Monday, January 31, 2011

Humpback Bridge II

Another view of the bridge...for more info on Humpback Bridge, see yesterday's post!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Humpback Bridge

Humpback Bridge

In terms of seniority, the venerable Humpback Bridge lays claim to being the oldest of Virginia's remaining covered bridges. Located in Alleghany County, just west of Covington, it was built in 1857. It was part of the James River & Kanawha Turnpike (JR&KT) and it succeeds three other bridges at the site. It stretches over Dunlap Creek, which is a tributary of the Jackson River that joins the Cowpasture River, near Iron Gate to form the James River. The first structure was built in the 1820s and was washed away by a flood on May 12, 1837. The second fell victim to the flood of July 13, 1842 and the third, as the annual report of the JR&KT company put it, "gave way" in 1856.

The 100-foot-long, single-span structure is four feet higher at its center than it is at either end, thus the name, "Humpback". Traffic across the bridge ceased in 1929 when it was replaced with a "modern" steel truss bridge. It stood derelict (and was even used by a nearby farmer to store hay) until 1954. That year, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Covington and the Covington Chamber of Commerce, it was restored and preserved as part of Alleghany County's history.

It can be reached from I-64 by taking exit 10 to Route 60 and traveling one-half mile east, or by taking Route 60 west from Covington.

To see bridges from all over the world, see none other than Louis La Vache!

Friday, January 28, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

Hazy summer skies in Clifton Forge. We were headed on a camping trip to Douthat Park and I remember thinking what a cute town Clifton Forge is and that I need to take a trip back just to check it out but still haven't made it of these days!

To see skies from all over the world, visit Skyley!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg - Gates & Entryways IV

A heavy door in the the public gaol....

Construction authorized by general assembly in August 1701
Virginia's general assembly ordered a "substanciall brick prison" built in Williamsburg soon after it decided to make the city the colony's new capital. Known as the Public Gaol, the building's construction was authorized by an act of August 1701. Contractor Henry Cary got the job – as he had the Capitol and would the Governor's Palace. He had two cells ready in a building just north of the Capitol on Nicholson Street by May 1704.

The word gaol is pronounced "jail." It comes from an Old North French word, "gaole," which in turn comes from "caveola," a diminutive form of the Latin term "cavea," which means "cage." Debtors, runaway slaves – and occasionally the mentally ill – were sometimes confined in the Gaol. During the Revolution, tories, spies, military prisoners, deserters, and traitors were included in the prisoner inventory.

Gaol housed infamous prisoners
The Public Gaol's most celebrated occupants were 15 henchmen of the pirate Blackbeard, caught in 1718, and the infamous Henry "Hair Buyer" Hamilton, lieutenant governor of British Detroit, captured in 1779. Suspected of buying pioneer scalps from Indians, Hamilton was held in a straw-strewn 10-foot by 10-foot cell with six other inmates. "In one corner of this snug mansion," he wrote, "was fixed a kind of Throne which had been of use to such miscreants as us for 60 years past and in certain points of wind renderd the air truly Mephytic. Opposite the door and nearly adjoining the throne was a little Skuttle 5 or 6 inches wide, thro which our Victual was thrust to us."

From Hamilton's description, it is not surprising that the Public Gaol was a place of discomfort and pestilence. Gaol fever – probably typhus – broke out from time to time, and the unheated cells often were overcrowded. Hamilton was kept in handcuffs his first night, and was fitted in leg irons the next day. Manacles and chains were familiar parts of gaol life.

The original Gaol was 20 by 30 feet with two cells, an exercise yard, and lodgings for keeper John Redwood. Strong timbers were laid beneath the cells to prevent "under mining."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg - Gates & Entryways II

Another of Williamsburg's neat old gates (May 2010)
Supposed to get some snow tonight/tomorrow. Possibly 3-6 inches they are saying right now but who knows, the weather people all seem really confused by this one!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg - Gates & Entryways I

Going back to Colonial Williamsburg once more but this time I'm going to show you some of the awesome gates around town!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Andy Layne Trail

Just one of the bridges along the Andy Layne Trail, crossing Catawba Creek.

To see more bridges, visit my pal Louis La Vache!

Friday, January 21, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

Summer in Philly and the age old debate: Pat's or Geno's? To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Andy Layne Trail - Sign

These clippers are available at the beginning of the trail. I've never seen anything like this before in all the trails we've hiked but what a cool idea. In the summer, these will definitely get a lot of use!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Andy Layne Trail - Catawba Creek

Parts of the creek are still frozen...

And I want to thank Di for my new look! Thanks Di!! I love it!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Andy Layne Trail

On Saturday with the weather feeling a little warmer, we went on a GeoCache hunt in Catawba. Our starting point was the Andy Layne Trail. This was a fun hike although can get a bit treacherous if you make it out to Tinker Cliffs and Scorched Earth Gap, which I'd like to go back and get to those points before the weather turns hot. The trail intersects into the Appalachian Trail.

This picture is the beginning of the trail. You have to climb over the barbed wire by taking this little ladder. There are a few of them scattered along the trail, along with some neat bridges for crossing Catawba Creek.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg - Horse

From our Williamsburg trip Memorial Weekend, 2010

I haven't picked up my camera in a couple of weeks. I hope the weather is nice this weekend so we can get out and do something!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg - Armory

My arsenal of pictures is dwindling as I just haven't been anywhere lately so I am taking you back to Colonial Williamsburg for the next week. We went there for the Memorial Weekend and I loved it! Can't wait to get back!

This photo was taken outside the armory.

Friday, January 7, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

I thought the clouds looked really cool over this hill while we were out hiking see more skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snow Much Fun!

Over Christmas break we got some snow so we headed over to Greenfield. They have some pretty good hills for sledding and snowboarding!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hornet Nest

The paper-like nests are made of chewed wood fiber mixed with saliva.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Some of you already know my obsession with trees. This one is at Greenfield.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Yesterday we went on a Geo Cache hunt across the road from us at Greenfield. Despite warmer temperatures, the pond was still frozen. You can see one of the old slave cabins up on the hill.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Theme Day - Photo Of The Year 2010

First of the month is Theme Day for the City Daily Photo community and this month's theme is "Photo of the Year 2010"
This is one of my favorite photos. It's Braden and Dalton's football team, the Panthers, (7-8 year olds) getting ready to take on a very tough team to beat, the Wasps.

It was a very foggy and freezing, cold morning.

The Wasps beat us in size, almost all of their players outweighed our guys, but they didn't beat us in heart because our Panthers put up a good fight and won 21-20. It was a great game and super season!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants