Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers

On the crest of the Blue Ridge, Floyd County’s lush mountainscapes portray the diversity and beauty of the mountain plateau and present a natural playground whether your fun is hiking, biking, fishing, camping and/or photography.

Never traversed by a four-lane road or rail-line, Floyd County’s heritage and natural beauty are remarkably well-preserved. Chosen for 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s among the most beautiful counties in Virginia with scenic overlooks, picturesque working farms, and historic sites, including the famed Mabry Mill, which is maintained and operated by the National Park Service and serves as a visual centerpiece of the Parkway and tourism magnet for the region.

Hike up Buffalo Mountain, part of a 1,000-acre Natural Area Preserve that stands nearly 4,000 feet in altitude. Enjoy panoramic views of the forest, fields, sunrises and sunsets. This mountain was once part of a large land grant given to Robert E. Lee’s father, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee for his military service. Along the hike on the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, you’ll see tunnels of rhododendren and other thick mountain foliage, a splashing stream, and high open meadows.

via Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers.

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Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers

On the crest of the Blue Ridge, Floyd County’s lush mountainscapes portray the diversity and beauty of the mountain plateau and present a natural playground whether your fun is hiking, biking, fishing, camping and/or photography.

Never traversed by a four-lane road or rail-line, Floyd County’s heritage and natural beauty are remarkably well-preserved. Chosen for 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s among the most beautiful counties in Virginia with scenic overlooks, picturesque working farms, and historic sites, including the famed Mabry Mill, which is maintained and operated by the National Park Service and serves as a visual centerpiece of the Parkway and tourism magnet for the region.

Hike up Buffalo Mountain, part of a 1,000-acre Natural Area Preserve that stands nearly 4,000 feet in altitude. Enjoy panoramic views of the forest, fields, sunrises and sunsets. This mountain was once part of a large land grant given to Robert E. Lee’s father, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee for his military service. Along the hike on the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, you’ll see tunnels of rhododendren and other thick mountain foliage, a splashing stream, and high open meadows.

via Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers.

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Reflections on fall in the mountains.

We have split our trip to the North Carolina mountains in two with a few days in Virginia where I sit in the Hotel Floyd blogging right now. The weather for the most part has been glorious, the people have been friendly, and the drive has been a joy. Everyone keeps telling me that the leave color is not up to par but from this boy from the Texas coast, I ain’t ever seen color like this in the fall.

Asheville was beautiful as was the drive to and from. The colors were vivid all the way to Charlottesville. The drive back down the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us the opportunity to enjoy a bit of snow as well.

Here is a slide show of what we have seen…

Reflections on fall in the mountains.

We have split our trip to the North Carolina mountains in two with a few days in Virginia where I sit in the Hotel Floyd blogging right now. The weather for the most part has been glorious, the people have been friendly, and the drive has been a joy. Everyone keeps telling me that the leave color is not up to par but from this boy from the Texas coast, I ain’t ever seen color like this in the fall.

Asheville was beautiful as was the drive to and from. The colors were vivid all the way to Charlottesville. The drive back down the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us the opportunity to enjoy a bit of snow as well.

Here is a slide show of what we have seen…

Friday Mountain Dreams

Today’s email brought the Watauga Farmers’ Market News for tomorrow…Wish I were on the mountain, it looks like Labor Day will call for corn roasting on the grill. Here is the news….

This Saturday, professional cooking instructor Sheri Castle http://www.sheri-inc.com/ will be at Watauga County Farmers’ Market to demonstrate recipes using foods available that day from market vendors. Sheri will choose what she needs from the profusion of the morning, then prepare wonderful dishes to be handed out as samples. Sheri also makes the recipes available to everyone. There will be a good supply of potatoes, summer squash and every kind of tomatoes and peppers available this weekend from various vendors and any of these could be chosen as ingredients.

The corn harvest is also at it’s peak at this time of year, and David Blackburn will have a good supply of yellow Kandy Korn, white Silver Queen, and bicolor Peaches and Cream sweet corn. Bill Moretz will continue to have plenty of eggplant and fresh cut basil. Sally Thiel is continuing to harvest lots of lettuce and will have Buttercrunch, Oakleaf, and both red and green romaine lettuce to offer.

Many people are already sold on white half-runner beans, and Charles Church will have a good quantity this weekend along with fresh garlic bulbs and plenty of Swiss chard. The onions are starting to come in now, and careful shoppers can find a variety designed to suit their tastes. Jerry Harvey will have mild flavored yellow onions and Jeanette Edmisten will have medium Texas onions. Be sure to ask the farmers about the qualities of their varieties, you can then select your perfect vegetable.

Reading along I see my friend Fred First will be signing his book up the Parkway in Floyd, VA on the 12th of September at the “3rd Annual Taste of Floyd”. It looks like a good weekend for a road trip if you are so inclined…

The 3rd annual “A Taste of Floyd” will again be held on the grounds of the Harvest Moon Food Store from 11:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, September 15, during the Floyd Festival and County Fair. This event will highlight “The Slow Life” – the joys of producing and enjoying your own local produce and natural products.

There will be a new attraction this year, a Food and Wine Court, where families can sit and enjoy a selection of catered lunches, local wines from Villa Appalachia and the sounds of local musicians. Another first will be souvenir Taste of Floyd tee shirts for sale.

The Taste of Floyd brings together local and regional growers and producers of natural products.

Visitors will be able to sample offerings from Black Snake Meadery, Blue Ridge Baby Cheese Cakes, Bright’s Beef, Exquisite Table, Five Penny Farm, Good Food Good People, Honduras Coffee Co, Hooper’s Specialty Foods, Locust Grove Farms, Shady Grove Soaps, Sweet Providence Farms, and Weathertop Farms. Vendors are still signing up every day, so there will be more vendors of natural products to sample.

Admission will be $3.00 and will include a souvenir “Taste of Floyd” plate to use when sampling vendor products in the Tasting Tent.

This year, Slow Food USA, the sponsor of this event, will have an information booth and plenty of volunteers to answer questions about the fast-growing, world-wide Slow Food movement.

Local author Fred First will be signing copies of his popular book “Slow Road Home,” which highlights his articles about life in rural Floyd County.

For more information, go to http://www.atasteoffloyd.org or call the Harvest Moon Food Store at 540-745-4366.

Source: A Taste of Floyd set for county fair weekend – SWVAToday.com

Friday Mountain Dreams

Today’s email brought the Watauga Farmers’ Market News for tomorrow…Wish I were on the mountain, it looks like Labor Day will call for corn roasting on the grill. Here is the news….

This Saturday, professional cooking instructor Sheri Castle http://www.sheri-inc.com/ will be at Watauga County Farmers’ Market to demonstrate recipes using foods available that day from market vendors. Sheri will choose what she needs from the profusion of the morning, then prepare wonderful dishes to be handed out as samples. Sheri also makes the recipes available to everyone. There will be a good supply of potatoes, summer squash and every kind of tomatoes and peppers available this weekend from various vendors and any of these could be chosen as ingredients.

The corn harvest is also at it’s peak at this time of year, and David Blackburn will have a good supply of yellow Kandy Korn, white Silver Queen, and bicolor Peaches and Cream sweet corn. Bill Moretz will continue to have plenty of eggplant and fresh cut basil. Sally Thiel is continuing to harvest lots of lettuce and will have Buttercrunch, Oakleaf, and both red and green romaine lettuce to offer.

Many people are already sold on white half-runner beans, and Charles Church will have a good quantity this weekend along with fresh garlic bulbs and plenty of Swiss chard. The onions are starting to come in now, and careful shoppers can find a variety designed to suit their tastes. Jerry Harvey will have mild flavored yellow onions and Jeanette Edmisten will have medium Texas onions. Be sure to ask the farmers about the qualities of their varieties, you can then select your perfect vegetable.

Reading along I see my friend Fred First will be signing his book up the Parkway in Floyd, VA on the 12th of September at the “3rd Annual Taste of Floyd”. It looks like a good weekend for a road trip if you are so inclined…

The 3rd annual “A Taste of Floyd” will again be held on the grounds of the Harvest Moon Food Store from 11:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, September 15, during the Floyd Festival and County Fair. This event will highlight “The Slow Life” – the joys of producing and enjoying your own local produce and natural products.

There will be a new attraction this year, a Food and Wine Court, where families can sit and enjoy a selection of catered lunches, local wines from Villa Appalachia and the sounds of local musicians. Another first will be souvenir Taste of Floyd tee shirts for sale.

The Taste of Floyd brings together local and regional growers and producers of natural products.

Visitors will be able to sample offerings from Black Snake Meadery, Blue Ridge Baby Cheese Cakes, Bright’s Beef, Exquisite Table, Five Penny Farm, Good Food Good People, Honduras Coffee Co, Hooper’s Specialty Foods, Locust Grove Farms, Shady Grove Soaps, Sweet Providence Farms, and Weathertop Farms. Vendors are still signing up every day, so there will be more vendors of natural products to sample.

Admission will be $3.00 and will include a souvenir “Taste of Floyd” plate to use when sampling vendor products in the Tasting Tent.

This year, Slow Food USA, the sponsor of this event, will have an information booth and plenty of volunteers to answer questions about the fast-growing, world-wide Slow Food movement.

Local author Fred First will be signing copies of his popular book “Slow Road Home,” which highlights his articles about life in rural Floyd County.

For more information, go to http://www.atasteoffloyd.org or call the Harvest Moon Food Store at 540-745-4366.

Source: A Taste of Floyd set for county fair weekend – SWVAToday.com

Can you describe the Floyd lifestyle?

One of the places that was on the list for a visit on this year’s Blue Ridge Mountain trip was (and is) Floyd, Virginia. I have made the acquaintance (virtually) of a few residents of Floyd County over the past couple of years and I feel the need to feel that little piece of the Blue Ridge Country under my moccasins. I have been intrigued ever since I first started reading Fred First’s blog, which led to Colleen’s, then I found Doug’s, then it was David’s. Between the four I almost feel like I live in the neighborhood.

Doug posted an essay that I really found quite interesting, I thought I would point a link at it during this, my virtual vacation trip…

Floyd is the young husband getting up at 4 a.m. to feed the animals before he has to drive an hour and a half to his job at the Volvo truck plant two counties away.

Floyd is the farmer up at the same hour, preparing for a long day cutting hay, mending fences, slopping hogs and worrying about the weather and the price of beef on the hoof at

Go read the rest …
Source: The Floyd lifestyle | Blue Ridge Muse

There seem to be a few things that Floyd County Virginia is famous for:

  1. Mabry Mill – The most photographed spot on what must be the most photographed road in America. Here’s my version from a rainy day in June of 2004…
  2. Fred’s Barn…the most photographed barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains (mostly by Fred).
  3. The Floyd Country Store

    The Floyd Country Store is more than a store. For generations it has been a place where people gather,conduct business, and enjoy each other’s company.

    About 25 years ago the store became known for its Friday Night Jamboree, an evening of traditional Appalachian music and dancing. Old-timers and new visitors come together to celebrate the local heritage and experience the joy of an old-fashioned family night out.

  4. Cafe del Sol – Hangout of the Floyd Bloggers. That’s Bloggers with a “B” not Cloggers with a “C”. Though I am sure a lot of Clogging goes on on the weekends…
  5. FloydFest 2007

    We are all travelers across the way; sometimes along the journey we come to a place so profound we must look more closely. Such a place is Floyd, home to magic and The Floyd World Music Festival. A crossroad for those searching and finding… perhaps themselves! Come across the way and if you listen you will hear.

Do you have a “Famous Floyd” fact or location I should add to my itinerary? Leave it in the comments…

ROAD READS – washingtonpost.com

Way to go Fred…You’ve made the big time now. Reviewed in the Washington Post…Somebody send me a hard copy. Gotta love it…

ROAD READS

ROAD READS

“Slow Road Home” (second edition), by Fred First

Sunday, May 20, 2007; Page P02

BOOK: “Slow Road Home” (second edition), by Fred First (Goose Creek Press, $15.95)

TARGET AUDIENCE: People who find wonder in the woods and joy in solitude.

Source: ROAD READS – washingtonpost.com