Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mountain Biking in Virginia - Virginia Is For Lovers

Click here for article from Virginia.org:
Mountain Biking in Virginia - Virginia Is For Lovers

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Franklin County Recreational Park
is located two miles off Route 220 and is home to trails rolling over beautiful wooded hills, nestled around an acre size fishing pond.

Smith Mountain Lake Community Park
has a trail totaling 3 miles of pleasant lake and wooded view hiking. Entry and exit points are scattered throughout the park, with signs identifying each.

Grassy Hill Hiking Trail
starts on Technology Drive in Rocky Mount, across from the YMCA. This hiking trail is managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and totals over
6.6 miles of scenic hiking.

Philpott's Dogwood Glenn Trail
is a five mile hike with scenic lake, wildlife, and wooded views. This trail stretches from Salthouse Branch at Philpott Lake to the Philpott Park Tailrace.

Roanoke Mountain
There's no water on Roanoke Mountain. But there are two gorgeous overlooks. The first has a diorama that identifies many of the mountains you're viewing, assuming the day is clear. The second is a cliff that is one of only two approved hang-gliding takeoff points on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia http://www.claibornehouse.net/

Monday, March 23, 2009

NASCAR in Virginia - Virginia Is For Lovers

NASCAR in Virginia - Virginia Is For Lovers

Marrtinsville Speedway is 30 minutes south of the Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast.  We always look forward to Race Weekend when we have fantastic guests!  (PS Yes that is Shellie's driver Burton!  Of course now he is sponsored by CAT but Tony took this pic at Lowe's Motor Speedway last season)

Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia  http://www.claibornehouse.net/

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Red Eye Gravy and Rocky Mount Connection

According to legend, Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) 7th President of the United States, who was an American General at the time, called his cook over to tell him what to prepare.  The cook has been drinking "moonshine" corn whiskey the night before and his eyes were as red as fire.

General Jackson told the cook to bring him some country ham with gravy as red as his eyes.  Some men nearby heard the general and from then on, ham gravy became "Red Eye Gravy."


What does this have to do with Rocky Mount Virginia you ask? Well the obvious connection of this being the Moonshine Capital of the United States would be a good guess, but that isn't actually it.   Nor does it have a connection to The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail which Rocky Mount is the official stop #1.

A couple blocks from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast is the Washington Iron Works Furnace.  You may visit the iron furnace by appointment or take a stroll to view it from the road.

Although rural and sparsely populated, Franklin County played a role in the major historical events that shaped America. During the Revolutionary War, munitions for the American cause were manufactured from locally mined iron ore by Colonel John Donelson at his iron works on Furnace Creek. Later renamed the Washington Iron Works, the furnace is the oldest county landmark and still stands in Rocky Mount.

For those geocachers - N 36° 59.349 W 079° 53.452 17S E 598702 N 4094243

So did you catch the connection from Red Eye Gravy to Rocky Mount?  

Here is the answer:  Originally established in 1773 by Col. John Donelson, father-in-law of President Andrew Jackson.


Some background on his wife Rachel Donelson Jackson

Rachel Donelson Jackson was no stranger to the barbs of a hostile press. She had endured attacks upon her character during husband Andrew's presidential campaigns of 1824 and 1828 -- and anticipated even greater tortures upon his inauguration as President in 1829.

More interested in religion than in public affairs, Rachel had begged her husband to withdraw from politics lest a family scandal be revealed. 
When Andrew Jackson persisted and won the presidency in 1828, Rachel planned to remain in Tennessee during her husband's term, choosing to "be a doorkeeper in the house of God than live in that palace in Washington." Despite this declaration and her fears of further verbal abuse, she eventually decided to join her husband in Washington and even bought a dress for his inauguration. It would become her funeral shroud. She died of a heart attack only weeks before her husband assumed his duties as President of the United States.


Traditional Red Eye Gravy
to be serves with ham and biscuits or over grits

Use a cast iron skillet or heavy skillet.  Fry some ham slices (preferably country ham), remove from skillet and keep warm.  Pour in 1/2 cup of water or black coffee or combo of each.  Bring to a boil, stirring up and scraping dregs (Tony loves that word) off bottom of pan.  Continue to stir and boil for a minute or two.  Pour in a separate pitcher or directly over ham.

"Take Two and Butter While They're Hot!"  As the old saying goes.  

More Information on Andrew Jackson visit this website
Visit the Franklin County Historical Society on the way to the Washington Iron Works - it is just one block this side of it.  They have a small museum and other interesting artifacts from days gone by.  Here is their website.  


Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia  http://www.claibornehouse.net/

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

40 Passionate Travel Ideas for 40 Years - Virginia Is For Lovers

40 Passionate Travel Ideas for 40 Years - Virginia Is For Lovers

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As you can see there is no shortage of things to do here in Virginia!  Many of these sites of interest are within a short drive from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast.  We hope you will FALL IN LOVE WITH VIRGINIA like we have!

Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia  http://www.claibornehouse.net/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Two things this innkeeper loves about Spring - the first is new life and the second is new life. 
April is the primo time to visit Booker T Washington Birthplace (National Monument) which is about 8 miles from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast here in Franklin County. 

Why Spring you ask?  Well let me demonstrate via a photo I took there - soft snuggly adorable and cute does not even begin to cover new life at Booker T Washington.  

Here are some favorite quotes of Spring:

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-   Anais Nin 

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. --Edna St Vincent Millay

 In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like d
irt.  --Margaret Atwood

 Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year. 
--Robert Frost

 April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
-  William Shakespeare 

 Science has never drummed up quite as effective 
a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. 
-   W. Earl Hall 

 Spring shows what God can do
with a drab and dirty world.
-   Virgil A. Kraft 

 Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices 
instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable 
shrieking into the heart of the night.  
-   Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke 

 Every year back spring comes, with nasty little birds, 
yapping their fool heads off and the ground all
mucked up with plants.
-   Dorothy Parker 

 The Earth Laughs in Flowers
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-   Anais Nin 

 If there were nothing else to trouble us, the fate of the flowers would make us sad.
-   John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections 

 flower arrangement:
just two yellow daffodils,
the first to bloom
-  L.A. Davidson, The Shape of the Tree 

 And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant, 1820 



Booker T Washington National Monument - Visitor Information
(540) 721-2094.  12130 Booker T. Washington Highway Hardy, Virginia 24101  Open every day except Christmas 10 to 5pm.  See their website for special events http://www.nps.gov/bowa/

Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia  http://www.claibornehouse.net/

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Sierra Suite - A Romance Favorite


The Sierra Suite $145+tax

Private entrance from gardens

As an added feature, we offer free Wireless internet access throughout

The spacious sunken suite features a private entrance to  gardens and quietly overlooks the 3 level pond.  

The Sierra Suite is our largest room and features a hand turned very elegant four poster walnut king bed.  Antique crystal dresser lamps with chandelier drop prisms and Victorian dresser box.  Soft wall to wall burgundy carpet.

There is a comfy sitting area with wingback chair and sofa, and private bath (shower stall, pedestal sink). The suite also has a TV which you may never want to turn on.  (Sierra suite is on 2nd floor)   $145+ tax per night. Sofa Bed may be used for an addtl $35.  Red Hot Lover's Breakfast Delivered to your Room: (Sierra Suite and The Cottage only - for a $10 fee. You may select this when you book online.)

Click here for second floor layout    

The Sierra Suite Features:

  • King Post Bed with Step Up

  • Private Entrance/Stairway from the Gardens

  • Sunken Room - three steps down to enter

  • Sitting area with Sofa and Wingback Chair

  • Cable TV

  • Dressers & Nightstands

  • Wall to Wall Carpet

  • Antique Accoutrements

  • Bathrobes

  • Alarm Clock

  • Reading Lamps

  • Hair Dryer/Ironing Board

  • Closet

  • Central A/C & Heat, Ceiling Fan

  • Private Bath (Shower stall, Pedestal Sink)

    INNSTANT ROMANCE ADD ONS

    • Fresh fragrant flowers and sparkling cider $43.00

    • Bouquet of fresh fragrant flowers $33.00

    • Sparkling cider for two $15.00

    • Fresh fragrant Flowers, Chocolates and Sparkling Cider. $64.00

    • One Dozen Roses $50-$80 (depending on time of year)

    • Special Packages Click HERE


    • Please give us 48 hours notice and these will be set up in your room for your arrival.

ALL RATES INCLUDE A COMPLIMENTARY HEARTY HOME-COOKED BREAKFAST - "Continental" is not spoken here

Life is too short for bad coffee!

*Rates may be subject to seasonal fluctuations. May be higher for holidays and special events. 2 night minimum on all race weekends. 


BOOK ONLINE AND SAVE $10 per night - BOOK ONLINE HERE

4TH NIGHT FREE - 4th Night Free in Blue Ridge Country Virginia!

Life is too short for bad coffee... Shellie @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount Virginia  http://www.claibornehouse.net/