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Since my Road Scholar trip to England was cancelled, Plan B called for a "vacation" to visit my sister in Edinburg, Virginia. I just returned.

From Indiana, I drove south of Cincinnati to Big Bone Lick State Park to see where pre-historic mammal fossils have been found. They got trapped in the salt lick mud. There wasn't much to see, but it was interesting.

I drove east to Red River Gorge area in Kentucky and hiked up to to see a natural bridge. Pretty neat. The next day, I drove into West Virginia to New River Gorge and its famous span bridge, the longest in the U.S. I hiked around there and at Babcock St. Park and later at Greenbrier State Forest. To walk in the hills and forests of W.V. is awesome--so beautiful this time of year. Driving back roads is pretty difficult, however, as they wind there way up and down the mountains. The fog was bad in the mornings.

I drove into Virginia, stayed overnight in Waynesboro, ready to be first in line at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. But, major bummer--tickets were unavailable, all sold out. I walked around anyway, then went to James Monroe's Highland Estate nearby. Don't waste your time (and money) to visit there. I did enjoy hiking the trails, however. Then, I drove north to Montpelier, Madison's home. No inside tours were permitted (Covid), but you could peer into the windows and walk the grounds. That saved the day.

From Montpelier, I drove to my sister's up through the Blue Ridge Parkway into the Shenandoah Valley, a wonderful area. I have visited Civil War sites before, so I didn't tarry. Spending two and a half days with my sister was great. We don't see each other very often, and at our ages, we may not have too many years left to be together. We talked up a storm, reliving memories of growing up.

I drove straight home yesterday--a usual 10 hour drive taking 11 hours due to rain and construction. But, I made it in time to help celebrate my grandson's eleventh birthday which was memorable because all 6 of my grandchildren were present! They range in age from 5 to 18. So, despite some disappointments, the 6 day getaway was well worth the time. Good to be home, however.

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Comment was by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 21, 2020 at 8:46pm

It's safer to avoid travel during the worst pandemic in 100 years. I worry about you.

Comment was by Paul Smith on October 17, 2020 at 10:28pm

Nice work Randall. I too visited bone lick. Not much to see but fun to say...

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