Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday morning, May 6, we loaded our car with those things stored with Sue and Elmer last June, and said our goodbyes to this dear couple who have become such close friends. They have treated us with such kindness. Our visit to Virginia was much more than we could have hoped. We made last minute visits to Gloria Craig at her home in Bedford, and to Floyd Hille at the rest home. We couldn't get around to see others who we missed on Sunday. We had to make some phone calls.
Our first day's journey took us back to the Atlantic sea coast, staying the night in Chesapeake. We wanted to make our way down the coast and through the deep south before returning home.
This picture was taken of the beach front at Wilmington, North Carolina where we stayed Saturday and Sunday nights. We were blessed to attend Sacrament meeting in the Wilmington 2nd Ward Sunday morning.
The Raleigh Temple is one of the smaller, but most beautiful of the newer temples built by the church; bringing the blessings of the temple closer to the members.
It takes a full day for church members in the Roanoke Virginia Stake to attend either the Raleigh or the Washington DC temple.
On Wednesday, the day following our return from Williamsburg and Jamestown, a group from the Bedford Branch journied down to the Raliegh North Carolina Temple and participated in performing baptisms for the dead. Several of these were brand new members making their first visit to the temple.
It was a delight to be with them on this special day.
Elmer and Sue visit with the Jamestown blacksmith, who was busy, making a knifeblade for use in skinning and cutting up wild game.
At Jamestown, the visitor gets to walk about this re-creation of the original Jamestown settlement with its houses, church, shops and fortress. Here, as in Colonial Williamsburg, persons dressed in period costume, going about their various tasks, give a feeling of actually being back in time with these courageous, earliest colonists.
Part of the Jamestown experience for visitors is to see and climb about on these replicas of the sea going vessels that carried Jamestown settlers from England to these shores of the new world.
From Colonial Williamsburg and the William and Mary campus, we visited America's first colonial settlement, Jamestown, located on the shores of the James River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a representation of the type of dwellings of the native Indians of that time and place (1600's).
Fast friends, Jefferson and Chapman, taking a break from their studies
Elmer and Sue escorted us from Colonial Williamsburg onto the nearby campus of William & Mary University. We were able to enter several of the buildings, like this one, where they labored over their sudies so many years ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is the historic capitol building of colonial Virginia, located here in Williamsburg. It was here in this very building that Patrick Henry arose and denounced the British Stamp Act, uttering those famous words, "give me liberty, or give me death!"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This young man etertained and the other guests as we had lunch in one of the famous old taverns in Colonial Williamsburg. He had a very sharp wit, inquiring into the origins of those in the room and then making clever commentary, as if from the perspective of the time, whether from Pennsylvania, the land of Franklin ("keep'em there!"), or when Linda responded, "Arizona." He looked at her in mock surprise, then said, "Ah, yes, the Spanish!" We enjoyed him, as we did all the costumed persons we encountered.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is just one of the many carriages and other horse drawn conveyances we saw as we walked about Colonial Williamsburg.

Two of Williamsburg's unruly citizen's, found guilty of some petty crime and placed in the stocks in the public square as punishment. One appears to be trying to break out!

Yes, as you can see, there are some individuals walking the streets of Colonial Williamsburg who are not in proper dress for the period. These two look very much like tourists!

While walking toward the Governor's palace, we noticed this gentleman, seated on a bench on the breezeway of a house. We engaged him in conversation. He said his name was Carter. He was a member of the House of Burgesses of Colonial Virginia, a plantation owner with 300 or so slaves working his fields and caring for his holdings. He was so entirely convincing in his manner that you felt you were actually talking to a man of distinction in the Williamsburg of 1776.

This is the Governor's mansion, where, in colonial times, the British Governor of Virginia lived and wielded his power over the rights and privileges of the American colonists.

Sue, because of her extensive knowlege of the place and time, told us the last British governor, Lord Dunsmore, was roundly dispised by the colonists for his arrogant superiority. We were pleased to have her for our guide.

Elmer and Sue Hodge met while attending William & Mary University in Williamsburg as students. That is why they picked this famous old church as the place for their wedding.

We were happy we could be with them to take this picture.

After their conversion to the restored gospel, some years later, they would travel to Utah to be endowed and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.

Their student days at William & Mary and their time in Williamsburg remains a very happy memory for them. We could see why. It is such a beautiful place.

The gentleman who was conducting tours of the chapel, when he learned Elmer and Sue had been married there, escorted them to the front of the sanctuary and permitted us to take a photo of them where the marriage ceremony took place.

We saw pews with the names of Washington and Jefferson afixed, as their designated places to sit during religious service.

Tuesday, May 3, was such an enjoyable, educational day! After a comfortable night in a local hotel we spent the day walking the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, where so much of early American colonial history took place. Through the handsome financial gifts of men like John D. Rockafeller, this historic community has been preserved and maintained as it would have appeared in those early colonial days. Three thousand employees, actors, interpretors, workers and tradespeople, all in period costume, help to create an atmosphere that transports the visitor back in time. They speak, dress and act their parts as if they were really living in the Williamsburg of Washington and Jefferson's day. It is such worthwhile thing to be here and see this place in our history.

This is the ancient Anglican church in Williamsburg, where Washington, Jefferson and others of our founding fathers attended. It also happens to be the place where Elmer and Sue Hodge were first married! How special for us to be with them on this return visit, after many years.

From the Chesapeake Bridge we could see numerous cargo vessels, well off, out in the great expanse of ocean, approaching Chesapeake Bay area.

Here we are, driving through one of these two-mile long tunnels, under the Chesapeake Bay. Very impressive!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

If you look carefully, you will see the far-off cause-way where the tunnel re-amirges from under the Chesapeake channel. That is how far each of these tunnels take the vehicular traffic underwater, so the big ships can cross in and out of the bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel connects Cape Henry with the North Hampton Peninsula, across the 20 mile wide mouth of the bay. It has two tunnels under the channel, each two miles long, to allow vehicle traffic (one lane each way) proceed at normal speeds while large ships sail to and fro.

This is one of the two locations in mid-channel where the vehicles enter and exit from these long tunnels. A long pier extends out to one side, over the water for fishermen and sightseers. There is a restaurant and gift shop, restrooms, etc. It is quite a piece of engineering.

At Fort Story, north of Virginia Beach, on the shores of Cape Henry, stands America's first federally commissioned lighthouse. George Washington commissioned this lighthouse in 1792. It has stood watch at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay for over 200 years,

We had such fun with Elmer and Sue that day; first, at Virginia Beach, then to Fort and the first lighthouses to be commissioned by George Washington; then over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel; and the ending the day and finding a room for the night in historic Williamsburg.

This picture was taken near the beach front as we walked over to find a place to eat.

Of course, as she did at Oceanside, California last year, Linda had to go wading in the surf! She is still a kid!

Sunday afternoon, after our meetings at the branch, Elmer and Sue drove us to Richmond where we stayed the night in their son, Jamie's nice condo.

Monday, May 2, they took us to Virginia Beach.

Here are Sue and Linda, looking about for sea shells as they walk along this long, long stretch of public beach; a favorite summer place for tourists from all over the eastern seaboard.

May 1, was Fast Sunday at the Bedford Branch chapel. We looked forward to this opportunity to see the members and be with them in Testimony meeting. We were not disappointed. The LaPrades were seated on the back row as we came in. Danny helped with the passing of the Sacrament. We got big hugs and warm smiles and greetings from everyone after the meeting. We loved hearing all the testimonies, singing the hymns, and seeing the new converts and the investigators.

These are the two sister missionaries presently serving in the Bedford area. Sister Webster on the left (part Indian), and Sister Durham. They are doing such good work! What a pleasure for us to see and be with them all for those few short moments.

One of the many old church's and graveyards in and around Fincastle, Virginia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saturday, April 30, we accompanied Sue and Elmer to Fincastle, a beautiful little community of historic importance, which is just across the Blue Ridge to the west of Bedford. Sue needed to attend a wedding of a friend. While she was at the wedding, Elmer drove us about the area. We saw many lovely homes.

It was a fun day. We got caught up on our laundry and also got ourselves to the beauty shop for hair cuts, etc.

Monday, May 2, 2011

this is the view from the Hodge's back yard, looking northwest, toward the famous Peaks of Otter, that form high points along the Blue Ridge Mountains. What a sight!

After an overnight stop on Thursday, April 28, in Conover, North Carolina, we made our final run through Winston-Salem and Greensboro, NC on Friday morning and then up US 29 into southern Virginia by way of Danville, turning at Lynchburg, west into Bedford, arriving at about 5 p.m.

This is the home of our dear friends, Elmer and Sue Hodge, in Bedford, where we will stay while in Virginia. It was a beautiful drive! And it was great to greet them once again. We look forward to our time in Bedford, to be with the members of the Bedford Branch and spend time with the Hodges.

These Smoky Mountains are worth seeing, if you ever come this way, into eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, you should take a drive into these beautiful mountains. It was worth our entire trip just to stand on this mountain crest and look off, east, into North Carolina's portion of these wonderful mountains.

We met this young couple and their 2 yr -old daughter, Cloie. The husband told us he had walked the entire trail (over 2,000 miles, a couple of years ago), but, today, they were going as a family, just a few miles up the trail and camp overnite, and then return. He said this is the highest and roughest portion of the entire trail, here, through this part of the Smoky's.

At this scenic overlook, high in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee we realized we were looking at a portion of the Applalachian Trail, which extends on into Georgia. It was impressive to note that we were at a point on the trail, 1,972 miles from its starting point at Mount Katahdin in Northern Maine. I was in Northern Maine as a young, 20-yr-old missionary, and took pictures of this famous mountain, as it's upper slopes are the first place each morning where the sun touches the continental United States.