Tag Archives: nature

2019 – Sightseeing Watkins Glen, NY State Park


When we last visited Watkins Glen, NY State Park we were blown away by its beauty. As we planned our trip through this area again a return visit was on our “must-do” list. We had a great day for this visit and it is just as beautiful as I remember. We opted to purchase tickets to take the park shuttle to the top of the trail, making the mile and a half hike through the gorge almost all downhill. We saw many people hiking up and were glad we were taking the route of least resistance! The trail is made up of stairs and winding pathways along the river with many waterfalls along the way. The bridges and safety walls are well kept but the pathway is narrow in some places. There are beautiful stone arch bridges and in a couple of places the trail takes you under waterfalls. We were able to find a wider spot where we could sit on the wall and enjoy a picnic lunch in as beautiful a setting as you’ve ever seen. The high rock walls and overhanging trees add to the beauty of it. We think this NY York State Park is a world class attraction and apparently many agree as we heard a wide variety of languages being spoken by our fellow hikers.

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2019 – Sightseeing the Northern Neck of Virginia


There’s a lot to see and do in and near the Northern Neck of Virginia and we’ve enjoyed visiting and revisiting several spots. I’ve already done sightseeing reviews of the George Washington Birthplace and the Museum of the Bible. I’m doing this post as a sort of wrap-up of the other places we visited. Some of these are big, well known places and others have more local flavor, like the nice beach in the town of Colonial Beach and the local Ice Cream stand.

It is amazing to realize that eight Presidents of the United States were born in Virginia and that of those eight, two: Washington and Monroe were born just a few miles apart near here. We visited both birthplaces. Then, the Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, who was first offered command of the Union Army by Abraham Lincoln was also born nearby.

Stratford Hall

Robert E. Lee’s birthplace is Stratford Hall. This was the home of his ancestors, two of them signers of the Declaration of Independence: Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee. We enjoyed an audio tour as we walked through the two story mansion. The grounds are extensive with many outbuildings including an outdoor kitchen and smokehouse. We drove out to the Potomac overlook with its cliffs and beach below. The River is an impressive 5 miles wide at that point. We also drove to the grist mill and saw where the wharf for merchant ships that traveled the Potomac brought the wares of the world right to this majestic plantation.

Westmoreland Berry Farm

Another sightseeing trip we took was a short drive to Westmoreland Berry Farm. There were more people there than I expected on a Friday morning. The store has in-season produce. At the time of our June visit they had blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. There are also a variety of jams and fruit salsas available along with BBQ sauces. We picked a small batch of blueberries to take home. Beside the store is a large lawn with a huge chair for photo ops, corn hole games, a swing set, and a long downhill slide using sacks. I think the main draw is the climbing goats who climb up a ladder, across the walkway over the road, and then pull a rope to get a cup of goat feed. There are also goats that people pet and hand feed. We had a fun time in the place with lots of local flavor.

Fredericksburg Battleground

In December of 1862 the Union Army attacked Fredericksburg, VA and crossed the river to meet Robert E. Lee’s troops who were holding Marie’s Height with its high ground and sunken road with a rock wall in front of it. The Confederate Army used that wall for cover and the hill above it for canon emplacements. The Union Army had to come across a wide open field. Although they had more men and sent seven waves of attackers they could not overcome the Confederacy that day. The Visitors Center has many displays and artifacts from the battle. It gives an idea of the people who lived there and how they felt about the war. It also gave us a glimpse into their lives and how the war impacted them. The National Parks Service Ranger was an excellent guide who gave us an overview of the battle as we walked along that sunken road. One house from that battle is still standing and is undergoing renovation to keep it available. We could see bullet holes in the walls from the battle. The nearby National Cemetery is where many Union soldiers are buried, many of them give up their lives trying to take that very hill in the battle of Frederiksberg. We were humbled to be on, what the Ranger said, was the most fought over ground in the entire country.

Father’s Day Colonial Beach Car Show

We just happened onto a great car show. We went into Colonial Beach for church on Sunday morning and just a few blocks from the church a big car show was going on. We had fun walking around, checking out all the cars that were on display. People come from miles around to see this car show, we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to see it.

As you can see the Northern Neck of Virginia has a lot to offer. We’ve enjoyed our time here.


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2018 – Sightseeing Little Rock, AR and vicinity


Sometimes in our travels we stay at a campground that is, in itself, an “attraction.” We’ll review Maumelle Corps of Engineers campground in a separate post, but it’s one of those campgrounds that’s so pretty with such great campsites that we enjoyed just hanging out at the campground rather than heading out to see the sights.

We did, though, spend the better part of a day at the Arkansas State Fair; our second big fair this year. We entered the fairgrounds through the midway but we quickly made our way back to the exhibit areas. We walked through a building with a wide variety of vendors and items for sale and then visited the cattle barn. My favorite building was arts and crafts. I’m always amazed the beautiful throws, pillows, clothes and quilts people make. In the same building the end wall was full of canned foods but it was the blue ribbon gigantic pumpkins and watermelons that got my attention. Our final stop of the day was at the arena where they were judging cattle and giving the ribbons. This was a new experience for me and very interesting.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park was very near our campground. We visited this park a couple of years ago and remembered that it is a terrific place to visit. As we arrived at the park near the Visitor’s Center we saw some beautiful early fall colors in the trees by the pond. We then climbed the stairs to the observation deck and were rewarded with a great view of the wetlands with the Arkansas River below us. There was no one else there and I enjoyed not only the view but also the quiet away from traffic and crowds. After a pleasant time there we went to the Visitor’s Center. I enjoyed seeing the wildlife dioramas and the live beehive behind glass. For those with with children there are interactive displays, color pages and other activities. This is a great place and surprisingly close to Little Rock.

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See individual photos with captions here.