When we left the house at 10:30 AM on Sunday, November 4, it was simply with the intention of picking up a sewing-related item I’d purchased on Craigslist earlier that morning. We both had a lot of things to do around the house, but Fall had finally arrived in all her splendor, and we enjoyed the colorful drive on Craig’s Store Road in Albemarle County.
It was such a pretty day that we decided to drive through Albemarle into Nelson County, where we turned on Ennis Mountain Road.
This took us by our much-loved and greatly-missed former “home place.” We’re so thankful that the people who bought this special place in the early 1990s have cared for so lovingly over the years.
Again we had the option to head towards home, but instead we turned south on Rt. 151.
As we passed through the community of Nellysford (which newcomers pronounce sort of like Nelliesferd), I thought of the postcards I’d seen addressed to my grandmother when it was spelled Nelly’s Ford. Locals still call it that: Nelly’s FORD. From stories I heard as a child, a woman–named Nelly (imagine that)–lost her life when trying to ford a stream. Is it a true story? I don’t know, probably, but I doubt if there’s anyone left in the community who would know….
We stopped briefly at the Rockfish Trail parking area. While we weren’t wearing shoes suitable for walking along a muddy path, we enjoyed the views and being by the south branch of the Rockfish River.
Such a pretty place–and pretty day! With the Blue Ridge so close, it made me think of the John Muir quote: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”
Continuing south, our next stop was at Devils Backbone.
There’s a new campground near the brew pub, and a section at one end of the campground looks like it might be developed into more campsites in the future.
We drove up the mountain past Wintergreen Resort, and when we reached the Blue Ridge Parkway, there were lots of cars full of “leaf peepers” who were out enjoying the day. We could have turned north on the Parkway (towards home), but we opted to cross over it to follow Reid’s Gap Road down the mountain towards Sherando.
Sherando Lake is one of our favorite places. While we didn’t have the opportunity to camp there this summer, it’s beautiful all year long.
Wayne enjoyed shooting pictures of the amazing colors and patterns in the water, and while he was doing that, my cousin called to return a message I’d left for her earlier.
Since she’s not too far from Sherando, when we left the lake we stopped by my cousin’s house. One of my other cousins was there, too, so we had a nice visit.
Finally it was time to head towards home–for real this time–and we got home shortly after 5:00 PM.
While being out all day certainly wasn’t what we’d intended, I think it’s what we both needed. We’re always thankful to have opportunities to explore beautiful back roads, and this was, indeed, a picture-perfect autumn day. 🙂