Stimulating the Economy

 I always like to patronize the local establishments when I travel, so today I did just that. Floyd County of Virginia has lots to offer both inside the town of Floyd and out. First, to Chateau Morrisette, located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Of course I didn’t follow the directions on the website.

I let the GPS guide me on gravel road shortcuts through the foothills. With 4-wheel drive, I know I can go over just about anything. Consequently, I got the see what most don’t. Deep woods, like the kind in fairy tales. Wildflowers in bloom that I’d never seen before. A ruffed grouse scratching for food along the roadside. At first I thought it was a stray chicken until he showed his display of tail and neck feathers. He was clearly annoyed by my presence.

Back in Floyd I opted out of the Food Lion for the Mom and Pop operation down the road. Small, but had everything I needed. The few shoppers were locals, all with friendly smiles down each aisle.

Next stop, the Floyd Country Store. This is part of the Crooked Road, a trail winding through Viriginia stopping at places where the music of the hills was born.

Here is where the store has live jam sessions every Friday. Lunch here included the best homemade peach pie I’ve ever eaten. In a nearby shop two handmade wooden bowls spoke to me. I had to take them home.

Glendon Boyd is a a 4th generation wood carver and does it the old fashioned way with his father’s tools. The small bread bowl is made from sassafras wood and the large salad or fruit bowl from cherry. There is great beauty in something so utilitarian when it is made with pride.

After finding two bluebird houses for Mom, I went to Sweet Providence Farm. They have fresh organic produce, much grown right there. I grabbed a few things along with a “Better Than Fried” apple pie and a homemade soft pretzel for lunch on the road tomorrow.

Back at Highland Haven we had Happy Hour at the clubhouse complete with music by Walt. He is quite accomplished with strings including banjo and dulcimer. I learned a new Airstream song. Remember the old TV show Hee Haw? Don’t be ashamed to admit you’ve watched it. Remember a tune routine about “I thought I found true love, but you met another and . . . “? There are several cleverly worded verses to this version plus these chorus lines:

Where, oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave us here all alone?
We’ve searched the world over and can’t find you no where . . .
You got an Airstream and PHHZZT you was gone!

Tonight I was treated to one last sunset at Highland Haven. Tomorrow I hit the road for home.

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