52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos


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38. Selfie (Week 8)

“Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly. “  ~ Anon ~

 

You would think if you were taking your own picture for a “selfie” that you could delete it and try again if you didn’t find it flattering.  Well, I took two as we geared up for pending rain on the Blue Ridge Parkway and didn’t have time for too many options,  but this one fits in the continuation of our August vacation, so I’m posting it “as is.”  IMG_0565

 

My husband and I had just spent time with family in Virginia and were now heading for Asheville.  Our plan was to take two days to get there – ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and spend time in the Smokies.  We were concerned about rain.  We stopped to put rain gear on, but I was hoping it wouldn’t last long if it did rain.  And then the drops started.

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It wasn’t too bad – we seemed to weave in and out of it as we headed up the Parkway and at times it wasn’t raining at all.  We pulled off several times to enjoy the sights.

 

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And Greg was a sport for this photo!

 

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But do you see the fog we are about to ride into?

 

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This was the beginning of a really bad experience.  The fog was an indication that we were up in the cloud – when we rode out of the cloud, we were then in heavy rain.

 

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We didn’t know that this was the last time we would be able to pull off the road. From here on in we could not see where the side of the road was.  There was no way to exit, so I had to “Keep Calm and Ride On.”

 

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My goal was to just keep Greg’s taillights in sight as we continued on the parkway. It was really difficult when he would round a curve, but we were traveling at a very low speed and I think I was in 2nd gear the whole way. As the road curved, we would be in a stretch of clouds and then a stretch of rains – then back again. This continued for over an hour. We could communicate with the headsets in our helmets and Greg encouraged me as I kept telling him it was a nightmare.

Finally we were able to leave the Parkway. The Hampton Inn that we had booked in Roanoke Virginia was only 5 miles away.  Hurray – out of the mountains and out of the rain!  I was getting my confidence back.

So this would be a good spot to end this post, right?

Sorry – there’s a little more story to tell.

As we rode into Roanoke and joined heavier traffic, I watched as the light ahead at the bottom of a hill turned from green to yellow.  Because of my momentum, I told Greg, “I’m going.”  He said, “I’m not.”  Thinking he knew better than I did, I went to brake.  My bike fishtailed, fell to the left, I slid off, and then my bike slid into his bike.  Greg’s bike went down and my bike then flipped to the other side.  A police car immediately pulled out into the intersection to stop all traffic.  He happened to be sitting in the front of oncoming traffic.  Greg and I  both stood up and walked to our bikes to survey the damage.  I think the wet roads actually spared us injuries.  The knee in my rainsuit tore, but that’s about it for me.

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As for my bike, the engine guards were scraped on both sides,

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the side bags were marred,

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and a light was broke,

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but I would say if you can walk away from this, you were pretty lucky.  Glue and paint can go a long way.  The policeman did not ask for anything from us.  He just wanted us to move our bikes off of the road.  With cars stopped in all four directions, I must tell you that the only one that helped us pick up our motorcycles was an older homeless man that had been standing on the corner.  He gathered up everything that had scattered out of my bike and helped Greg with the lifting.  He was our angel that day.

We stayed an extra day in Roanoke to decompress and have the bike checked out by an authorized mechanic.

And what did I learn from this?  Once you make a decision, commit to it.  And I’ve always said I’m a fair weather rider – I also love our Florida flatlands!


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17. High Above (Week 6)

“Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man…. Landing is the first!”   ~ Anonymous ~

 

1920’s to 1940’s biplanes take off from the grassy runway and then fly in formation during the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia, while back on the ground, the day’s announcer holds his straw hat high above his head to see them off.

 

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During the National Anthem a man parachutes down holding an American flag.  For  the next hour and a half, we were part of a small crowd below enjoying the Sunday afternoon show.   The show includes formation flying, aerobatics, skydivers, and wingwalkers.   The announcer and the skits were entertaining. The pilots take turns attempting to pop balloons that are released – and we enjoyed a skit of a plane “bombing” an outhouse in the middle of a grassy field and startling the person inside as the walls fell down.

 

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We kept our eyes on the sky as we watched biplanes freefall for us from 3,000 feet up.

 

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The acts finished with a plane making a pass as a wingwalker steps out of the cock pit and walks on the wing;  as the grand finale, the wingwalker stands on top of the top of the plane.

 

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Before and after the show, guests may purchase a ticket to take a ride in one of the brightly painted red, yellow, or blue vintage open-cockpit planes.

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24. Fences and/or Rails (Week 5)

” It’s better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here. ”  ~ Anonymous  ~

 

Our family in Virginia is interested in any activity involving flight, so it was no surprise when they invited us to go to the local Flying Circus AirShow when we were visiting in August.  Every Sunday from May to October daring expert pilots perform stunts in vintage biplanes.   The shows are modeled after “barnstorming” airshows that became popular between the two world wars.  The pilots flew these airplanes in World War 1 and when they returned with their excitement and love of aviation this led to airshows in farmer’s field in small towns across the country.  Before and after the shows they would offer rides to make money.  The term “barnstorming” was coined because, when a storm hit during a show, everyone would hunker down in the barn.

 

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Benches and chairs are lined up in front of the airfield, but many want to get right up to the fence to be as close as possible to the action.

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33. Paths and or Trails (Week 4)

“The picks and mauls are silent now at Government Island.  Gone are the muscled laborers who quarried the rock.  Gone, too, are the masted ships that carried it north.  Government Island is quiet now overgrown with oaks and maples and sticker bushes.  Only the silent stones say that this was once the nation’s most famous quarry.”

    ~ Jim Hall, Journalist, July 6, 1992;  The Free-Lance-Star ~

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My grandson was given a fishing pole by his younger brother on his 3rd birthday, so  the next day an outing was planned to put it to use.  After we parked at Government Island in Stafford County, Va, we walked the trail to Aquia Creek.

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The trip was a success.  The boys learned how to bait a hook with a live worm …

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And how to net a fish once it is caught …

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But fishing can only hold toddlers’ attention for so long and they were off exploring the trail again.

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I learned quite a bit about this site from signs posted at the entry.  Government Island is a 17-acre historic site. Stone was quarried from this site as early as 1694 for use as architectural trim in Colonial America. The quarry’s fine-grained sandstone was called Aguia stone, due to its location along the Aquia Creek, or freestone, for its ability to be freely carved without splitting. The stone from this quarry was a desirable building material for its composition as well as its beautiful white color. The federal government bought this island in 1791 for the purpose of constructing the President’s house (later known as the White House) and the United States Capitol.  Government Island sandstone was also used for door and window trim, foundations, grave markers, churches, plantation homes, and other prominent buildings.  Extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site from 1791 through the 1820’s.   George Mason and George Washington were two of the quarry’s most prominent clients.  Government Island is now a Stafford County park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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35. Rocky Waterscapes (Week 1)

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh ~

 

We enjoyed the adventure of riding on the auto train from Florida to Virginia.  We saw many small towns and railroad yards, as well as numerous lakes and rivers.  I believe this river was somewhere near Richmond VA.

 

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8 Comments

41. Splash (Week 11)

A treasure to a little boy does not consist of money, gems or jewelry. He will find far greater pleasure in the wonder of a rock, pebble, stick or beetle.”  ~ Author Unknown ~

I just returned from a visit with my grandsons in Virginia and we had so much fun.  Each morning my daughter Tricia took us out to a different park in the area.  And each time, Ethan couldn’t resist tossing pebbles and small rocks in the water to watch them splash.

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He could have done this all day!

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The best memories are those made outside!

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These photos and, of course many more, were taken at Old Mill Park, which is adjacent to the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg.