Late Summer Journey, Day 3, Sept. 1st

After that less than outstanding $100+ dinner here at the hotel, we decided to find somewhere else to have breakfast this morning. I can’t say anything but praise for the hotel and staff. The room was great, but could have used an additional chair. Everyone was friendly, helpful, and efficient. We called for a bellman who appeared promptly and asked if we needed our car brought around.

Roanoke is famous as a railroad town. One of the largest owners of real estate in the town is the Norfolk railroad. Virginia has  a great transportation museum with a lot of rolling stock donated by the railroad.


Off we went. Roanoke has a very large star that was erected in the 1940’s on a mountain which overlooks the city and is lighted at night. One of the things on Babs list was to visit the stars overlook of the city. We asked for directions missed a turn or two, got lost and finally found the park in the Garmin, which guided us there.

From the observation platform you get a great panoramic view of the city and surrounding valley.

As usual things didn’t go as planned and a place to eat was nowhere to be found. The only choices we had were to return to town or continue on the parkway and eat at Mabry Mill which was 50 miles down the road. We opted to continue in spite of the rain which had begun.

On the way to Mabry Mill, Babs had stops planned, most of which we had to scrap because of the rain and when we were above 2700 feet elevation, clouds. The first stop that we made was Trails Cabin.

There were two prevalent things along the road side, those yellow daisy type flowers and tent caterpillars. The tent caterpillars slowly eat all the leaves on the tree, killing it. They were in devastating numbers in the trees along our route.

We happened upon this old mill pond dam that looked pretty interesting.

We finally got to Mabry Mill around 10:45 am in heavy rain and immediately headed to the restaurant for breakfast. We both had cornmeal pancakes, which turned out to be tasteless if void of syrup. I also had my usual two fried eggs.


After breakfast we walked over to the Mabry Mill site in the rain and took a few photos. Babs wanted one with the same pose as she has in a photo as a child.

We continued down the Blue Ridge parkway. The majority of the time we were driving 25 mph or less because of the low clouds, fog, and rain in various degrees. It was still raining but with a break in the clouds when we arrived at our next stop “Rail Fences”. This park had erected five different type of fencing used during the pioneer period.

Leaving Rail Fences, we continued on to Puckett’s Cabin. Mrs. Pucker had 24 living children of her own. At age 50 she began assisting in births as a midwife. The information plack said she assisted in the delivery of over 1000 births. Must had been a busy woman!

After Puckett’s Cabin, our next stop was the Music Center. The Music Center is a museum dedicated to stringed instruments. It is also a venue for the performers playing string instruments. When we were there, seven men and women were “jamming” and taking requests from visitors to the Center. They were very entertaining and we would have stayed longer if it were not for the extraordinarily slow pace of travel because of the weather.

Our next stop was the Bringer Family cabin. It was raining, windy, and in the clouds but Babs was determined to complete her list of adventures. I waited in the car.

We were trying to find a covered picnic area but ended up making a sandwich and eating in the car.


It was slow going and getting late because of driving conditions like these.

These were typical of the overlooks.

Babs last stop was the Moses H. Cone visitors center.

After a very hard days drive, we rolled into Blowing Rock exhausted from the tense driving conditions. We are at the Holiday Inn Express.

We had a late dinner at Woodlands Bar-B-Q. The food was absolutely delicious and there was an entertainer who played the piano, guitar, and banjo.

There are severe thunderstorm warnings tonight. Hopefully things wit improve and we’ll have an easier ride to my sisters tomorrow morning.

Babs Says: Oink, oink!Sorry little pig, but my Bar-B-Q was delicious.




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