Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Great Falls National Park, Virginia

They're not great pics, but Nancy caught these guys in our daughter's back yard in Great Falls.  She tells us that they appear regularly to eat up her grass and flowers.  That big boy has a nice rack and he better stay in town and away from any hunter's gun sights.  It was dusk, and through a window, so that's why the pics are a little cloudy.
After our apple picking yesterday in Winchester, Nancy, Jennifer and Ali & Austin drove about 4 miles over to the Great Falls National Park.  
From Wiki:  Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia. Situated on 800 acres along the banks of the Potomac River in northern Fairfax County, the park is a disconnected but integral part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Great Falls of the Potomac River are near the northern boundary of the park, as are the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States that used locks to raise and lower boats.
Now, I must let my readers know, that I did not make this trip with the gang.  So this blog will be mostly me showing Nancy's pics and I'll attempt to describe what her intent was for taking the pic.
Austin & Ali listening intently to the Ranger's talk.  And below, Austin standing in front of what appears to be high water marks of the Potomac River floods from years past.
Taking turns sitting in what looks like a kayak that is probably available for rent in season.
Austin listening to instructions from the Ranger on the Junior Ranger Program he is about to undertake, and Ali too.
And here they are doing their work to achieve the Badge.
Ali, making sure she knows how to stay safe, while Austin is checking out some old photos on the storyboard.  Below, the Ranger explaining the locking system used here on the Patowmack Canal.
Wonder who they flagged to take the pic?  The Ranger?
These pics need very little explanation.
Nice job on the pics Nancy!
Nancy tells me that these hieroglyphics are actually stone mason identifying marks.  When the lock was built, several stone masons were hired to cut & fit the walls of the lock, and this is how they "made their mark".
Hey, what are doing in there?
And here are the "Grands" getting their final instructions and signing the large Junior Ranger Registry of all the past Rangers.  And Momma is proud of them for completing the program.
Austin has several other badges from past visits to NPs.  Ali has some catching up to do.
So that'a about all I can say about Nancy's visit to the GFNP, and I thank her for taking the pics and spending time with them in the Park making memories.  Our next blog will probably be on the road tomorrow and will include Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family in Northern Virginia and here in Virginia Beach,  Till then, RVing Beach Bums signing off.  This blog was written & published from our home on Dec 26.

Apple Picking in Winchester Virginia

For the past several years, we have tried to make October apple picking a special event with our daughters and grand children.  Nancy and I have picked from several orchards in Virginia from Wytheville to Winchester.  Our favorite was Carter's Mountain in Charlottesville, just up the hill from Michie Tavern, a Thomas Jefferson hangout.  The last couple of years we have gone to Marker-Miller and Rinker in Winchester, because of the proximity to Jennifer's house in Northern Virginia.  This year it was Rinker.  Jennifer is proud of her pair of Goldens and Ali of her's as well below.  I am pulling out a few of her size apples from my bag and putting them in hers.
Reach way back in there for the sweetest ones.  Austin ready to "bag" another Golden...
Below, Ali behind a beauty of a Golden with the leaves in tact.
It was a cool windy day but it couldn't dampen the spirits of die-hard seasoned apple pickers.  No sireebob!
That's a nice haul of Goldens.
Son-in-law Pete sipping a cool cup of Rinker's famous cider and me gathering up a few Nittanys.
Hold on there Pete, (pun intended), I think it'll take more than a bushel of apples...:-)
Well, I think the kids are ready for some play time.
Ali helping Pop Pop get just the right one...
And Austin sampling a Nittany...yummy!
We caught the good-ol-boys brewing up some apple butter.  At least that was their story, and they stuck to it.  The equipment was very old but recently they replaced the mechanical mixers with electric motor driven paddles.
It sure smelled good, so we bought a couple quarts.  And some cider, and a couple bushels of apples, for us and our friends back in Virginia Beach.
We weren't that far from Marker-Miller, so we drove on over there so the kids could ride the cow train.  They have rode this little train, pulled by the farms lawn mower.
Ali & Austin ready for there excursion round the barns, sheds and trees.
Not sure what Ali is trying say to Austin, but it appears that Austin isn't much interested.  So, Ali turns around and smiles for the camera lady, Grandma.
And Austin finally turns for a cute making-memories photo-op for Grandma.
They a neat playground here at Marker-Miller, and on the weekends, it is crowded.  Grandma got a neat shot here of Ali descending the play house steps.
Now that it's empty, no sweat, I can push it around.  
Well, it looks like it's time to head home, and that is two tired amigos right there.  
And that's wrap for our apple picking for October 4, 2014 in Winchester.  (Note:  In between this event and our Cuyahoga Valley National Park blog of Sept 27, we drove down to my sister's house (Debbie Biggs) in Oregonia, OH for a few days of rest and relaxation in the holler.)  We managed to spend a few days in Great Falls with Pete, Jen and Ali & Austin before wrapping up our fall 2014 journey to points north, covered  in previous blogs.  We'll have one more blog before leaving Northern Virginia and our departure for our home in Virginia Beach.  It will be about Great Falls National Park.  So, till then, RVing Beach Bums signing off.  This blog was written & published from our home on Dec 26.  Tomorrow is departure day for Florida.