So...after galavanting across the country, and through the woods, to
grandma's my Uncle's house (The adventure begins here.), I went to bed at 4am...
And slept for 7 hours!
March 8th, 2008
As I ate a hearty breakfast, and as we got ready for the day, just out side the window, where the bird bath and feeder pole was, were 3 birds, a male Red Cardinal on the pole and, in the bath the tan red-beaked female cardinal, and a red-headed Woodpecker.
My Uncle took me outside, in a light rain, for a tour of his 5 acre property.
14 years ago a couple bought 5 acres of forested farmland, with a stream running through it.
The retired Air Force Colonel cleared the land, put up a few buildings, opened up the land around the stream, dammed up one end, except for an exit stream, and the resulting lake became populated with big, and small-mouth Bass, Catfish, Perch, Stripers, Crappies and, when my Uncle bought the place, Carp, of which there are now six, three of which are three feet long, and look like submarines.
My Uncle bought the place 3 years ago, and brought a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, mobile home on to the property for their home.
The nearest neighbors are up a hill, a quarter mile away.
In the summer my Uncle uses a John Deere lawn tracter to mow his lawn.
The property is fenced by barbed wire, and the woods. (Click on Thumb Nails to enlarge!)
Electricity is supplied by Appalachian Power, and he has a 14 year old, 350 ft. deep, water well, and a septic tank system.
Water is pumped out of the well, by electric pump, thru a line into the mobile home.
From 2 to 5pm my Uncle took me on a tour of the surrounding towns and hamlets.
The paved road near my Uncle's home leads to what for all intents and purposes is a dead end, where the responsibility of the State, for upkeep, ends, and a dirt road leads to even smaller, private, roads to homes, including one that is surrounded by junk of every description including abandoned cars, trucks, and a school bus, all obscured by trees.
If I still had any illusions about not being in California anymore, those where quickly dispelled. ;-D
State Highway 122, travels through towns like Burnt Chimney, and Wirtz, leading to roads that one follows to reach my Uncle, and nature is all around you every step of the way.
This whole region, between here, and Roanoke (28 miles), and Lynchburg (35 miles), is a mix of paved, gravel, and dirt roads, some 2-lanes, some barely wide enough to one car in one direction, surrounded by forrested hills, and mountains.
The roads are often winding, and with small hills, too, and the rare stop light is encountered in the small shopping districts that constitute the center of "towns" like Burnt Chimney.
Spread out amongst all this people have their homes on an acres to 1000 acres of land (Horses, Cattle, wheat, and other farms are everyewhere.)
Along the roads, sometimes directly along the side of the road, one finds 150-200 year old log cabins, the logs sealed together by mud.
They are long abandoned, but no-one would dream of removing them frm the landscape.
Shopping districts, like that in Burnt Chimney, only a mile, to three miles, along a stretch of road, have some restaurants, and other businesses, familiar to all, and others peculiar to the region, and state.
At one such business, the Buzz Inn, I bought an Orange Juice, and left a book I registered on Bookcrossing on a bench near the door. ;-D
Down the road, at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, in Moneta, is a small shopping complex called Bridgewater Entertainment Plaza, and I left another book there, outside a shop called The Mouse Trap.
Gift shops, restaurants, an arcade, a stage, and huge Smith Mountain Lake, are the atractions here.
Liscensed fishing in a lake full of large, and small-mouthed Bass, Catfish, carp, and more, await those inclined to partake of such challenges.
We finally returned home, and I went out to roam the property alone, but that is where Chapter 4 will begin. ;-D