Driving The Blue Ridge Parkway

  Most of us travel on the Interstate Highway System, established by President Eisenhower in the 1950’s. These highways are clearly a product of the modern era, designed to transport the military, civilians, and products at maximum speed and efficiency. Interstates are characterized by tense, high speed driving with huge tractor-trailer trucks rolling at 70…

A Pleasant Country Loop and Shortcut to Skyline Drive

  Autumn has arrived. Where I live that means heavy weekend traffic from I-66 exit 13 west on Rt. 55 through Front Royal to the north end of Skyline Drive. In honor of the season today I will outline one of my favorite drives in the countryside in the area just east of the Blue…

Exploring The Blue Ridge Parkway

Most of us travel on the Interstate Highway System, established by President Eisenhower in the 1950’s. These highways are clearly a product of the modern era, designed to transport the military, civilians, and products at maximum speed and efficiency. Interstates are characterized by tense, high speed driving with huge tractor-trailer trucks rolling at 70 miles…

Blue Ridge Parkway: Mabry Mill

  One of my favorite stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill (mile post 176) is a major park installation. It includes a main building with a restaurant and a large historic area with working water-powered grist and saw mill and a blacksmith shop that is original to the site, a log cabin, and…

Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo

The Elizabethan Gardens¬† on Manteo are on a par with such world sites as the Generalife in Granada, Spain, the Enid A. Haumpt Garden at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, Connecticut. And unlike those, which enjoy the support of national or at least city governments and…

Manteo Waterfront & Festival Park

  Manteo, pronounced “MANeo”,¬†is a charming small town on Roanoke Island, well worth visiting. It is one of our favorite places, in part because the yacht basin is a good place for pied billed grebes and other diving ducks. And it is charming in general. The yacht basin occupies one side of the little harbor,…

The Wild Horses of Corolla

Corolla’s wild horses are the remains of a herd created when early Spanish explorers left the first horses there in the 1500s. Today the herd is a faction of its former self and is confined to the very north end of the island. The horses are protected by local, state, and federal laws. The tour is an adventure that should not be missed.

The Whalehead Club: Private Estate turned into Tourist Destination

The Whalehead Club is a beautiful park in Corolla, on the north end of the Outer Banks. It is good for picnicking, touring the early 20th Century mansion, and often for birding. Corolla Light and historical Corolla Village adjoin the estate’s grounds. Entry to the grounds is free; house tours have a nominal fee.

The Wright Brothers Memorial

The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills is a national memorial preserving the location of the first manned, powered, heavier than air flight. It includes the memorial itself, on top of Big Kill Devil Hill, the original tracks used to launch the Wright Flier, a full sized metal model of the flier and replicas of the buildings the Wrights used on the site. It does have an entry fee.

Wildflowers Opening in the Blue Ridge

4 April 2017 Spring is coming to Skyline Drive this week. The trees are still bare, but leaves are opening on the lower bushes. And the first wildflowers are opening. I found coltsfoot and liverwort along the Keyser Run fire road near Little Devils Stairs (mile post 19) on Saturday. Other wildflowers, including wild violets,…

Dining on the Outer Banks

Food, particularly fresh fish, is a major attraction on the Outer Banks. In this blog I talk about some of our favorite restaurants. This is by no means a complete list of top dining places, and neither I nor my wife are food critics.

Birding the Outer Banks

Winter is often a good time for birding on the Outer Banks. This year (2017) was particularly productive for birders.