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.
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 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.
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
|2.||Turn right onto Rivermont Ave.
|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.
|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.
|9.||15 APPLEDORE LN is on the left.
The 7th annual Terrapin Mountain 50K and half marathon will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Sedalia, Virginia. Located about 25 miles northwest of Lynchburg, VA the course runs through the George Washington National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many runners camp there the night before but others want a comfortable bed a warm room and if they bring their non-running spouse/friend/partner we offer a good nights sleep before a day filled with excitement and challenges. The race starts about dawn.
Runners of both the half marathon and 50K race follow trails that involve steep climbs and switchbacks that take them up the mountain, where the overall elevation change during the course of the race is about 3,250 feet. The half marathon is one loop of Terrapin Mountain while the 50K course consists of multiple loops of Terrapin Mountain. The 50K qualifies as part of the Virginia based trail race series known as the Beast Series and the Lynchburg Ultra Series. These runs are designed for serious runners that have done extensive off road training on steep grades.
Last year we had a guests who ran the half marathon, was proud to have completed the race and thoroughly enjoyed returning to the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast to relax and rejuvenate with a massage in our on-site Massage and BodyWorks Studio. We would love to host you while you participate in this challenging event. Call us at 434.846.1388 to check on availability or you can always check our on-line reservation system.
While we would love to have you as a guest at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, DO NOT try this race unless you have trained for it! If you want more information or want to register for the race click here to be connected to their website.
See the fall colors by air in a hot air balloon! The Lynchburg area is a colorful area in the fall. The brilliant fall colors can be seen while driving the windy mountain roads, hiking the many trails trails, kayaking down the James River, strolling the paved walking paths of the Blackwater Creek Trail system or by air in a hot air balloon.
Kathy and I took such a trip last winter. While it was too late to see the fall colors we enjoyed the peacefulness of floating above the trees, seeing the deer run through the forest and the quietness of flight (except when the gas valve was opened to keep the hot air balloon afloat). If you would like to indulge yourself and do something very special then consider booking your flight on your next visit to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The company that offers hot air balloon flights is Freedom Flights (click their name to be linked to their website where you can book a flight or purchase a gift certificate).
What you need to know about taking a hot air balloon ride is that Freedom Flights will cancel the flight if the winds are too high or if the weather is too bad. Obviously they are concerned with your safety so check the weather forecast before you book your flight. Currently they are running a $50.00 off per person special through November 10, 2013 so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets or gift certificate. The other interesting thing is that you will never know what you will see on these trips. The wind takes you where it wants to so each trip is different.
If soaring above the tree tops in a hot air balloon is not for you then there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the fall colors. Here are links to a couple of hikes that we have taken that should be spectacular when the fall colors are at their peak.
High Bridge Trail is a park on an old rail road line. This is a very flat and easy walk where you will walk over a very long bridge and see the fall colors from above.
Crabtree Falls is a moderate hike through the woods and up a mountain along water falls. This takes you on a nice drive where you will also see lots of colors. Don’t forget to stop at Woodson’s Mill and Bold Rock Hard Cider when you go to Crabtree Falls.
Falling Water Cascades is an easy walk. You will be driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and will see some great colors.
Disclaimer: The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast or the innkeepers have NO affiliation with this or any other hot air balloon company. For insurance purposes we are unable to recommend this company, however we had a great time when we went on our hot air balloon trip and would do it again, Call us at 434-846-1388 to book your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and if you would like a balloon trip, click on the above link to purchase your tickets.
There are so many great hiking trails in the area so it is hard to choose which one to visit, but we decided to try the Fallingwater Cascades Loop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County. It was one of those rare August mornings where the humidity was low and we had a couple days of unseasonably cool weather with lows in the upper 50’s at night and it was even more unusual that we didn’t have guests the night before so we could get up and hit the trails and take advantage of the weather. The hike is a short (about 1.5 miles) with an elevation change of about 1000 feet. It would take the typical person about 90 minutes to complete the loop, but it always takes me a lot longer because I stop to take lots of photos. Below are several photos I shoot, including a photo of a couple of nude sunbathers. The trail is well marked and it is classified as moderately difficult. The first half of the hike is all downhill and the second half is uphill. The grade is not steep but we recommend you wear the appropriate foot wear.
We started our hike by driving up to the Peaks of Otter to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traveling north on the Parkway which winds along the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the left side (west) was foggy (really heavy fog up to the ridge tops of the mountain) while the other side was clear. Remember the song you heard as a child about the bear going to the other side of the mountain…Well, now you know why he went to the other side, probably because he couldn’t see anything on the western side. There was a dip on the ridge top where the fog was flowing from the western side of the mountain to the eastern side and I was able to capture the above shot.
The hike is mostly through the woods so if you burn easily you don’t need to worry about getting sunburn. This would be a spectacular hike in mid October when all the leaves are turning colors. After about 20-25 minutes you come to the stream/water falls. You will spend about 20 minutes walking along the stream and falls until you start heading back up the trail to the parking area. As we parked and started hiking down the western slope of the mountain the fog instantly disappeared. Below are several photos that I took that morning. I hope you enjoy them.
Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast are below these photos:
Now, for the nudes sunbathing. As I mentioned above, it was a cool morning and this couple found a sunny spot on a fallen tree and decided to catch some sunshine….
What were you expecting? I guess you could call them nude!
Directions (provided by Mapquest and edited by Mike Bedsworth):
|1.||Start out going southeast on Cabell Sttoward D St.||0.01 mi|
|2.||Take the 1st right onto D St.
|3.||Turn left onto Rivermont Ave.||0.8 mi|
|4.||Rivermont Ave. becomes Church St. after you cross over 5th Street||0.2 mi|
|5.||Stay in the Right lane of Church Street and take the US-29 S ramp.||0.1 mi|
|6.||Merge onto US-29-BR S, also known as the Lynchburg Expressway||3.8 mi|
|7.||Exit via EXIT 8B towards US-460 onto Candlers Mountain Road.||0.9 mi|
|8.||Merge onto US-460 W towardRoanoke/Danville.||20.8 mi|
|9.||Take the US-221 N/VA-122 N exit towardBedford/VA-43 N.||0.2 mi|
|10.||Turn slight right onto US-221/US-460-BR/E Main St/VA-43/VA-122/N Bridge St.||1.3 mi|
|11.||Turn right onto US-221/N Bridge St/VA-43/VA-122.
|12.||Take the 3rd left onto VA-43/Peaks St. Continue to follow VA-43.
When you reach the “T” in the road turn Right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and take the parkway heading north. Access to the trail head is near milepost 83. There will be a parking area on the left (Western Slope) and a sign on the Parkway will say Fallingwater Cascades Overlook.
Enjoy the hike!
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