Wednesday, June 9, 2010

At this highpoint along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can look off to the northwest for a great distance. This look-out is at approximately 3,700 ft, or some 2,900 ft above the valley below.
Elder Shelburne is from the Willamete River Valley area of northwestern Oregon. Elder Whitby is from the high plains of eastern Washington. They enjoyed getting this broader view of Appliachia than is normally possible.

Here is Elder Shelburne (on the left) and Elder Whitby, enjoying a tour of part of the Blue Ridge Parkway with Elder Chapman on the P-Day (Preparation Day), Monday, June 7.
We stopped at the Gross Apple Orchard, just off US 43, so we could introduce big Elder Whitby, the apple grower from eastern Washington to Walter Gross, the owner of the Gross apple orchard, farm and produce store here on the slopes of the Blue Ridge northwest of Bedford. Mr. Gross and his family have been harvesting apples, peaches and cherries from their trees for generations. He told us that his forebearers came to this part of Virginia and began planting apple trees in the 1850's.
This picture was taken after we said goodbye to Mr. Gross and stopped at the Peaks of Otter resort as part of our drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Big Island and back home.

This is the view of the marina as we left the restaurant and took our boat ride back across the lake in the evening twilight. What a nice, relaxing and enjoyable experience for us in every way!
Smith Mountain Lake! Here is where we started back in January of 2009. Paul Martin gave us access to the Miller family's summer vacation home on the lake front as a temporary residence while we looked for a place to rent closer in to Bedford. But we had never had opportunity to be on the water until this special evening with Paul and Erica a year and a half later.

We docked at a marina on the Franklin County (south) side of the lake and were treated to a very lovely meal at "The Landing" restaurant, owned and operated by a young couple that have become good friends of the Martin's. We were treated so well, and we had such a nice evening, visiting and relaxing with Paul and Erica. It was near dark before we started back across the lake and returned to our home port in Moneta. What a special time for us!

The Martin's took us in close to this little Island, which sits out in the middle of the lake. It is privately owned. What is visible here is part of the large boat house on the left and a guest house to the right. The main residence is on the other side of the Island and is not visible in this picture.
Paul told us the owner wants to sell because he wanted a helio-pad so he could fly in and out, but the hydroelectric company that manages the lake denied his request. So, its available if you want your own Island getaway - but, remember, it is accessable only by boat! The price? Somewhere in the millions.

In the far distance, beyond this part of the lake you can see the outline of Smith Mountain from which the Lake gets its name. The Roanoke River is the water source for the lake. When the dam was built 17+ years ago, it took 6 years for the water to fill the lake to the level we see now. It is a significant recreational area for this part of Virginia.

This is one of the more upscale homes that dot the shores of this Smith Mt Lake. Each home has it's private boat dock. The endless little inlets that branch off the main body of water give opportunity for a great number of beach-front residences. Some are lavish like this one and some are much more modest.

Here is 'Captain' Martin, explaining the history and features of this man-made lake to his passengers. That is his wife Erica in the middle and, of course, our very relaxed and happy Sister Missionary, Linda Chapman enjoying it all!

On Thursday, June 3, we were treated to boat ride on Smith Mountain Lake with it's 500 miles of shoreline and many, many beach-front homes.
This is Brother Paul Martin, as he powered this big pontoon boat up to the dock so his wife Erica and Linda and I could come aboard.
Paul and Erica have a home just a short distance from the lake and enjoy lake front privileges through their Homeowner's Association. They have their own boat, but borrowed this larger craft for its added comforts, all for our pleasure and enjoyment! What a nice thing they did for us!

The evening sky, looking off to the southwest from the upstairs deck of our home on Hopes Way in Bedford, Virginia.