I've said previously that getting started is one of the most difficult tasks in putting together one of these verbose ponderosities. And this will be mighty ponderous. Lots of stuff happening on the Blue Ridge mountain.
As usual, there will be plenty of links to explore. Some are typically underlined and some are linked thru the pics below :)
I suppose the first occurrence worthy mentioning and the most notable was the surprise snow storm of October 29th. I was fortunate to lose power for only about 30 hours. Many more were without juice for up to a week. Six inches of wet snow on trees that hadn't shed their leaves wreaked havoc from here north thru New England. There are some photos on the Forum @ Shannondale and Beyond.
Don't expect any order to my ramblings. I'll start with the County Fair, where I manned the litter control booth again. It's a hoot meeting folks. Ken White, DNR's supervising Conservation Officer in the 3 county Eastern Panhandle, was one volunteer who kept me company.
Our website's stewardship of Shannondale Springs continued. User "shadowplay" did a splendid job of keeping the undergrowth in check. FOSS is looking for more volunteers and check our website's forum, HERE, for info on the Springs.
A blood drive was held at one of my fav spots, the Mountain Community Center (MCC) I'll let you guess who is donating the gift of life in the pic below. More Pics.
Jefferson County now has a distillery. It's a shame I gave up that kickapoo joy juice. It's called the Bloomery Plantation Distillery. I spent some time taking some photos and talking to the owner. It's not quite a distillery, but considered one by the State ABC folks. You can take a peek thru the pic below.
More of my activities at the MCC included manning the Library in my role as The Answerman, the fellow who has an answer for any question. They may not be right, but you'll get an answer. One of the treats of that duty is the company I keep. The Mountain Marketplace, open concurrently with the library on Sundays (11am-2pm) offers some nifty gifts. Among them are Barb's exceptional gourds. She offers seasonal items like the Ghost/Cat/Jack-o-Lantern below as well as jewelry, bowls, birdhouses and more all made from gourds grown in her garden.
I love then and now photos. The aerial pics from 1957 and 2005 show how the Blue Ridge mountain has grown. See if you can find an area you recognize along Mission Road. Larger formats are linked through the images. I have some others available of other areas on the Blue Ridge on our website. It becomes graphically evident the serious issues with stormwater runoff, emergency response times, law enforcement, and much, much more the Blue Ridge faces in the future.
Speaking of law enforcement, Jefferson County's Sheriff, Bobby Shirley, is offering members of the public an opportunity to ride along with a deputy. Guess who was the first volunteer :o)? I'm shown below next to Sergeant Sell with whom I spent a 10 hour shift one Friday from 3PM to 1AM. The adventure is recounted at the link HERE. I'd recommend a ride-along no matter what jurisdiction in which you live.
I mentioned our freakish snowstorm on October 29th. That was the day our Halloween party was to be held at the MCC. Sadly, the party (with candy, crafts, creepy critters and more) was canceled due to loss of power and hazardous driving conditions. There's still hope we'll be able to have some sort of party - perhaps a Halloween in Spring scare-a-thon.
No Williegram would be complete without scenery. You'll get your fill in this issue. The scene below shows the Blue Ridge Mountain in the background, the ruins of the Shannondale Clubhouse and Lake Shannondale. The Mountain Lake Club, the successor to the Mountain Lake Lodge after the fire 8 years ago, is shown on the right. I thought this scene worthy of topping the Shannondale Club Alumni site.
Click the pic for a closer look.
I continue to beg, plead and wheedle for S'dale Club memorabilia. And occasionally I get a respose :) Do any of the SCAlumni recognize the image below?
Click on the pic above to look inside circa the late 1960's
And an exclusive look at the Shannondale Club "Museum"-It ain't the Smithsonian, but help me add to our collection.
Click the Pic for a Larger View
Now, back to the scenery, and a familiar view in a different season. I went out to the top of Lover's Leap for some Autumn color with the help of some friends. In the distance you can see that the mountainside was a bit past peak. The site of Shannondale Springs was a tad behind complete coloration. However, If I had waited 4 more days, I'd have seen 6" of wet snow on top of the scene. You can see more pics HERE. The pic below is linked to a much larger view.
Watersheds are - no, not sheds in which you store water - but hills and valleys that shed water into a particular and larger body of water. In the Blue Ridge's case, it's several sub-watersheds of the Shenandoah River. I'm a trustee of the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition which is in its formative years...
...but we have hopes of it growing up fast. The sign below says all. Click it and be enlightened. The website linked above will be fully functional soon.
As a part of our Watershed Coalition's goals, we organized a Shenandoah River Cleanup on November 5th. River Riders was one of the sponsors who donated watercraft, safety equipment and employees to help with our effort. Really, it was fun for all ages tho I'll admit, I didn't attend due to a previous engagement. But next time....
The results were astounding and gratifying. There's a lot more crap out there. Keep watch on the coalition's website, S&B's forum OR contact us and join!
On our forum I titled this "Entropy" or some such thing. From 1981 to 2011-30 years-time and vandalism took its toll on the old Shannondale Guard Shack. In the photo subject index of the SCA site, you can see another pic + a lot more of those memorable "then" images.
Our beautiful Shenandoah River has so many wonderful surprises. Have you ever heard of a lenticular canal lock? Did you know there once were plans for a Shenandoah Canal from Front Royal VA and points south to Harpers Ferry? Did you know that the ruins of one lock on the Shenandoah are still extant? Probably the only such structure in the United States! You can see some photos HERE. And get more information HERE. Below, I'm my usual shy and retiring self with Jane Rissler, curator of the Jefferson County Museum, as we pose for the camera at the point where the lock once re-entered the river.
Is it time for my close-up, Mr. DeMille? A production company visited Jefferson County to film for a series to be shown on the History Channel in 2012. They used Lake Shannondale as one of their sets. They needed a nearby, picturesque, calm body of water w/o a lot of traffic to minimize production costs. I may have more photos coming, but you can see the few I took linked thru the pic below. There is also more information HERE & HERE.
Who knew about Flat Stanley? I sure didn't till I visited with old friends, Danny and Jeanne Tester and family, at the Tester cabin in Shannondale. Jack Mallon, John and Fanny Tester's GrGrandson, graciously introduced the flat man to me. Stanley is blissfully unaware that I plan to bring him along on my prosaic day to day travels and bore him to tears. You can follow his adventures thru the link behind the image below.
The photos below represent something special. It's my last trip thru the Computerized Axial Tomographic Scanner's doughnut hole to check on a recurrence of CA of the neck and throat. Dr. Gemma, my oncologist at Winchester Medical Center's Cancer Unit, has given me walking papers seven and a half years after I first noticed the knot in my neck. I'll add to my Cancer Blog occasionally, but consider no news is good.
The kitties are fine and dandy. They've asked me to offer an open invitation to visit any old time. I'd add that a little advance warning would be appreciated.
There's a lot more to tell but I'll show some mercy. Have some great times in the coming onslaught of holiday mirth and merriment. Each of you remember:
Shannondale & Beyond