First up for the parents, dogs, and me was the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace in Hillsboro, which happens to also be where Emily is a VISTA. We had a lovely tour of the house (one which I'll happily recommend, and not just because Emily pays a third of the rent), then trundled on through Hillsboro. We made a quick stop at the newly opened "Brier Patch," where I picked up a plate made by Eric Stahl, a local potter. I've taken to eating off of it almost exclusively, which certainly cuts down on the number of dishes in the sink!
From Hillsboro, we continued up Droop to the Battlefield, where we checked out the museum and lookout tower, than paused for some family photos with the view.
Next stop: Beartown!
I had a feeling I would like Beartown, and it turned out that I adored it. For some reason, I love boulders. I can't even begin to explain it, but my favourite hike to take whenever we visited the Blue Ridge Mountains as a kid was FULL of boulders to climb over or navigate around, and I adored it. But on to Beartown.
If you're interested in a tough hike, Beartown will not provide one. It's about a 20 minute walk along the boardwalk to see it all, but it's a heavenly 20 minutes. I'd love to go back some day when it could just be me and the rocks. Having to flatten yourself and your dogs to the side railing every few minutes to let a family of 8 pass is irritating, to say the least.
View down to the boardwalk below us. There's a photo of the very place the fellow in the orange is standing further down this post.
I LOVED the rocks. The holes, the moss, I loved it all.
This gives you a better idea of the way Beartown is navigated.
Here's where the man in orange was standing in the earlier photo. This little pass here reminded me of Rock City more than any other part.
One thing I love about the sepia tone of this film is how it automatically dates things in a way color film doesn't. I see this and could easily believe it was taken 100 years ago, in a jungle somewhere. Love it.
So that was our Saturday! After lunch, which was sandwiches on my porch, I started a book, then fell asleep and accidentally slept for 3 hours, dogs lying all over me in bed. It was a pretty full morning! In the evening, Mom and Dad drove up to Snowshoe to watch the fireworks, but I wimped out and fell back to sleep. They left Sunday morning, taking their dogs and greatly reducing the chaos level in the house. You've already heard about our Sunday evening activities!
For my first official stint as a Pocahontas County hostess, I feel I did pretty well! I kept everyone fed, exercised, and entertained, and didn't collapse from exhaustion until almost the end of the visit. Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad! It was great having you and the pups!