Wine and Cabooses

What a strange title to a post. But what a delightful retreat for a couple days.

After visiting Rocky Knob a couple of times, this is a place I wanted to bring Momma to. Plus eating at the Mabry Mill restaurant entered my Bucket List. I suggested and she was game.

This is where the caboose comes in. Researching the area I found the Grassy Creek Cabooses near the Blue Ridge Parkway. So to add intrigue to the plans I suggested we stay in a caboose. Well she was all over that one. How unique!

Here’s our turn only a mile off the parkway.
Our Home for the next couple days

Settled in we began exploring the area. We first came upon the Mayberry Country Store. This has been here since 1892. The woman who was running the store was family to the original owner. She told us that this was the original Mayberry, not the fictional one situated in North Carolina. Perhaps it was the inspiration for the fictional one…. the name anyway as there was nothing here except the store and a church….. and Andy Griffith grew up in Mt. Airy N.C. not far from here. ( we will get into that later in this post).

Mayberry Trading Post, Mayberry VA

” I went to a general store but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific”

Comedian Steven Wright

Thank goodness I had a little cash with me as this store didn’t take anything else as payment. Next we moved on to Meadows of Dan, Va. This is definitely the economic hub of the area. There was a farmers market, craft shops and a candy shop at which we stopped to buy sweets that we don’t need. As dinner time approached we moved on to Mabry Mill.

Mabry Mill

This is a National Park run operation. There were live bluegrass bands playing on the lawn. It was nice but the NPS definitely needs to invest in an adequate sound system for these performers. But we came here to eat. We sat on a windowed patio with views of the creek and countryside. The food was delicious.

Since we are near Virginia’s “Crooked Road ” we decide to go to Floyd to see if anyone is playing at the General Store and of course “general store ” is music to Momma’s ears.

The Crooked Road? Yes this is a heritage drive that celebrates the music of southwestern Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Cumberland Mountains. The route crosses the Parkway at Tuggle’s Gap on Va route 8 just north of where we were. We drove to Floyd and were disappointed by the contents of the General Store which was more of a restaurant then anything, with a stage but no music playing for the next hour. We didn’t wait as we had to get back to the dog who was travelling with us. We left him in the caboose.

Sunset over Grassy Creek Cabooses

Next morning we got up and went to Fancy Gap. The reports of the restaurant there said “Local Favorite”. Yeah of course. It was the only one and in my opinion not worth a second trip. From there we descended the mountains on the old road, U.S. Route 52 into Mt Airy. Yep it’s time. I promised more about Mayberry and here it comes.

” a sandwich sure tastes better with milk”

Ron Howard as Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith show

Mt Airy North Carolina celebrates it’s most famous favorite son….in a big way. Believed to be the inspiration for the fictional Mayberry, the city oozes everything Andy Griffith and his hit T. V. show. All the notable places are there or have been recreated in Mt. Airy.

Courthouse
The Snappy Lunch
Floyd’s barber shop
The Earle Theater
Wally’s service Center

It was a fun morning exploring the sights of Mayberry….er…. Mt. Airy and seeing the pride the town has in it’s past…real and fictional. It gave us something to do while waiting for the next big stop of the trip the Chateau Morrisette Winery, just off the parkway, to open on a Sunday.

Entrance to Chateau Morrisette

Now I am not really into wine but Momma is so I always try to find a winery or two near where we are vacationing. I don’t mind doing a little sampling just not crazy about most wines.

What a beautiful facility we found. besides the gorgeous location and views, they had live music going on under a tent. The wine was good, we bought some and also an interesting wine jelly.

The Chateau Morrisette
The beautiful grounds of the Chateau Morrisette
The view from Chateau Morrisette

After the winery I had one more place I wanted Momma to see. After doing a couple of visits to the area to hike at Rocky Knob I knew of an outstanding overlook along U.S. Route 58 towards Stuart Virginia… Lovers Leap. Well worth the trip if you go to this area.

The view from Lover’s Leap Overlook

So ends this fantastic day. One more sunset and it’s time to head home in the morning.

“But even the most beautiful days eventually have their sunsets.”

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