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Outdoor Activity

Apple Picking

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Apple Picking

Apple Picking

How long has it been since you picked your own apples?  Have you tried a “new” variety of apple lately?  Would you like to spend time outdoors, enjoying the crisp fall air, colorful leaves and views and head home with a box or two of fresh picked apples?

In Central Virginia we have orchards in Amherst, Bedford and Nelson counties.  The farms and orchards are family-owned and usually offer produce other than apples throughout the rest of the year.  Virginia is the sixth-largest producer of apples in the United States.

Apples come in a variety of shades and types.  Locally you can find Honeycrest, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Fiji, Red Delicious or Winesap.  A crisp apple, picked from the tree is a true delight in the fall.  Once you are home you can turn your apples into cakes, apple butter or sauce, breads or salads.

Saturday, October 18th two of our local orchards will be hosting an apple harvest festival.  Drumheller’s Orchard in Lovingston (from 8:00am until 6:00 pm) and Gross’ Orchard in Bedford (from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm) will have fun for the entire family.  The sale of apples (19 varieties at Drumheller’s and 8 varieties at Gross’), hay rides, a corn maze, music, craft and food vendors, apple-themed food and more will keep you busy.  Gross’ Orchard will offer apple picking too.

Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA.  Our signature breakfast dish for the month of October is Apple French Toast with Spiced Maple Syrup.  This recipe will be our blog post next week!  Call us to book your reservation, then enjoy your day in the orchard.

Bawdy Ladies Tour at Old City Cemetery

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Old City Cemetery

Grave at Old City Cemetery

Every other year the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, conducts it’s Bawdy Ladies of the 19th Century Tour.  This year’s tour will be held on Sunday, September 21, 2014 between 3:00-4:00 PM.

What is a Bawdy Ladies tour?  Historian Nancy Weiland will lead a tour of the cemetery grounds to the graves of some of Lynchburg’s “sporting ladies” of Buzzard’s roost and Fourth Street.  Stories describing the lives and lore of the ladies and their madams will highlight life in Lynchburg’s more savory neighborhoods and houses.  This is not a ghost walk, but rather a tour of the cemetery from a different perspective, describing some of it’s more colorful “inhabitants”.

Buzzard’s Roost is the area between Jefferson Street (Lynch street back then) and Commerce Street in the downtown section of Lynchburg.  This area once full of bars bordellos and gambling houses thrived as a hub of commerce, especially during the war when it was said many of these ladies operated as spies as are said to pass secrets.

These “sporting houses” as they were called in Lynchburg were often run by women, both white and free women of color.  As downtown industries expanded in the early 1900’s they pushed these business out of the downtown area to the red light district on Fourth Street in the Tinbridge Hill Neighborhood.

Many of the “sporting ladies” or working girls as we call them today often climbed the social ladder and became prominent citizens as they married politicians, police chiefs, mayors and other prominent citizens.  It is said that they helped bail the City of Lynchburg out of financial difficulties by donating money to a church who then in turn donated it to the City since the City refused to take their money directly.  Likewise a wealthy madam gave a small private college in Roanoke  a large endowment and the college.  During the tour in the Old City Cemetery you will hear stories of how these ladies, some of whom became very wealthy, lived and their contributions to the area.

This walking tour is free of charge, over uneven ground plus up and down hills and begins at the Old City Cemetery Gate House, located at 401 Taylor Street, or about two miles from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Advance tickets are not required.  For more information contact the cemetery office at 434.847.1465.  We will see you there!

Learning in the Vineyard at Lazy Days Winery

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Lazy Days Winery, Amherst VA

Lazy Days Winery

Lazy Days Vineyard and Winery, located just north of Lynchburg, VA in Amherst County, is conducting it’s “Learning in the Vineyard” tour on Saturday, September 6, 2014.  Starting at 10:00 AM the educational tour will be led by Marianne Fitzhugh, Lazy Days vineyard manager.  Walk the vineyard where you will learn the process of growing grapes.  The wine making process will be described and then you’ll be able to taste Lazy Days delicious wines.  Known for their Petit Verdot, Viognier and Merlot wines you will be tempted to purchase a bottle or case of your favorites.

Lazy Days Winery tasting room

Tasting Room at Lazy Days Winery

The Lazy Days Vineyard and Winery is situated on a unique tract of land that overlooks the mountains to the west and takes advantage of the old Amherst Livestock Pavilion that has been converted into a rustic but comfortable tasting room and event venue.  In fact, Sangria Saturday, featuring Jason Frye, follows at 1:00 until 5:00 PM.

Details concerning the vineyard tour are as follows:

  • starting time 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM
  • features include the educational tour, box lunch, private wine tasting and souvenir glass
  • advance reservation are required
  • cost is $30.00 per adult, over 21 years of age

Lazy Days Vineyard and Winery is located at 1351 N. Amherst Highway, approximately 3.5 miles north of the town of Amherst.  For more information call 434.381.6088.

Come stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, for two nights (including September 6th) and one of your “Learning in the Vineyard” tickets is complimentary.  Call us at 434.846.1388, mention this special package and we’ll see you in early September.

Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day at the National D-Day Memorial

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D-Day Memorial

The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA

The National D-Day Memorial, in Bedford, VA, expects 10,000-15,000 visitors for the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 2014.  Sadly this event could be the last large gathering of area D-Day veterans, as the youngest are now in their early 90’s.

Like eleven other communities in Virginia, Bedford provided a company of solders (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on February 3, 1941.  Transported by the British Navy’s 551st Assault Flotilla, Company A of the 116th Infantry Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in the first wave of the First Infantry Division’s Task Force O.  By day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead.  Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200.  Proportionally, this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses.

Since its dedication in June 6, 2001, the Memorial has attracted more than 1.3 million visitors.  The Memorial exists in tribute to the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of the Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Located on a consecrated 88-acre site the Memorial  has four major components that represent the sweep of D-Day from the early planning and preparation for it, through the Channel crossing and landing in France, to the Allied victory and consolidation on the beaches and beyond Normandy into the landscape of postwar Europe.  Visitors experience a moving array of small memorials, displays, sculptures and statuary, plaques and tributes.

The Memorial is open between 10:00 am through 5:00 pm daily, except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving.  Visitors can either take a shuttle-cart tour with a guide or a self-guided walking tour.  Admission fees apply.  Visit the D-Day Memorial Website for a list of activities during the 70th year anniversary celebration.  While visiting the D-Day Memorial be sure to visit downtown Bedford as many of the stores will be displaying posters from WW II in their store windows, much like they would have in the 1940s.

Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for a minimum of three days, June 6, 2014 being one of the days, will be charged for only your Friday and Saturday night stay ( stay for 3 nights, pay for 2).  Call us at 434.846.1388, mention the D-Day Memorial special and book your room.

For more information about the story of the men from Bedford who took participated in the D-Day invasion read The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw.

Storming of Thunder Ridge

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The Storming of Thunder Ridge Lynchburg, Virginia’s only local, fully-supported road cycling event will take place on May 18, 2014.  This fund-raiser, benefiting the YMCA of Central Virginia, is an enjoyable road cycling experience with the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop.  Riders select from a route of 27, 45, 75 or 100 miles.

The 27 Miler and the 45 Miler Curtis Loop take place along flat country roads and then some hills in scenic Bedford County.  The 45 Miler includes a challenging 4 mile stretch with four hills to scale.  The good thing is after you go up you get to come down.

For those cyclists who have been training for months you might “enjoy” either the 75 Miler or the Century Miler (100 miles).  Each of these routes starts through the flats then rolling hills of Bedford County but they each wind their way on a 13-mile ascent to Thunder Ridge, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.  Once you get to Thunder Ridge take awhile to rest, relax and enjoy the fabulous views.  The trip down the mountain will be a welcome relief.  While riding through Goode you’ll experience the Sausage Grinder and the Nemesis–just to test your legs a bit further.

Along all of the routes there are rest stops with water and energy snacks to refuel you and of course, shady spots to rest.

All start/finish lines are at the Jamerson Family YMCA in Wyndhurst.  Riders can take advantage of the Y’s amenities: shower facilities, whirlpool and swimming pool.  Just bring your swimsuit and your own towels plus a lock for your belongings. The post-celebration will include plenty of food, music, prizes and camaraderie among the riders who have completed their routes and serve as the cheering section for the riders behind you.

The start time for the 75 and 100 Miler is 7:30 AM.  The 27 and 45 Milers starts at 8:30 AM.  A cut-off time of 2:30 PM awaits the 100 Miler riders, at mile 62 or rest stop 5.

Those guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be provided an energizing “breakfast to go”  which will allow you to sleep as long as possible but to get your morning nutrients and energy reved.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss room availability and our Storming of Thunder Ridge package.  This package includes a therapeutic deep tissue LaStone Massage which will relax and re-energize your muscles after they have been tested to their limit.  Best of luck to all of the riders!

For more detailed event information, registration material and any event updates visit www.stormingofthunderridge.org.

Natural Bridge

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Natural Bridge photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Natural Bridge was once owned by Thomas Jefferson

Natural Bridge was first discovered by the Monacan Indians who deemed it, “Bridge of God.”  In 1750, George Washington, engaged by Lord Fairfax, surveyed the surrounding acreage of Natural Bridge.  During that visit he scaled up the left wall of the bridge about 23 feet and carved his initials, “G.W.””, which are still visible today.  A few years later, Thomas Jefferson set out on horseback on a series of bridal paths from Paxson’s Tavern (in what is the town of Glasgow today) and discovered the bridge.  In 1774, Jefferson purchased the land patent from King George III which included the Natural Bridge and 157 acres for the sum of twenty shillings or about $2.40 or in today’s dollars about $160.00.  The price was so low because the land wasn’t suitable for farming. There are records that Jefferson visited Natural Bridge four times.  In 1803-1804 he had a two story stone and log cabin built near the present site of the Natural Bridge Hotel where he and his guests stayed.  During the war of 1812, Jefferson allowed saltpeter, used for gunpowder and ammunition, to be mined from a cave near the arch and in 1816 he provided a live-in custodian by leasing the land to Patrick Henry.  Upon Jefferson’s death in 1826 the property was left to his family.  Thomas Jefferson kept a guest book for guests to sign and among the visitors that signed the book are: James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, the Eighth President of the United States, John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Daniel Boone, an american pioneer and explorer, and Sam Houston, the first governor of Texas.

Lost River found in 1812

The Lost River at Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge arch stands 215 feet high (55 feet higher than Niagara Falls), is 40 feet thick, 100 feet wide and spans 90 feet.  At its peak, Natural Bridge stands 1,160 feet above sea level and Route 11 passes directly over the span.

In 2014 the Natural Bridge was sold to the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.  The sale included the arch, hotel, caverns and 1500 acres.  The VCLF will donate all but the hotel and caverns to the state to be run as a park.  Natural Bridge is a national historic landmark that has been in private hands since Thomas Jefferson purchased it 240 years ago.

Natural Bridge is located about 35 miles from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and takes just under an hour to reach.  While visiting Natural Bridge you can continue on the path and see the saltpeter cave, the Lost River and Lace Water Falls.  The walk is a gravel path on level terrain.  To get to the arch you need to go down 137 steps, but if you have trouble getting around, they offer a van that will take you to the level terrain.  There is an admission fee charged to enter the path to the Natural Bridge.

Using your GPS you can find Natural Bridge by using this address:

15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA  24578 (540) 291-2121 or:

Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast from Mapquest:

1. Start out going northwest on Cabell Sttoward E St.

Zoom to this Step
0.6 mi
2. Turn right onto Rivermont Ave.

  • Rivermont Ave is just past Amherst St
  • FOOD ZONE is on the corner
  • If you are on Monsview Pl and reach Hemlock Styou’ve gone a little too far
2.5 mi
3. Rivermont Ave becomes Boonsboro Rd/US-501 Bus N.

2.6 mi
4. Turn right onto US-501 N/Boonsboro Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N.

  • If you reach Irvington Springs Rd you’ve gone a little too far
16.2 mi
5. Turn left onto US-501 N/VA-130/Elon Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N/VA-130.

6.3 mi
6. Turn slight left onto Rockbridge Rd/VA-130. Continue to follow VA-130.

6.3 mi
7. Stay straight to go onto S Lee Hwy/US-11 N.

0.09 mi
8. Take the 1st left onto Appledore Ln.

  • If you reach Fanny Barger Rd you’ve gone a little too far
0.03 mi
9. 15 APPLEDORE LN is on the left.

  • Your destination is just past Lookover Ln
  • If you reach the end of Appledore Ln you’ve gone about 0.2 miles too far