On Thursday, Jerry asked me what I knew about the Battle of Droop Mountain. I knew where it took place, by virtue of having to pass the Battlefield Park whenever I drove into Lewisburg, but that was all. He challenged my ignorance, and I responded in the traditional historian method: with a researched e-mail (I am shamed to say I relied heavily on Wikipedia, but I did manage to turn up SOME primary documents). He gave me a B+.
And so it passed that I was going to be halfway up Droop in Hillsboro to support my roommate's efforts to clear a lot of extraneous stuff out of the gift shop at the Pearl Buck Birthplace. Jerry agreed to drive a full hour and a half to prattle at me about the Battle of Droop Mountain (dude really, really likes to prattle). It was a rather full day, so I'll limit this post to photos from the Jerry portions of the day.
kepi, which he proudly showed off. We decided we'd start by driving to the lookout tower (top photo). It's a modern building, but the views it provides are ASTOUNDING. Check out all of the mountain ghosts (mists) in the above photo.
Jerry knew all of these guys by name (and in some cases, where they were from--he works for the historical society in Monroe), and did his best to explain military movements to someone whose brain simply does not have to capacity to grasp most of them. The map helped.
Pretty Penny Cafe in Hillsboro. Let me tell you, if you are ever in my neck of the mountains, you HAVE to eat at the Pretty Penny. All of the food is made from scratch, nothing from a can, and every single thing is delicious. Jerry had the Grecian Penne and I had the Becky's Burrito--both were devoured. After lunch, we headed a little further down the mountain to check out the mill at Mill Point. We are actually acquainted with the man who lives in it, but he sadly wasn't home.
After driving back up to the Park, Jerry and I went our separate ways. Aside from the fact that our brief attempt at hiking one of the Park's trails ended with the both of us soaked to the skin from a surprise rainfall, it was an altogether pleasant way to spend an afternoon! I highly recommend it if you're in the area, whether you're a Civil War buff like Jerry or a regular ole tourist with a camera like me.