Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 6

E

From the
Editor

Kurt Rheinheimer

Of Food, Fall and Umbrellas
thE RE-opEnEd REstauRant at pEaKs oF ottER pRovidEs

If this edition has a theme, it might
well be food. Or maybe great late-fall
getaways flavored by new things in
the mountains.
It was within those contexts – food,
fall and new – that The Greatest Day
Hiker Of Them All and I visited a
nearby and nearly gone favorite a few
weeks back.
Our usual hiking pattern is to go up
a mountainside, open the packs, get
out the lunch and dine with a view. On
this day, we broke the walking in a different way in order to visit the it’snew-again restaurant at the Peaks of
Otter along the Virginia section of the
Blue Ridge Parkway.
As you likely know, the lodge and
restaurant at Milepost 86 closed in
November of last year after continuous year-round operation since 1977,
leaving a gaping hole not only along
the parkway, but also in many people’s
occasional-destination plans for lunch,
dinner or brunch – if not a stay at the
lodge.
The arrival of Delaware North
Companies to re-open the lodge and
restaurant for the coming 10 years
was a welcomed event, even if the
season would run only till the end of
November.
Our earning-lunch hike was the
trail up Sharp Top, on this day wellpopulated with couples, families and
singles-with-dogs. And at the end of
the rocky, occasionally steep 1.5-mile
climb, the breeze was as delightful as
the views in every direction from what,
as several hikers were pointing out to
each other as we arrived, was once
thought to be the highest mountain in
Virginia. (It is, at just under 4,000 feet,
not even in the top 50, but it does provide a wonderful feel of elevation.)
On this Saturday afternoon and
back down the mountainside, the res6 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

pat and chuck blackley

a dElicious contExt FoR all thREE.

The Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant are back, but hurry before the season ends.

taurant offered an extensive salad/
entrees/desserts buffet and a limited
burgers menu.
From our window table – not just a
great view of the breeze rippling
Abbott Lake, but also of the mountain
we had just climbed – we both opted
for the buffet, and a hike-earned
Virginia viognier to accompany it.
The buffet is long on comfort and
country, with the gravied turkey, the
mashed potatoes and the macaroniand-cheese leading the way for me for
the main course side of things. The
salad offerings and desserts were
equally inviting, though The Day
Hiker’s wondering aloud at how I could
take the sweetness of banana cream
pie did keep me from heading back for
a second piece.
The problem with dining at the
low-elevation point of the day’s walking is, pretty simply, that you’ve got to
get up from it and hike . . . up again.
But the Harkening Hill Trail – across
the parkway from the lodge and restaurant – is a far gentler walk than
climbing either Sharp Top or Flat Top,
winding and switchbacking its way
through the forest toward a peak that

is, surprisingly, only about 600 feet shy
of Sharp Top’s elevation.
But alas, on this day, we were not
to experience that wooded summit; a
little more than a mile up, the distant
thunder became louder, the breeze
cooler and more precise, the lightning
closer in time to the thunder. And
within a few moments of the first light
drops, we were under a full-bore storm.
Yes, we’d brought along the
umbrellas and yes, they do some very
real good in the woods, recalling the
story that our hiking columnist likes to
tell: Leonard Adkins and his wife Laurie
have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail
several times, and for many of those
miles, Leonard carried and donned the
very best in waterproof gear when
conditions dictated. But he noticed
that he always came into camp
drenched – from both sweat and the
inevitable leaks – while Laurie, having
walked under her umbrella, came in
pretty-much dry. We’ve carried the
umbrellas since.
And while we didn’t return to the
car fully dry, we did do so with a good
sense of accomplishment, of ingestion
and of fairly dry upper bodies. 


http://BlueRidgeCountry.com

Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013

Cover
Table of Contents
Letters/Worth a Click
From the Editor
Digital Help Guide
From the Farm
The Hike
Mountain Report
Creature Feature
Festivals & Events
Explore West Virginia Covered Bridges
DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Cave in to Adventure
Fall Travel to Restaurants, Diners and Dives
Photoessay: Late Fall Comes to the Mountains
What's New in these Hills?
Life and Death in Butterfield Branch
Mountain-Classic Recipes
Cabin in the Woods: A North Georgia Getaway
Mountain Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Cover
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Letters/Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Explore West Virginia Covered Bridges
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Cave in to Adventure
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DE2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DE3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DE4
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DE5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - DE6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Fall Travel to Restaurants, Diners and Dives
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Photoessay: Late Fall Comes to the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - What's New in these Hills?
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Life and Death in Butterfield Branch
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Mountain-Classic Recipes
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Cabin in the Woods: A North Georgia Getaway
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2013 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/leisuremedia360/leisure/BlueRidgeCountryMarchApril2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/leisuremedia360/leisure/blue-ridge-country-january-february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/BRCND21
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/BRCSO21
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brcja21
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2021_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2021_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2021_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_11_12
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com