We are officially home from our road trip/golf championship/mountain living… It was a nice getaway, but there really is nothing like the comforts of home, especially when having been in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service or GPS…and BUGS, bugs galore. With that aside, the trip was very pleasant. Sometimes getting away from all the rush is exactly what you need.
The ride there is always soooo much longer than the ride home. Anxiety about the trip is bubbling over and you’re literally counting the miles. Luckily, I had my
chauffeur boyfriend to pay attention to the road while I occupied myself with photos, reading, and digging for snacks.
We arrived at Warwickton Manor, aka Hidden Valley Bed and Breakfast, a little past 9:30. It was very dark, quiet, and a tad creepy. Getting to the actual house was the most terrifying drive I’ve ever experienced. No lights, one lane, dark, completely wooded, 4 miles of gravel, tiny eroding narrow bridges… and the GPS stopped working. Deer were leaping out here and there, around every turn. I just wanted to get there safely.
I woke up the first morning, made my coffee, and decided to check things out around the little cottage. I glanced out my window to about 5 little hummingbirds zipping past. There was a feeder right outside the house and they were taking turns drinking from it. They were so fast and I still can’t believe that I caught them on camera. They are amazing little creatures. So tiny and so much energy…
This is the main mansion, built in 1851, it sits in the middle of the George Washington National Forest. The owners are an older retired couple who bought the abandoned mansion and fixed it up. They live in the back-end of the house and the front end and cottage are used as a bed and breakfast. Actually, the cottage where we stayed was the set for the post-Civil War era movie Sommersby, 1993, with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster. The land in general has been a focus for a number of archaeological digs, where scientists have discovered the remains of an Indian long-hut and evidence of life on the land dating back to 11,000+ years ago. Because of the history of this land, the owners have to allow for digs and research every time they need to put something in the ground, even so much as planting a tree is cause for a 4-month excavation. I was absolutely thrilled to find all of this out. I am a crazy history buff, no matter the era or time period.
I thought that a nice trail run would be the perfect way to explore. That is until I asked the owners which trails I should head out on. They warned that they couldn’t make any promises that I wouldn’t run into wildlife… I assured them that deer and squirrels weren’t a bother. They laughed and told me that just last week a hiker who was staying with them came across a 400 lb. black bear. They also noted that coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions were common to the farm. They especially like to linger around their chicken coops. I was officially not going on a run. I was disappointed but would much rather avoid the possibility of coming face to face with a wild cat. Can you really blame me? …I guess I’m not a mountain girl.
I found the local library in Bath County and asked Trae to make a pit-stop, he happily obliged, knowing my love of libraries. The little town was very quaint.
The second day we were there Trae played a practice round while I rode along in the cart and read a book. That evening we enjoyed the Past Champion and Player’s Dinner in the Crystal Room at the Homestead. It was fun to get dressed up with my handsome man and enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner.
The 100th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship began Tuesday afternoon for Trae. The Homestead’s Cascades course was stunning, with views of the mountains, crystal clear streams of water, and the greenest grass.
While Trae didn’t win the tournament, he learned a lot, found areas to work on, put his name out there as one of the top players in Virginia, and overall had a great time. He is taking the experience and going to use what he learned in his next big tournament, The Eastern Amateur. I am very proud of him and all of his gains within the sport as well as the way he learns from his losses. His sportsmanship is extremely commendable and I have great expectations for his future in the sport.
Now that I’m back home, it’s time to get back in the running shoes… heading out for a long run tomorrow morning!