The Blue Ridge Parkway

is actually pretty darn green. Although some fall leaf color is beginning to show up. Tree coverage is so dense that you can’t imagine there might be an issue regarding deforestation. Thanks be for national parks!

We left Charlottesville VA this morning. Let me just say that we are loving Virginia! We plan a return trip to spend time in the area to explore more. Fall seems a pretty ideal time – like in most places. Days are still in the 80s and nights get down to 50s. Evenings are perfect weather and mornings are cool. The day heats up to steamy. But trees are so ubiquitous that shade is easily found. It has been comfortable walking – even in DC where we spent Saturday the 2nd October.

We walked around 10 miles touring the mall and outdoor sculptures. Too beautiful a day to be inside. The one exception being our visit to the Ford Theater late afternoon. A friend had recommended it as a place most visitors don’t think to go. More on that later.

Today I want to write about today. We had three interesting encounters. The first was when we left the parkway to detour to Steeles Tavern. It was around lunchtime and that seemed like a good bet. There was one sign directing. Then at a crossroads, nothing. We gambled and turned right. After a short drive in a very quiet and rural area with hardly any traffic or people, i spied a man roadside and exhorted Ed to stop and ask him if we were headed in the right direction. We were. But the Steeles Tavern is no longer were informed. Ed mentioned the need to visit his namesake watering hole and that he had family from the area. Upon hearing that, roadside gentleman proceeds to tell us of all the Steeles in the area, their names, and how many kids they have. He also mentioned Harold Steele just down the road apiece. Harold was Ed’s dad’s name. He was lovely! Continue on and just over the bridge you’ll come to Steeles Tavern he says. We thought we’d see the relic of the building. Instead we discovered the town of Steeles Tavern! Right there on the corner on the post office. I thought it would be an ideal place from which to send a post card to Amber.

Inside I ask the postmaster about the tavern. He’s young and doesn’t have a clue, but says to talk to that ole guy out there. So i do. Mr. Thomas proceeds to spin a yarn, some truth sprinkled in.

But before that story gets told i have to tell you how surprised I was to learn that he’d been to Santa Fe! Didn’t think any place could be closer to heaven. (I beg to differ.) He looked like he’d never been further than a block. I think it had something to do with military service. He LOVES La Fonda. Especially once he “taught that Indian how to make a martini.” Oh, he had stories: he was fixing up that old building there on the corner which used to be the hotel part of the Steeles Tavern.

Yeah,that one. Took 4 tons of material out so far. Working on it solo. Wants to get it on the historic register.

Upon hearing of Ed’s surname, tells about old man Steele who just died at age 97. Got stopped by the police just 4 months prior on suspicion of drunken driving. We said in tandem, sounds like a Steele!

Well he had some other stories about William Steele, hero of the revolutionary war who was a CIA type for back then and proprietor of the tavern and that’s why the town’s name was changed from Midway to Steeles Tavern. He wound up by saying that the post office parking lot was the place to be on a Saturday morning if you had any question whatsoever that needed answering. He was fun.

And now for some photos from the BRP!

And now – to bed. Wait! There was a third encounter! As we entered Devil’s Backbone Brewery (outside of Lexington, home of Virginia Military Institute and the Washington and Lee University) for lunch a young woman tapped my shoulder. Are you from Albuquerque? I was wearing my Get Elevated t-shirt from La Cumbre. She had been there. Her friend Nick had been a brewer there and was now brewing here. She had just worn her own Get Elevated hoodie yesterday. What are the odds?! Okay, now to bed. No editing either, so forgive typos, etc. Sweet dreams.

2 thoughts on “The Blue Ridge Parkway

  1. pamela October 4, 2021 / 10:28 pm

    Oh that is a great story! Don’t ya just love locals???

    With Gratitude, Pamela




    • pgsteele4 October 5, 2021 / 8:56 pm

      Indeed, I do. Thanks Pamela!


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