of Jacob founder of the tribe of the same name though I don't actually know that for sure but it seems likely as the Bible is a source for many rural American names.

There is a restaurant and a convenience store packed with stuff and overseen by a cheerful woman who treats y'all like we were family as we stood in line shuffling from foot to foot desperate to pay and get on the road.

Motorcycles rumble through here as the eatery has a reputation but I was just here for a couple of sodas and a tank of gas, a liquid far cheaper than anything I've seen in Florida.

Further along the parkway Cheyenne and I had packed a dinner and we found one of the rare picnic areas on the parkway at this attractively named location, Groundhog Hill:

I missed my Bonneville, though I love my furry traveling companion!

Better than pulling over and going in the bushes. Technically parking on grass is illegal along the parkway but the road is criss-crossed by accessible side streets if you do get taken short far from public restrooms.

The picnic table was isolated away from the road and we had a quiet half hour off the grid.

By the time the sun went down we were southbound on I 77 in the Carolinas.

Leaving behind these green fields...

...and farms and villages.

She settled in for the night...

...and soon the car filled with the rumble of her snores.

Next morning we found salt water.

And we were home and ready for a night at work back in the fabulous Florida Keys.

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