June 23 – 25 KVVP Car Pool Outing to Staunton VA (American Shakespeare Theater) and Monticello VA (Thomas Jefferson’s Home and Gardens).
We got lucky on this one with reports from several trip participants.
KVVP VA Trip Report
Steve Jubelirer and Donna / Ron Graham
A small, but energetic band of KVVP members departed on a 3-day adventure to Staunton, Monticello, and Charlottesville Virginia during the weekend of 23 June 2017 that began with lunch at the Edelweiss German Restaurant and an evening performance of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”. As usual, the Edelweiss Ham Hock Special was too much for any one person, but sharing was allowed / condoned / encouraged, so Ron and Donna enjoyed the hock, with extra dumplings and red cabbage. John and Steve both opted to try the Edelweiss German Sampler of Sauerbraten, Goulash, Schnitzel, Rahmschnitzel, and Jägerschnitzel. All of this was washed down with moderate amounts of imported German beers. Wunderbar! If in the area, stop in for this little bit of Bavaria at exit 213A off of I-81 – you will not regret it.
Hopefully your visit to the Edelweiss German Restaurant will not be during a day on which a sink hole develops on the southbound shoulder (slow lane) of I-81, resulting in an accident and back-up of traffic on southbound I-81 for about 10 miles (and the voluntary dumping of traffic trying to skirt the back-up onto US 11, which happened to “blockade” the main road at the bottom of the 213A exit, making it difficult to cut across the three lanes of traffic to get into the fourth, left-turn lane that takes you to the Edelweiss Restaurant.
The evening performance was undeniably the most ebullient version of any Shakespeare play that any of us had ever seen; the performers put on quite a show in their period garb and gowns. Prior to the play’s start, we were entertained by the performers singing, playing, and dancing into our hearts. During the course of the play, an unforgettable rendition of Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano was interspersed with the performance. The finale had performers and stage-sitters occupying the stage with music and dance. A GREAT time was had by all.
The Stonewall Jackson Hotel was adjacent to the Shakespeare Center and was a most excellent place to stay while taking in a performance. Salad and flatbread was all that was needed, even at 10 o’clock at night, after lunch at the Edelweiss and after a most-entertaining theater experience. A tasty and varied breakfast buffet kicked off Saturday morning and was also the last time that the quadrupole / foursome of KVVPers were together, as John Palmer wandered off to visit an old school chum (both taught at James Madison University in Harrisonburg VA) and Steve Jubelirer and Donna / Ron Graham took off for Monticello and UVA.
Saturday morning driving in relatively light traffic between Staunton and Monticello got us to Monticello at the appointed hour to catch the shuttle bus from the Visitor Center / Central Parking Area up the “little mountain” to our first tour – of the first floor of Monticello, including a running historical commentary by our tour guide. Following the 45-minute home tour, we went back down the little mountain to eat lunch at the Visitor Center Cafeteria.
The shuttle bus then took us back up “monticello”, where we participated in a 45-minute slavery tour, conducted by a former professor, who provided much insight into the historical setting / narrative of the white plantation owner and his properties. Following that somber and sobering talk, we went to our 1400 (2:00 pm) TJ Vegetable Garden tour, which included a discussion of some of the vegetables that Thomas Jefferson grew along the 1,000-ft terraced vegetable garden, built from the hillside by slaves hired from neighboring plantations. TJ obtained many seeds from the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804 – 1806 and from exchanges with many persons from around the world and the varieties planted by TJ were marked in the garden. Following the garden tour, we were treated to a tasting of some of the vegetables grown in the garden.
But, wait, after the 1400 garden tour, we had yet another tour planned – Eleanor Gould, a fellow Charlestonian, met us for a private tour of the second and third floors of Monticello, including the Dome Room. Eleanor is the curator for the Monticello gardens and has worked at Monticello for 7 years. Eleanor also gave us a tour of the gardens, including the recreated forest trees planted by TJ on the site. Eleanor was a delight to meet and to host us / be our guide during this intimate tour.
Following our check-in at the local hotel, we had a wee nap / rest and then went out to dinner at a most wonderful and delightful restaurant, Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar, featuring Mediterranean fare, located at 416 W. Main Street, Charlottesville, VA. Yum!
Sunday morning found us sleeping in, not meeting for breakfast until 0900, followed by a self-guiding tour (actually Donna-guided tour) around the UVA campus, where we saw some of the progress on restoring architectural columns to their TJ originally-specified composition – not the white columns typically associated with colonial buildings, but with more of a faux sandstone finish. If you are interested, let KVVP know and we can send you a few photos of the restoration process.
Next, we visited the gardens behind the original dormitories, which line “The Lawn” at UVA. These gardens are lovely English-style gardens with serpentine brick walls. The gardens are open to the public and are definitely worth a walk-through to find a few moments of peace, tranquility, and relaxation.
Of course, the visit to UVA would not be complete without lunch on The Corner, at The Virginian restaurant (1521 University Avenue, Charlottesville, VA), where omelets and a vegetarian wrap were eaten to provide the required nourishment to get us back to Charleston, WV.
All in all, from our 0900 departure from the Kanawha Mall Parking Lot on Friday morning until our 1700 return on Sunday evening, all four of us had a memorable, wonderful weekend – an adventure to remember! And an opportunity to get to know and appreciate other KVVP members with whom there had previously been little occasion for such intimate interaction.
We hope to see you next time!
You can see photos of the trip by clicking here.
A KVVP Semi-trip Report
Here are some thoughts on the recent KVVP outing to Staunton / Monticello Virginia. Since I did not experience the entire expedition as planned, I can only write a “semi-report”. But I can say without reservation that the portion of the journey in which I did stay with the group went very well, and, as it happens, the second part of my experience (where I deviated from the agenda) turned out to be just as pleasant.
The trip began for me with the consent of fellow KVVP member Steven Jubelirer to ride with me, which provided me with companionship and navigation on the outward-bound leg. Even with SJ’s help, we had a bit of bother finding the Edelweiss German Restaurant, but, once there, we enjoyed the excellent fare (how long has it been, dear reader, since you had a really good German meal?) Thence onwards to the historic Stonewall Jackson Resort in downtown historic Staunton, Virginia.
After killing a bit of time (as no real dinner was needed after such a lunch as what we had), we proceeded to the recreated next-door Black Friar’s theater to an unexpectedly energetic presentation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”. Wow! The best metaphor I can think of to give readers a feeling for how well the cast did involves sports. Suppose you have enjoyed being an amateur volleyball, softball, ping pong, or whatever player and had begun to assume unconsciously that your level of play, while definitely not professional, was, nevertheless, more or less close to the same league of at least some professional athletes. Then you see a professional game and realize how wrong you were! These actors were in-the-zone! They were electric!
Since I had an old friend (and former colleague) in Staunton, I left the group after Saturday’s breakfast and spent the rest of that day catching up with him and his charming (and business-talented) wife – they have done very well with booths at the large antique mall in nearby Verona, VA. The “catching up” included a bit of time napping by his pool, a chess game, and much chat… but I digress.
Let me close by urging KVVPers to consider going on one of the well-planned KVVP adventures. Having not driven on a longish road trip for some time, I was a bit reluctant to make the journey. But, as I hope is evident from the above, the outing went very well. While there has been general disappointment at the low turnout for some of the KVVP group outings, for any readers of this essay who might like to go on such a trip, but who are as mildly trepidatious as I was, my advice is: take a chance; do it!
May 5, 2017 Preston, Tucker, Pendleton County Hike
The mighty hikers consisting of Jennifer Baumann, Marlene Dial, Donna Graham and Ron Graham will tell you the weather on this hike ranged from shirt sleeves to winter coats! Jennifer Bauman has written up a Hike Report complete with photos. You can read it here. You’ll find a photo album with even more pics here.
Dear Fellow Travelers / Hikers, Greetings!
Since we had such a great time hiking the Long Point Trail near Fayetteville WV US on 30 April 2016, we now propose hiking the Glade Creek Trail, near Prince WV US.
So ….. come join us for a hike up Glade Creek Trail, New River Gorge, Prince, WV, US on Friday, 15 July 2016 OR Saturday, 16 July 2016.Please indicate to me if you can make the hike and if you can hike on Friday or if you can hike on Saturday. Like last time, we will try to accommodate the interests / availability of the most of our group.
PS – bring your swim suit as Glade Creek has several excellent swimming holes!
A breakfast stop will be at Tamarack (Beckley, WV) on the way to Glade Creek.
A lunch stop can be planned on the way back from Glade Creek (at Tamarack or are there any other suggestions / favorites for a late lunch in Beckley?)
Alternatively, a picnic could be planned at the Glade Creek camp site, near the New River, at the immediate conclusion of the hike.
See more about the Glade Creek Trail at the following website:
This 5.6 mile trail follows an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad along Glade Creek. The trail offers an enjoyable stroll at a very moderate grade, and is popular with hikers of all ages and abilities, as well as being a favorite destination for those in search of swimming holes. A number of cascades and small waterfalls add to the trail’s attraction, and provide a challenge for the whitewater kayaker. The lower part of Glade Creek is also a WV Catch & Release trout stream, so bring your fly rod or fishing pole along with you. A footbridge crosses Glade Creek three miles up from the New River.
Moderate trail. Enjoy the waterfalls, rhododendron thickets, and hemlock forests that border this creek-side trail, an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad. Glade Creek is a popular trout stream, with the lower section (between the footbridge and the New River) designated catch and release only. Expect several sets of steps before the footbridge crossing 3 miles up from the New River. The upper section of this trail is also used as an administrative road.
Note that the swimming holes on Glade Creek have been ranked the 6th best in West Virginia, according to the following website:
6, Glade Creek
Glade Creek in Raleigh County has several incredible swimming holes and unforgettable waterfalls.
A trail map is available at the following website:
From Route 19 (Eisenhower Drive), take Route 41 north toward Prince. Turn right onto the Glade Creek Road, just before the bridge at Prince. Follow the gravel road seven miles; it ends at the Glade Creek trailhead.
Note that there are $4.00 in tolls between Charleston and Beckley WV (if you pay cash) (each way). (If you have an EZ Pass, the tolls total $2.60, each way). Tolls are assessed at each of two toll booths – at Sharon and at Pax.
|Leave Kanawha Mall Parking Lot, near WV DEP||0730||0|
|Arrive Tamarack, exit 45, Beckley WV US||0820||50|
|Leave Tamarack, exit 45, Beckley WV US||0900||50|
|Pass Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley WV US||0920||65|
|Arrive Prince WV Turnoff to Glade Creek||0935||73|
|Pass bridge, ½ way to trailhead||0945||76|
|Arrive Trailhead parking lot||0955||78|
|Arrive Trailhead, after bathroom stop||1000||79|
|Arrive Trailhead, after hiking 4.5 miles / round trip||1200||79|
|Arrive Trailhead, after hiking 6.0 miles / round trip||1300||79|
|Depart after picnic||1430||79|
|Pass bridge, ½ way out||1440||81|
|Arrive Prince turnoff, WV 41 between Prince and Beckley WV US||1450||85|
|Pass Woodrow Wilson High School||1505||93|
|Pass Tamarack, exit 45||1525||108|
|Arrive Kanawha Mall Parking Lot||1615||158|
Thanks for your consideration!
Please let me know if you plan to attend this hike or if you can recommend another!
P O Box 4256
Charleston WV US 25364-4256
Phone +1 304 400 8710
Long Point Trail Hike
Next Time – Come With Us!
Ten hearty KVVP members and two adventurous guests trekked through the WV midlands on Saturday, 30 April 2016, eating breakfast at the Glen Ferris Inn (PHOTO 01); hiking the Long Point Trail near Fayetteville WV US (PHOTOs 02 – 04); and eating at the Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville (PHOTO 05). The company, hike, and vittles were found to be pleasant, invigorating, and nourishing.
KVVP hikers (PHOTO 01) included, from left to right in PHOTO 01, Mike Harman, Nahla Nimeh Lewis, Laura Lou Harbert, Barbara Hutchinson Smith, Barbara Frierson (sitting), Diane Mitchell, Cindy Wegman (guest), John Palmer (KSF Hike Leader), Chuck Daugherty, Donna Graham, and Ron Graham (Event Leader Alpha). Not pictured is our camera-shy guest George Heller (who can actually be seen standing in PHOTO 02).
The excursion began at 0850 when the group gathered at the Kanawha Mall parking lot next to the WV DEP office building and held an organizational / administrative briefing; the group left for Glen Ferris at 0900. Four members kindly used their personal vehicles to transport other members and guests on this outing.
The event participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially since the rain held off until after we had left the Cathedral Cafe, expressing thanks for the opportunity to having breathed the fresh air and for having hiked in such relatively comfortable temperature. While no exciting (non-domesticated) animals (four footed or winged*) were observed, such hikes always hold the promise of sighting something out of the ordinary. Maybe next time!
(* some winged animals were heard, but were not seen ….)
A FUTURE HIKING EXCURSION BEING PLANNED
A future, yet unplanned, event will feature a hike of the Glade Creek Trail (near Prince WV) that is also located within the New River Gorge National River (https://www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm). The New River Gorge National River includes a wide ranging trail system (https://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/hiking.htm); a Glade Creek Trail map can be downloaded at https://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/glade-creek-trails.htm.
The Glade Creek Trail is described in the literature as follows:
Moderate Enjoy the waterfalls, rhododendron thickets, and hemlock forests that border this creek-side trail, an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad. Glade Creek is a popular trout stream, with the lower section (between the footbridge and the New River) designated catch and release only. Expect several sets of steps before the footbridge crossing 3 miles up from the New River. The upper section of this trail is also used as an administrative road.
The Glade Creek Trail hiking event will include a two-tiered hiking structure:
- Tier 1 – Hike to “the waterfall” and back, about 3 miles round trip
- Tier 2 – Hike to “the footbridge” and back, about 6 miles round trip
Participants may elect to hike either to “the waterfall” and return or to hike to “the footbridge” and return.
REGULAR KANAWHA STATE FOREST HIKING ACTIVITIES
In addition to special excursions such as the one discussed above, John Palmer organizes periodic, regular hikes (usually at least every other week during “the high” hiking season) at the Kanawha State Forest (KSF), near Loudendale WV. In organizing a hike, John usually contacts those KVVP members and guests who have previously expressed an interest in such hikes or who have regularly participated in such hikes in the past, which have included hiking the following KSF trails:
- Alligator Rock
- Mossy Oak
- Middle Ridge
- CCC Snipe
- Teaberry Rock
- Davis Creek
- Johnson Hollow
- Wildcat Ridge
- Polly Hollow
- Pine Ridge
- #1 Store
And, believe it or not, there are many more hiking trails at KSF that are not listed above and that await the exploring footsteps of KVVP members and guests.
If you wish to “Hike With John”, please, let John Palmer know (email@example.com).
The Nights Grow Longer…and The Mystery of the Lost Memory
is about to be Revealed!
As you may remember, some intrepid (or demented, or both) KVVP members led by John and Hazel Palmer banded together to write a serial novel—and now it is done!
And you, dear reader of this strange piece, are in it! Yes, the name of every Charter member of KVVP has been woven into the (so called) plot, so if you come and hear the reading of this strange tale, you will find out if you have been cast as a doddering senior, a not-so-naïve nun…or something else.
Why did Dr. HH suggest she anesthetize a night watchman? Which one of KVVP’s prominent members never lost an opportunity to sermonize on sin and hell’s fire? Why are the seniors living at Cliff Edge Summit (senior home) concocting a criminal enterprise? What is the shadowy and nefarious “Church of the Mean and Greedy” and might they replace Cliff Edge’s management? If an order of nuns finally takes over the management of Cliff Edge, how will they handle a situation in which some of the gentlemen residents get hold of a medication that corrects erectile dysfunction?
Confused? Think all of the above is the product of possibly unbalanced minds? You might be right!
The reading will occur Saturday, October 4, beginning at 2:00 PM at the Unity Church, at Bridge and Myrtle roads in South Hills. Mark your calendars now so that you do not miss the debut of the first (and likely the last) public reading of….The Mystery of the Lost Memory.
Many of the names of people and places in this story are real. However, the story is the result of nine imaginative (deranged) authors who are charter members of the Kanawha Valley Village People.
At the Lenox Club
by Chuck Daugherty
James Thibeault and Karen Glazier extended an invitation to KVVP members to join them July 22nd through the 27th at the Lenox Club in Massachusetts where they have been members since 2011.
The first day at the Lenox Club, James took us on a tour of the grounds. We strolled down to the croquet court where the wickets and posts were arranged in a pattern on the immaculately groomed grass. Just as we got to the field, some of the regulars arrived in their white clothes to play. They graciously agreed to teach us and proceeded to play a round with us. They are experts while we were amateurs. They were super gracious with our inept playing. They play regularly and are very serious about the sport.
There are many museums of various kinds in the area and we just scratched the surface. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art was one of the more striking museums in the area. Housed in an old mill (of which there are many in the area), its art collection is very avant garde. A musical concert in the setting was amazing as well. Toward the other end of the spectrum was the Norman Rockwell Museum with many originals of his works which are iconic images of American life of the 20th century. Every one of the Saturday Evening Post’s covers he did are presented there and constitute a walk down memory lane. His work, The Runaway, with the little boy and the policeman on stools at a soda shop particularly sticks in my mind.
Then there was Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. What a wonderful place. To have a picnic on the lawn and hear wonderful music was quite an experience. The most powerful for me was the rehearsal on Saturday morning – considerably cheaper than the concert itself. We were in the shed near the orchestra and chorus as they rehearsed a Rachmaninoff piano concerto and an orchestra and chorus performance of the opera Aida. I once sang with the Boston Symphony Chorus…now, they were on stage and I was in the audience. I had to sing softly not to bother those around me…but I did sing along with them.
by Chuck Daugherty