December 24, 2012


Recent Events Part 2: Thanksgiving Trip Home

Here are some photos of a visit home at Thanksgiving.

My Dad and I almost always walk together in a park in my hometown named after my mother's grandfather who gave land to create the park.  We usually always sit at the same bench half way threw the walk.  Nearly every time we walk in the park my Dad complains of his hips hurting and I explain that the more he walks the less his hips will hurt, and he always thanks me when we are finished. 

Here is a photo of my mom playing Angry Birds, and one of some herbs she was drying on the counter


Trip To Reddish Knob

One afternoon my Dad and I decided to drive to the top of Reddish Knob, a very tall mountain top just to the west of my hometown.  Reddish Knob is one of the tallest mountain peaks in Virginia.  Rising 4,397 feet from sea level, it is also the highest point south of the Adirondacks in New York.  And it happens to have a road that goes all the way to the top leading to a parking lot that feels like it is floating in the sky with amazing 360 degree views into Virginia and West Virginia. 

We left with only a couple hours of daylight left in the day so by the time we got to the top of Reddish Knob it was nearly dusk and the mountain cast a deep shadow on the rolling hills below.  Here is a photo of my dad using my binoculars to look east towards our town. 


On the way there we passed threw the little town named Briary Branch where my Dad grew up.  Here is a photo of him standing in front of the house where he grew up. 

Along the way my Dad told me stories about every house or building we passed:  where friends he'd known grew up, or girlfriends he once dated lived, or places where he went fishing, or where there used to be a store where he sold walnuts he'd go gathering from the woods, or where his friend lived who's parents wouldn't let him join the Navy when my dad joined the Navy, etc. 

On the way home we got very lost driving taking a different way on on mountain access roads.  My dad suggested the route saying “it's been a few years since I've been this way, and by a few years I mean over 50 years ago”.  As we were lost I realized too that my cell phone's GPS function was useless in areas where there was no cell service, which was everywhere in the mountains.  I was never worried though because we could see periodically hunters camping for the night. 

This is the view looking east from Reddish Knob (below this image is a closeup with distinctive landmarks outlined - scroll down)


From Reddish Knob, looking east, you can see the entire span of earth where I spend most of my life growing up.  Looking to the east you can see a couple distinctive landmarks including Mole Hill (outlined in green in the closeup below), an inactive volcano that rises just to the west of town, and just to the east of town is Massanetten Mountain's peak which can just be made out from the Blue Ridge Mountains further to the east.  Massanutten Mountain bisects the Shenandoah Valley (see Google map below).  In between lies the city of Harrisonburg where I am from (outlined in red).

The satellite image below is taken from Google Maps and shows the location of Reddish Knob (yellow “x”), Mole Hill (green outline), approximate city limits of Harrisonburg (red outline), and Massanutten Peak (dashed orange line represents area of mountain, solid orange line represents visible mountain line from Reddish Knob)

This is a picture of Massanutten Mountain taken from my brother's backyard (who lives just outside the city limits to the east of town, between Harrisonburg and the base of the mountain)