Saturday, April 25, 2015

We have waterfalls!

I was reminded by a friend in Arkansas who said they don't have any waterfalls and is looking into a way to create one. But we do, we have waterfalls in Virginia, plenty of them in fact!
Claiborne House B&B guests hiked to this waterfall and sent us the photo!
I will reblog from but insert Spring where it says Fall - and consider that Spring is when we get some good rain, which means more fall:

Eight Virginia Waterfalls For Your Fall Weekends

The colors of fall are coming through, but still patchy on the Blue Ridge mountains. That means you still have time to get out, catch the peak colors, and visit amazing waterfalls this season!
Falling Spring
Falling Spring
In Millboro, Douthat State Park is home to the Blue Suck Falls Trail, a three-mile moderate to difficult hike that includes a nice waterfall. One hiker proclaims, “Your long climb up the Blue Suck Falls is rewarded by one glorious vista after another.” Download the Trail Map
Falling Spring in Alleghany County is visible from the road, and an overlook provides information and a great view for photos. The spring waters keep this fall going year ’round, and its 80-foot drop is quite spectacular.
If you enjoy fall camping, reserve a space at Shenandoah Valley Campground in Verona before they close for the season in early November. They have their own waterfall that pours into Middle River – a summer destination for tubing.
Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson has a waterfall along the Cabin Creek Trail. It’s a 1.8-mile hike  from the Massie Gap area of the park.Download the Trail Map
The Blue Ridge Parkway has its share of waterfalls. Try these two in Virginia.
1. Apple Orchard Falls is accessed from MP 78.4 at Sunset Fields Overlook, just north of Peaks of Otter. The trail is considered strenuous at a steep 1.4 miles downhill hike (uphill on the way back!), but the 200′ falls are calling …
2. Fallingwater Cascades can be accessed from MP 83.1 and is a moderate 1.6-mile out-and-back trail. It’s also designated a National Recreation Trail - a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States.
Crabtree Falls is a 1,200′ cascade and the highest vertical-drop cascade east of the Mississippi River. The lower falls is accessible to elderly and differently abled sightseers, making it an enjoyable outdoor experience for all. Over the course of the three-mile trail past the lower falls is a series of five major cascades and smaller ones. Access the trail from a fee-based lot at 11581 Crabtree Falls Highway, Montebello, VA 24464. And the view? Get a good glimpse from the top of the trail, or you can enjoy it from Crabtree Falls Highway up to/down from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In the same vicinity of Crabtree Falls is the Campbell’s Creek Waterfall on the Mau-Har Trail. A hand-built swinging bridge delivers you across the Tye River, where the 1.5-mile hike will yield the 40′ waterfall. From Route 56 at Crabtree Falls, drive east for 3-4 miles; watch for the Appalachian Trail crossing and a parking lot on the left.

Click here to learn about more fun, scenic, healthy, outdoorsy, indoorsy, entertaining, romantic, historic and delicious things to see and do in Virginia!


Brought to you by The Claiborne House B&B of Virginia where "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Now for the rest of the story...Lord have mercy!

"Lord have mercy!" Is a saying you used to hear from the older generation, especially southerners. Well this is an example of that mercy, so bear with me...

Marching Band daughter extraordinaire
After 7 years playing trumpet in Franklin County Schools, from the extreme heat of summer practices into the fall for football games and  many competitions for Marching Band, to Concert, Symphonic and Jazz band - our daughter is now a senior and just about ready to graduate high school. This is an exciting time in her life, and in fact her senior prom is tomorrow (gulp).

So she was pretty dang excited for her final Spring band trip, which thankfully they determined that instead of spending all day on the bus to and fro, they would go to Washington DC, then to some Virginia fun amusement parks. All of this has been prepaid except for spending money at the amusement parks. So for that she needed some cashola, so she had been saving her tip money for this trip!

Our daughter left the house at 4:20 AM and they were off...

Around 9am we get a call from the bank, which has a new name and so caller id was weird, and I was serving breakfasts to guests, they said that I needed to urgently call them back.

Long story longer
These elite group of band nerds stopped in Harrisonburg Va off I-81 to use the facilities at a McDonalds. And she went in with her wallet, and then boarded the bus and drove away without it...

From her ATM card phone # a gentleman called the bank and told them he had found a wallet. When I called back, he had handed it to a nice young lady he knew at a place called Mercy House, at the Thrift Boutique. I spoke to her and she said "You can come and get it" and I was thinking, "well..." as my good innkeeper friend in Muncie Indiana always says "Well..." 

How am I going to get this wallet back here? I thought. I could send a prepaid envelope to this gentleman, but he appeared to have some difficulties (perhaps special needs) so what ever will I do?

The gal at Mercy House Thrift Boutique said "I will take it home tonight so it is safe, I live in Bridgewater..."

"BRIDGEWATER!" I proclaimed too loudly into her ear, "I have a friend in Bridgewater, in fact she owns Bridgewater Inn and Cottage!" (Where I recently met up with my Hoosier friend and others from Hawaii, West Virginia and Virginia).

I quickly call Mary at Bridgewater Inn and Cottage and she says "Shellie I have four daughters, I know...have her drop it by and I live right next door to the post office and will mail it back to your daughter."


Mary, bless her heart, even had an annual inspection by BBAV - the state bed and breakfast association and took the time to mail this back. Inncredible.

You are probably curious now, Yes the wallet is back here, and every penny is still in the wallet. Our daughter had the sympathy of the rest of the band and so they bought her meals and even souvenirs!

So that is the rest of the story
It was in the hands of 3 wonderful human beings who could have kept the cash, but didn't, isn't that wonderful? This is what I call a positive and uplifting story and I hope wherever you are today, that you don't give up, there are still good people left in this world. Of course, all of these are here in Virginia, which is what I am always saying about Virginia being so amazing.

About Mercy House:
The mission of Mercy House is to feed, clothe, and house homeless families with dependent children in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area in a safe community while assisting them with services that will allow them to overcome the barriers that have led to their situation.  

Thrift Boutique on Facebook here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Random Ramblings from an Innkeeper: My other interests

I am excited to share with you something else I enjoy doing, something that helps get me outside with my beautiful family, trusty Nikon and ever faithful dog Junie B...
Rappahannock River from Belle Isle State Park
I am the blog editor for Virginia State Parks. We were able to finally move our blogging platform to our Virginia State Parks website vs a third party, which enables so many more search and sharing features and an overall better looking blog article. All of the articles are interwoven into the Virginia State Parks website pages for each of the 36 award winning state parks.

Check out those two paddlers up there at Claytor Lake State Park - Dad & I
If you don't follow Virginia State Parks online I hope you will. We share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest on a regular basis. Then we have Youtube, Instagram and Tumblr. Oh and of course thousands of photos on Flickr.

My family has the privilege of being dragged all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. The above photo was a winter-time visit to Belle Isle State Park on the Rappahannock River on Virginia's Northern Neck - if you went to school in Virginia you would know how to say and spell that and know what that river is famous for. Here is a little trick to remember the main Virginia rivers from North to South: 

"Principals Race Yellow Jaguars"
=Potomac, Rappahannock, York and James. 

We have plenty of rivers in this beautiful diverse state, like the Staunton River, the Dan River, The New River (the only one that goes to a watershed other than the Chesapeake Watershed), locally the Pigg River and more. But for Virginia Studies in geography and history you need to know those four main rivers in Colonial Virginia.

We typically go to Virginia State Parks in the off season when the B&B is not busy and one week in June for our family vacation. Junie goes with, as cabins at Virginia State Parks are pet friendly

Grayson Highlands State Park, yes wild ponies, wild blueberries and wild hikers (those are a group of ladies out hiking together - what spectacular scenery!)

When you see an article here and there on our Claiborne House B&B facebook page, now you know why, and besides that, we are within an hour of two amazing Virginia State Parks. So I share these for our guests. Hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, paddling, birding, spelunking, festivals, special events, and more.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

These boots were made for walkin' Bootleggers Cafe

Not only is Bootleggers Cafe the newest kid in town with the greatest food around, but they are also offering midweek and late night specials! 
Walk to Bootleggers Cafe from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast Rocky Mount VA
This is one of the Tuesday Specials this week at Bootleggers $5 burger (and it is not from a freezer)
If you aren't on Facebook, then may we recommend you visit the website for Bootleggers Cafe where you can see their feed from Facebook and twitter on their Specials Page!

Midweek and late night specials, oh and live music on the weekends from 9PM to midnight. No cover charge and more specials. Since when has Rocky Mount been so cool man?

Sit a spell on the porch then Walk to Bootleggers Cafe from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast Rocky Mount VA
Porch time at The Claiborne House B&B
It is okay if you want to sing it with us, no one is watching, go ahead:
These boots were made for walkin' Bootleggers Cafe
As always, after you enjoy some time on our porch and then walk to Bootleggers from The Claiborne House B&B, and in fact if you want to talk like an Aussie you can say what Innkeeper Tony says "Let's leggit to Bootleggers!"

Look for the Coca Cola mural on the front of the building, and you will know you found it. Across from The Harvester Performance Center in downtown Rocky Mount.