Ever since I signed up for the Community Supported Agriculture program way back last February, I knew this day was coming. I've had it marked on the calendar as a vacation day for some time, and I have to admit, I wasn't anticipating it in a good way. About a week ago, it dawned on me that this could
be fun, even tho' I knew there'd be physical work involved, tho' I also knew it wasn't going to be back-breaking work, by any means. I've been less uncomfortable about it the past few weeks as my back got better and, besides, I could do a photo essay for you! Whee!
What did I have to do? Drive to Check, VA and bring shares of the CSA back to Roanoke for distribution. Now, if you're wondering, yes, Check is in a rural county, about 30 miles from where I live. And it's up Bent Mountain.
There's a reason it's called that. The road up, while 3 lanes wide (it's the NEW
road which has been there as long as I've been driving - in fact, my first day in driver's ed I had to drive UP it!), is at an 8% grade and so many S-curves that double back on themselves in such a way, that if you're not the one in control of the wheel? Motion sickness is a real possibility. It's a dangerous road, and one where many accidents have occured over the years. The posted speed limit is 25 on those turns. I'm able to do 35-40 most of the way up, but the locals just flat-out fly by me.
One of the big reasons I've been dreading this day, is because I could not predict whether the day would be sunny and if it was? Driving that hour up the mountain and the hour back could have posed a major problem for me.
Guess what? Tuesday was a true example that our winter is fast approaching...
As you approach the mountain, you pass through the tiny community of Poages Mill, where Poages Mill Farm is located. This is a local landmark, and the ex and I once looked at property up behind the farm to buy. That would, indeed, have been a small "share-crop" sort of farmstead, so I almost got my wish (see yesterday's Ten on Tuesday post below)...
Can you see those skies? It was gray and chilly - only in the low 50s here, and in the mid-40s on top of the mountain...mist threatened the entire trip...
I stopped mid-way up the mountain (not the smartest thing, but there is a shoulder, so I could walk back and snap this shot for you...I didn't dare cross the road to point the camera down the mountainside. Scary!
Back in the day, the "back-to-the-land" movement of the 70s, many folks moved to Floyd County to start farmsteads and one of the ways they survived was to raise Christmas Trees. Small farms and nurseries, the land is so hilly that's about all you can have, but I did see lots of cows this trip. I looked for sheep, but saw none, tho' I'd have thought they'd be good farm animals up there. The tree farms are thriving businesses 30 years later.
Once you get to the top of Bent Mountain, you continue on thru Copper Hill and finally you get to Check...down a couple of roads and off to the left, you turn onto a dirt track:
The farm sign greets you. Of course, that photo is thru my windshield, but the mist was heavy at that point, too...it did lift a bit later on.
I carefully guided the Forester down the farm track to the CSA barn at the back of the property...when I got out, through the back of the barn, I spied a cat.
And you know me...I had to have a photo:
That dark gray blur at center of the photo in the right angle formed by the cold frame and the wood frames? She took a flying leap just as the shutter went off.
Well, of course, photos were not why I was there, so I joined Polly in the CSA barn
where she was already way ahead on bagging the shares.
Another helper arrived, we packed everything into the two Foresters (she had one, too!) and joked about that vehicle being the requisite CSA car for transporting shares...
As I drove off, I caught this view of the farm, still showing some of the greens growing...cold as it is!
And just a bit further down the track?
The cat reappeared and I quickly snapped her photo - but I really do think she's camera shy, because she looked back at me (showing a lovely white vest) as if to say, "HA!You didn't get my best side!"
On the way home:
I came upon this and it reminded me that I should have mentioned in yesterday's wish list that I've always wanted a log home...but that would have made Eleven on Tuesday and that's not what it's about! *wink*
Doesn't this look cold? And dreary? I love winterscapes, and this shot of seed pods was quick and through the open car window as I drove off the farm. I am glad it turned out, even if only a little!
Back in town, you can tell we're warmer here, there's more color
But not for much longer. After all, it's mid-November!
And in light of feeling chilled to the bone, I made a cup of Earl Gray and settled in with my knitting to warm up at the end of the day! Not a bad day off, if I do say so...and I topped it off with a big weight loss - check out that ticker up there, please? *wink*