After a week of hiding out in my parents house here in Virginia, Rusty and I decided on a day trip to get out and see some of the countryside. I’ve always known that the mountains where I grew up provide beautiful scenery – it seems every turn on the highway opens up another amazing view. We are nestled at the base of Angel’s Rest, a mountain that rises up over the town of Pearisburg, Virginia. Our home is in the Appalachian Mountains, in fact, right off the famous Appalachian Trail, and hikers wander into town over the summer months as they head either north or south on their journey. It’s a small town, with small town ways of life. On our first day here, Rusty and I went into three stores. I ran into three different people who knew us BOTH, from growing up here, and because they’ve been following our travels here on the blog.
It never ceases to amaze me that people actually follow along with us, despite our often silliness! We have even started making videos…you can see our entire road trip from today if you scroll down to the end of this post. Rusty does a great job being our Front Man!
But today, we headed out of town, and continued on out of the county. After crossing the New River, we turned left and headed out the creek for about 45 minutes, until we ended up in Paint Bank, Virginia. The roads are full of twists and turns, and no dividing lanes, with forests or pastures lining the road on each side. As we approached the T intersection in Paint Bank, we stopped long enough to watch the buffalo grazing at Hollow Hill, a buffalo farm that has made a great financial impact on the area. It is sprawling and yet humble, with green buildings and barns scattered along the country road.
At the intersection, we stopped at our intended destination – the Paint Bank General Store and Swinging Bridge Café.
I remember YEARS ago when it was merely a quaint country store, with old fashioned candies and buffalo burger for sale in the store. Over time, tourists fell in love with the charm, and a restaurant, The Swinging Bridge Café, was built on to the back of the store. You can pull up a chair most anytime and enjoy a homemade breakfast or supper, complete, of course, with buffalo burgers. The food is made to order and tastes like it, including the house made potato chips and the various fruit cobblers topped with ice cream. It’s an easy place to fall for, comfortable and quaint. There’s a gift shop upstairs selling locally made goods and souveniers, handmade soaps, Christmas ornaments, and post cards. It’s also upstairs that you’ll find the namesake Swinging Bridge.
A few yards behind the restaurant, down by the bubbling creek, you’ll find the historic Tingler’s Mill. While no longer in operation as a mill, you can nose around inside and check out the antique equipment and read about the history of the place. Built in 1863, it involves stories of the War Between the States, and the young owner who simply wanted to run his mill versus being a soldier. Take a few minutes to read the information posted inside – it really is quite fascinating.
After leaving Paint Bank, we headed into West Virginia, our little Fiat climbing over Peter’s Mountain. We took Route 3 into Union, then continued onto Route 219 through the rest of Monroe County. We stopped a few minutes to wander around the old covered bridge at Indian Creek, located just off of 219. Covered bridges are rare to see anymore, so stopping long enough to walk through the bridge and into history, breathing in the rough timber air – well, it’s the kind of thing you can’t buy in a store.
Our road trip led us back into my original hometown of Peterstown, WV, the town I grew up in. It was here I attended school until 9th grade, before moving across state lines to Giles. As we traveled once again up the New, I never tired of the views. I feel both states are my home, and I love them both equally. It’s hard not to.
I have a feeling I will feel the same about our next home as well…wherever in the world that may be.
Here’s the video I told you about…PLEASE let us know your thoughts on it! What would you like to see in the future? What kind of changes should we make? We LISTEN to you!!