Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 8
FROM THE EDITOR
Big Rocks and Other
The big rocks atop Virginia's Mt. Pleasant make for great viewing.
Plus a sneak peek at new content in this and the rest of our 2018 issues.
by Kurt Rheinheimer
It's a Saturday morning ritual at my house . . .
"Where do we hike today?" either Gail
or I begins, followed by questions about
whether or not to take the dog (she's big
and black and aging, and wilts quickly
under temperatures above 70); about how
much time we have and thus how far we
can go; about the projected crowdedness of
But more often than not, the decision comes down to
which big ol' rock at which high-elevation point might
be best for the mid-hike lunch that day.
And are we ever blessed with such here in the Virginia mountains. From the 4,000-footers to the north
of us-the Priest, Apple Orchard, Elliott Knob, Mt.
Pleasant, Flat Top and others-to even higher peaks to
the south, including the 5,000-footers in the Grayson
Highlands, we can pick our poison from among nearly
And why climb anywhere from 1,000 to nearly 3,000
feet to a moutain top just to eat lunch?
Well, the first reason is, of course, because it's there.
And the second is, because we can.
And the third is perhaps most important: While upclose things like wildflowers, trees and birds are great
lures into the woods, it is the geography and the geology
that makes us drive out of town, up a forest road and
onto, as often as not, a muddy spot to park.
You look out over a piece of your home state after you
just did the 21 switchbacks up to Fullers Rocks, say, and
you feel good. And lunch tastes great. And you can look
down on the James and think about its flow on to Lynchburg and then Richmond, and then on to the sea.
And speaking of water: Its flows and falls are prob8 BlueRidgeCountry.com
ably number two on our list of entities that draw us into
the woods. Our mountains' cascades-falls like Apple
Orchard and the Cascades, for example-also make for
great lunch destinations. Along with gentler-flowing water spots. Brown Mountain Creek, not far from the climb
up to Fullers Rocks, is another favorite lunch place, along
with the shoreline of Carvins Cove reservoir and the
banks of Cornelius Creek.
Speaking of such, writer Nan Chase has been out and
about in not only the Virginia mountains, but also those
of the six other states in our coverage area, and has come
back with a collection of not just rocks and rivers, but
also caves and coal spots, parks and preserves and much
more. Her piece, beginning on page 38, provides a full
year of destinations in our seven-state mountain region.
There's another focal point to this issue as well: As we enter
2018, we also walk into the magazine's 30th anniversary year. In that context, we hope you'll notice a few
subtle changes to our content mix. Yes, our photoessay
remains a centerpiece, and our columnists and other
departments are intact (well, food writer extraordinaire
Fred Sauceman, who we've kept on the road relentlessly
over recent years, returns to the Flavors department).
But in the features, we hope you'll look forward to
two staples in this and the rest of our 2018 issues: A 30th
anniversary look-back piece (Joan Vannorsdall returns
to Cumberland Gap 22 years after her first visit for the
magazine). And much more in the way of people-people who embody the spirit, hopes and accomplishments
of the region. Georganna and Logan Seamon (page 48),
and Anna George (page 52) are our first two of such.
As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments
and suggestions on our content.