Cocke’s Mill

South Branch, Hardware River, along

The Plank Road runs west from Keene toward the mountains. It was a toll road, and the original toll house still stands, a private residence now. It’s a very old road, once paved in wooden boards, and along it teams of oxen rolled huge hogshead barrels and cartloads of good from over in the Shenandoah Valley, coming down the switchbacks through Rockfish Gap. Continue reading “Cocke’s Mill”

Mountain Orchards

Apple Orchard in Bloom, Blue Ridge

We drive through the little valley below Jefferson’s Monticello every day. Up above Monticello, along the ridge of Carter’s Mountain, is an orchard and vineyard with wide views of the Piedmont to the East and the Blue Ridge to the West. We’ve been going there since the kids were small, picking warm peaches in summer, pumpkins for Halloween, then apples and cider right up to first snows. In Spring, cycles of bloom sweep over the ridge like vast, slow moving clouds, starting first with the cherries. Continue reading “Mountain Orchards”

Road Along the Ridge

Forest Fog

 

Spring is taking it’s time getting here, like it lost its way, stumbling about.
Mornings are cold and damp. Not really raining; just steady dripping from eaves and limbs, buds closed up tight. Hills and valleys stay swallowed in fog.