December 26, 2018 [LINK / comment]

A brief review of travels in 2018 (and before...)

In preparation for a summary of travels that Jacqueline and/or I have taken over the past year, I have thoroughly revised the Chronological photo gallery pages, with consistent formatting from 2014 up to date. Whereas before each yearly page grouped photos geographically, now they are strictly sequenced according to time (which they really should have been all along), with one or more "batches" for each month. Part of the problem is my own inconsistency in blogging about travels in a timely fashion. It was 15 months ago (July 1, 2017: "North of the border: trip to Canada & the Midwest") that I began the laborious process of catching up with the chronicles of my adventures. In the next few days, I will do likewise about the trip to the southwest that I took with my father in 2014, completing the task of consistent formatting photo gallery pages going back at least to 2012. It was in 2008 that I first purchased a high-quality digital camera (a Nikon D40), and in 2013 I purchased a camera with a 50x optical zoom lens, the Canon PowerShot SX-50. My photos prior to 2008 are of mixed quality, some scanned from prints made from my old Pentax K-1000 film camera and others being still images from my Canon video camera. Many of the latter are barely worth archiving, frankly.

What follows are brief summaries of each of our significant trips this year, beginning with a link and headline for each of the four travel-related blog posts that I made in 2018. (Jacqueline's travels to Peru are not included.) Clicking on those respective links will take you to more detailed descriptions of the things we saw and did.

August 9, 2018: "Highlights from a few "recent" day trips"

On March 23 we drove to Highland County, even though it was a week after the annual Maple Festival. Our hopes that some of the vendors might still be hanging around proved to be in vain. On March 26 we drove to Charlottesville to buy concert tickets, and played tourist / shoppers for a day. Of special interest was the Robert E. Lee statue near downtown, the center of violent political clashes the previous August. The statue had been covered with a black tarp for several months, as the City Council wanted to remove the statue, but a state court ruled that such a move was illegal. Police had put yellow "keep out" tape surrounding the statue.

Robert E. Lee equestrian statue in Charlottesville

Robert E. Lee equestrian statue in Charlottesville. (March 26)

On May 26 Jacqueline, her family, and I visited Washington, D.C. and Arlington National Cemetery for the first time in years, paying homage to John and Jacqueline Kennedy's gravesite. On June 10 we went to Manassas battlefield, another symbol of lingering Civil War divisions. It was much appreciated by Jacqueline's brother Roberto, who is fascinated by U.S. Civil War history.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy gravesite

John and Jacqueline Kennedy gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. (May 26)

Finally, on August 4 we went on a "random" day trip to Brownsburg and Goshen, in Rockbridge County. It was a beautiful sunny day, following days of heavy rain that had caused many area rivers to flood.

Goshen Pass, Maury River

The Maury River passing through the Goshen Pass. (Aug. 4)

August 23, 2018: "Weekend trip to Annapolis"

Annapolis is a place that we had been meaning to visit for many years, and finally we got around to actually doing it. The weather was uncertain as we left Staunton, but the skies eventually brightened, and it turned out to be a big success. We feasted on steamed hard-shell crabs at Cantler's Riverside Inn, and the next day took a boat tour of the Annapolis harbor, walked the streets of the city, and briefly visited the U.S. Naval Academy campus before returning home. It was an intense but very rewarding weekend!

Annapolis montage

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The tower above the Maryland State House (south side), the Government House, U.S. Naval Academy Main Chapel, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, boats at dock, the Annapolis Federal House, and in center, quaint townhouses on Fleet Street. (August 18-19)

September 25, 2018: "Day trip to West Virginia"

For years I had been meaning to visit Dolly Sods, a wilderness area in West Virginia that was recommended by a former house mate of mine in grad school. It was a rugged uphill climb along gravel roads to get there, and Jacqueline was less than enthuasistic. But she did enjoy visiting Seneca Rocks afterwards, even though we didn't have much time left.

Goshen Pass, Maury River

Seneca Rocks, during our second stop there in the late afternoon. (Sept. 19)

October 25, 2018: "'Innings' and outings in October"

Jacqueline had the day off on October 25 and was anxious to get out and see something different. (My interest in birds often bores her, and I promised to keep that to an absolute minimum that day.) After scrutinizing the various maps we have I hit upon the perfect destination: the White Oak Lavender Farm, located in Rockingham County a few miles southeast of Harrisonburg.

White Oak Lavender Farm

The main building of the White Oak Lavender Farm. (Oct. 4)

Finally, we drove up to the Blue Ridge on October 21, hoping to see some fall foliage, but it had not yet reached peak color. We stopped in the village of Love, hoping to eat lunch, but they were closed, so we ended up a Blue Mountain Brewery, which was just wonderful.

Twenty Minute Cliff

Twenty Minute Cliff, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Oct. 21)

To see additional photos, please visit the Chronological photo gallery (2018-BEST) page, which has 20 photos, and if you are really interested, see the Chronological photo gallery (2018) page, which has over 100.