All in One Day: October 19, 2019

With a free weekend and no option to go camping (all campgrounds I’d checked within a 60-mile radius were full!) we decided to do a meandering day trip–but where to go? We finally decided to go to the Shenandoah Valley. I wanted to take one of my sewing machines to an authorized Brother repair shop in Dayton, VA, and right before we left the house, I remembered that it was Homecoming at my college. Even though I hadn’t registered for the event, we decided to go to Bridgewater, too.

First stop, as it is every morning, was at my school to feed the feral kitties. After attending to their needs, I spotted a hawk, and we spent the next 15 minutes or so watching some strange interactions between the hawk (a young Cooper’s?) and several crows.

They flew around, landed, squawked and flapped their wings at each other, and flew again. Soon other crows joined in, too. I have no idea what this was all about, but it was interesting to watch!

On the drive up to Bridgewater, I told Wayne a story about one of my art professors. In October 2003–nearly 25 years after I’d graduated from college!–I wrote a letter to “Prof. Kline,” asking about a sculpture process I wanted to try with my students. To my complete surprise, he and his wife showed up in my classroom a couple of weeks later to personally deliver a book on sculpture methods! Special people, both of them!

The last time I really visited the Bridgewater College campus was in March 2011 when Wayne and I took two wildlife management classes there that were hosted by the Wildlife Center of Virginia. This time I was basically crashing my 40th college class reunion. 😉

Almost immediately I saw some classmates; folks I hadn’t seen since graduation–or at least not since I’d attended our 10 year reunion!

It was such a pleasure to see my art professor’s wife at Homecoming, especially since I’d just been thinking about her! I told her how much their visit in 2003 had meant to me. I knew that Prof. Kline had passed away, but what I didn’t know until later was that October 19th was the anniversary of his death. I’m so glad I was able to share a good and happy memory with her on what had to be a tough day for her….

I was curious to see how the art studios had changed, so that was our next stop on campus. Wow, how many time did I go down these stairs in the 4 years I was at Bridgewater?

To my complete surprise, pottery and ceramics is now a “thing” at Bridgewater! When I was a student, this was our drawing and painting studio.

We also visited the theater; so many memories of being on stage and back stage there with the other “Pinion Players” and members of Alpha Psi Omega. 🙂

One of these days I’ll have to start scanning my slides from these times….

After lunch on campus (with several sides of memories!), we drove to the quilt shop in Dayton to drop off the sewing machine. Then we started back south through the Valley on scenic Rt. 42.

We made a side trip to Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon.

The campground at Natural Chimneys was jam-packed, and most campsites featured amazing Halloween decorations. We thought this one was pretty clever. 🙂

We continued driving south on Rt. 42, treated to beautiful views of the mountains and farmland.

We stopped at Augusta Springs Wetland Park, a place we last visited in August 2017. Pictures (lots of them) from that trip are here. It was definitely a pretty afternoon for a 2/3 of a mile walk on the trail. 🙂

We’d originally thought about going to another favorite place, Goshen Pass, but it was getting a little too late in the day. Instead, we drove back through Staunton, VA and stopped at Thornrose Cemetery so I could say hello to an ancestor I found there in March 2018. (That, my friends, is a story in itself: “Finding Mollie”)

As we finally drove towards home through Waynesboro, we passed Basic City Brewing Co. Wayne said, “Oh, wait–I think ‘Cherry Red’ is playing there tonight.” Continuing to “go with the flow,” we turned around, and yep, our friends were just getting started. This is SUCH a fun group!

So for a couple of people with no firm plans for the day, we’d watched the aerial acrobatics of a hawk and crows; attended a college class reunion; browsed through a really nice quilt shop; visited a geological wonder; done an easy hike through woods and wetlands; walked through one of the nation’s most beautiful cemeteries; and danced to the music of the Rolling Stones at a new brewery. All in one day. Works for us! 🙂

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