Fog shrouds the hills surrounding this farm, with cattle in the field.
Margie’s not much of a hiker and today was definitely a day to get outside, so I suggested we go for a photo field trip out to the Catawba Valley and she jumped all over it. Especially when I threw in lunch at the Homeplace, a “Sunday lunch at grandma’s” restaurant in a 100-year-old farmhouse.
The colors are deep and magnificent.
We got more than we bargained for in every respect–except for the exercise I crave. I even saw a red squirrel running up through the forest at one point. Don’t recall the last time I saw one of those chubby critters.
The last time I ate at the Homeplace, i came away vowing, “Never again!” The food was about 25 degrees south of pedestrian, the atmosphere loud and hurried and the wait interminable. The price was high for what was served. Today’s was a completely different experience, even though the food was essentially the same. It tasted better, the service was marvelous, the wait short and the cost a bargain (at $15 each, all you can eat).
Margie and me loading up on the home-style meal.
The Homeplace sits in a picturesque spot in the Catawba Valley, surrounded by mountains and housing a pond just outside the window. Out front are large oaks and a gazebo. The porch is populated with people in rockers. Today, at the unexpectedly late peak of leaf season, it was simply lovely.
As we drove back, we took the side road up to Catawba Hospital, a government-run health care facility that takes care of those with mental/emotional problems and the poor. The grounds, especially enshrouded in fog and color, were eerily beautiful, with a kind of dread Victorian feel to it. We drove out through the valley, stopping to take photos of the fog-covered farms, fields and colorful mountains.
Reds and yellows dominate.
As we neared Salem on the way back, Margie spotted “Carvins Cove Road” and I had to do a quick bat turn and drive up that road until it ended. Simply a beautiful drive. It included a stop at the entrance of the Carvins Cove compound, one veined and vesseled with hiking/biking trails. That made an imprint on my brain for future use. I was talking to a friend recently about all the trails I haven’t hiked around the Cove and this, I suspect, is the beginning of the next phase in that conversation. Can’t wait to walk it.
In all, even without my hike, this was a successful run out into peak season. Suggest you follow suit.
View from the porch at the Homeplace.
The fog heightened the color.
The colors are so intense they look like a comic book.
Margie and me in front of the Homeplace.
The large natural paintbrush creates a magical canvas.
What would an impressionist do with this view?