Late Summer at the Farm

It was our last chance to get away to the farm before The Daughter and I start school this week coming up.

Wade's Gap Hidden Valley
Wade’s Gap Hidden Valley

Hitting all of our favorite Roanoke spots on Saturday, we visited IHOP for pancakes then headed over to #1 Son’s favorite card shop. Barnes and Noble had a better than usual bargain sale. We found a new Kroger’s to try and The Daughter was delighted to spy a little cafe with gelato called Pino Gelato! 

Things got a bit adventurous when I took a “new” route back to the farm that looked “quicker” and involved a fun but slightly unnerving road paved (barely) with gravel, and wide enough (barely) for one vehicle, which wound all around and up and down the mountain called Adney Gap Rd!  We found a beautiful little Hidden Valley (yes, like the ranch dressing!) on Wade’s Gap Rd (just before Adney Gap).

We were blessed with the most restful Sabbath in a long time.  Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs started us off, followed by Scripture:  The Daughter reading from Matthew, Mr. Garner reading from Exodus, Mom reading from Psalms then Deuteronomy and #1 Son reading from Jonah (Chapter 2 – the prayer from the belly of the whale!). The Daughter led us in a round of “Love the LORD your God with all your heart,” and then the kids went out to skate in the barn  and shoot hoops.

The temperature was in the lower 70’s and the adults sat in the shade of the Chestnut Tree and drank coffee, checked email and watched wild turkeys and the occasional deer cross the back field.  After lunch we moved to the other side of the cottage under the bigger Chestnut Tree and enjoyed a fabulous breeze and watched clouds high and white and fluffy sail over the ridge, while the kids played a card version of Monopoly.

The clouds turned dark and a storm rolled in with big fat drops of cool rain, and flashes of lightning and a few strong gusts of wind.  The deer raced toward home, and we rushed to gather up laptops, blankets, cards and chairs and hurried to reluctantly close the windows that were open all over the cottage.  We watched the storm bluster across the fields. To our joy we were gifted with a stunning rainbow drenched in rich brushstrokes of color!

The Rainbow
The Rainbow

Monday we all enjoyed a fun family adventure hike to Fallingwater Cascades at Mile Post 83 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The path was well-defined, and scattered with byways and benches and boulders, and a butterfly bush covered with enormous butterflies!  We followed the path of the water down, and then hiked back up, appetites stoked for lunch!  It was mid-afternoon so we stopped in the Peaks of Otter Lodge to find their Dining Room fairly empty.  Despite our hiking apparel we were welcomed to sit down, so we enjoyed a delightful lunch overlooking the lake and Sharp Top,  followed by a lighter hike around the picturesque lake (to burn off the Blackberry Cobbler!)  We drove home along the Blue Ridge and found the Syon Abbey and the other side of our little ridge before heading home.

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