Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Springtime in the Blue Ridge

Saturday May 2, 2015
Charlottesville, Virginia



Many many thanks to all who shared their opinions of the new Google maps and suggested alternatives.  I’m glad to know I’m not alone in hating google’s latest.  Misery loves company I guess.  Your suggestions were wonderful and everyone will benefit from them.  Thanks again SO much to everyone who commented. 

Now let’s see, where was I before google made me so mad?  Well let’s see, we’d made it back to Charlottesville in a long 3 days of travel.  Now on to the farm.

Our drive, after leaving Winnona in Charlottesville, is southwest toward the mountains and out to the farm in the foothills.  It is lovely in the spring first with the forsythia and then with all of the red buds in bloom along the roadside of Route 29 South.







We head west off of Route 29, the Monacan Trail named for the original inhabitants of this area, and onto Plank Road which takes us into the little town of Batesville.   Batesville is 5.8 miles from the farm Lane.  Early on, we had a post office box here since the rural delivery was sketchy.

When we bought the farm nearly 40 years ago, all the roads were Rural Routes.  But with the advent of the 911 system, everything got named.  Many road names are historic.  Plank Road is one of those.  I was told this was the road, made of planks, that went over Afton Mountain from the county seat of Scottsville before the change was made to move the offices to Charlottesville in 1761.   An old road to be sure.




We turn left just in front of the Batesville Store immediately before the Page’s home on the left.  We cross over the one lane bridge.  In all the time we have lived here, I have never seen an accident here. Mostly there isn’t anyone coming in the opposite direction but if there happens to be, people are very courteous.  Sometimes too much as they wait on either side of the bridge for the other to come across first.  Always makes me laugh when we both start to move then and both stop and finally someone goes.   The road beyond the bridge is Route 635, renamed Craig’s Store Road, for the oldest store which is now a home.  It’s a very windy narrow mountain road.  If you drive faster then 35 you are taking your life in your hands as there are “some people” who zip along this road and come around blind curves and over blind hills on your side.




I didn’t take any pictures of how terrible the front of the lane next to the county road looks or the pot canyons along the road through the woods, or the muddy lake as the lane comes into the valley.  But this section is flat and drains well.  Ruby can straddle some things and squeeze around others on the bad sections.  She has to go very slowly.  But Winnona is too big for this mess.






The road is a problem for another day.  If it will EVER stop raining.


Here are some of the spring beauties that have brightened our days over the past 2 weeks as we have cleaned up and put things other than the road to rights for the Bridal Shower happening here tomorrow.


African Daisy, this one is for you Gaelyn.



Purple phlox of course.




Columbine- domesticated not wild



Azaleas - white and many shades of Pink









Pretty hosta leaves.  Amazingly no two quite alike.




The blueberry flowers are signs of delicious things to come.


And of course the dogwoods, a big deal in this part of the world.  For 66 years, in Charlottesville, there has been a multiple week long Dogwood festival.  I attended the parade with Carrie last year and wrote a post on it.  This year the Dogwood Parade got rained on but not out.  I felt really sorry for the marching bands although I wasn’t there to see it this year. Too busy and so tired of rian.


But the dogwoods put on their show rain or shine. 










And of course spring tulips. 



While all this beauty is around us, here’s some of what we have been doing.  A few things we put off when we decided not to sell the farm and some general cleaning.  Mostly inside this time.  We painted the outside a few years ago in order to sell it and then decided when the future became so uncertain we’d better wait.




These two are for you Paul.  While you are off enjoying your cruise, We’re both doing the painting.  Wish you were here, we could use your expertise especially on the living room ceiling.  It’s textured.





We have to move one of the Hoosier Cupboards to get to the wall beside it.  While we’re at it, we’ll just put some new stain the Hoosier.  There’s a never ending list of things that can be done.  Some of them are actually fun.   And everything in this house has many many memories.   The toss it and get rid of it continues as well.




Things should look as spiffy as an old farmhouse gets for Sunday’s party.


Spring is a beautiful time to be in Virginia which is why we always seem to swing back through here.  I highly recommend the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive in the Spring.  And then drop down off the mountain to see Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Ashlawn and James Monroe’s Montpellier.  They all look wonderful too.   And on your way there, you can stop by here and see what we’ve been up to.  We’re straight down the mountain from where the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive meet.


  1. Your farm is so beautiful. I would have had a very tough time giving it up! Maybe we'll be able to come and visit you there one spring, if you're there :-).

  2. A lovely homestead for sure and a fabulous location!

  3. Those flowers and blossoms are gorgeous!

  4. I backpacked through Virginia about this time of year, and I know how gorgeous it is.

  5. A good excuse to spiff things up. The nice part about it is it will last a long time. Spring flowers are beautiful.

  6. You do have a most beautiful home. Looks so peaceful and relaxing. The flower pics are great and must be even better in real life. You guys sure are busy beavers getting painting and cleaning done ASAP, before the big party. Hope they all drive pickups and jeeps for that driveway.
    Thanks for the post.

  7. I'll inspect your work tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you all.

  8. You can feel the peacefulness of your farm right through the internet! Glad you didn't sell.

  9. I always enjoy seeing pictures of your home base.

  10. Your farm looks absolutely idyllic. And those pink dogwood, and azaleas, and redbuds….just gorgeous. You guys have certainly been busy fixing everything up! Have fun at the engagement party -- I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the event. We'll stop by to see you next spring on our way up the east coast. :-)

  11. Thank you for the African Daisy, and all the other beautiful blooms. The farm looks wonderful surrounded by all the colors. What a gorgeous setting for the Bridal party.

  12. Wow... Spring sure looks beautiful at the farm. So glad the sunshine has decided to smile on Carrie's special day!! Tell her and Matthew we wish them the very best. You two sure have work hard to make things look very pretty for the shower. Now, enjoy the day and then get some rest;o)

  13. I've always loved seeing the pictures of your farm. It's absolutely beautiful! Hope you haven't worked too hard to enjoy the shower :) Relax and enjoy it. Congrats to Carrie and Matthew!

  14. The flowers around your house are lovely. At least the shower gave you some incentive to clean and paint!

  15. Coming round the bend to the homestead with the countryside all in bloom. Down the plank road, past the old Page place, across the narrow bridge.......and the rest of the world just sort of slips away for a bit. I so love the serenity of your farm. Not discounting all the hard work to keep it up or the reality of a dirt lane after weeks and weeks of rain, or the fact that you'd love to be hiking in the West - it is still a pretty special place. The flower pics are beautiful, could never choose a favorite. I love that the bridal shower is there today, celebrating new beginnings and the joy of a beloved daughter. Those old walls will soak up all that laughter and hope for the future, all the power of those women - and you and David will draw from it as needed.

  16. Your pictures of all those wonderful springtime flowers made me a little homesick for Virginia and a little sad that we're not there to enjoy them...until I saw you with a paintbrush! What are you trying to do, give me nightmares??? :cD

  17. The farm looks gorgeous with all the flowering trees surrounding it. You arrived at a perfect time. The pink dogwood are my favorite:) I love the colors you chose for the outside. You both certainly look like happy workers. Hope all went well today with the bridal shower:)

  18. I always love the first picture of your farmhouse when you return in the spring. It's postcard perfect!

  19. The distant picture of the farmhouse with the beautiful colors of the flowering trees ... the perfect homecoming.

  20. Wonderful pictures! I love the flowers! Thanks so much for all the work to beautify an already beautiful place! It was so gorgeous. The perfect place to celebrate with family & friends. Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! :)

  21. And I bet you have extra paintbrushes too!!! Beautiful pictures and area

  22. We don't have dogwoods or redbuds in Wisconsin and since I've had to stay closer to home this spring yours are the only ones I've been able to see so thanks!

  23. I still remember your excitement the day you first saw this house, when it was white and on 10 acres - and in need of a lot of work. You were right about this being the one & it was worth all the effort to make it our home. It was of course a good thing that I like fixing things. ;)

  24. Your farm is so beautiful and welcoming. I love spring flowers. I hope you are enjoying some nice weather and getting some things done.


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