My father-in-law is visiting from Texas so we wanted to take him on Skyline drive to see all the Fall colors changing...But the line to get in the park was about 3 miles long!
So we decided to go down Fort Valley road instead. Fort Valley Rd runs down the Shenandoah Valley on the west side of the river through the Massanutten Mountains in the George Washington National Forest and it is absolutely beautiful! I am so glad we made the switch. So few tourists. If you have never been down this road you have to try it. There are hiking trails and camp sites, there are also horse trails if you like to ride. We saw several places to rent horses as well.
Fort Valley Road Virginia
The Elizabeth Furnace
When the Civil War began in 1861, Virginia had 14 pig iron furnaces in operation. The Shenandoah Valley's furnaces and forges furnished the Confederacy with weapons and other strategic materials. This made them target of Union forces. Elizabeth Furnace was destroyed in 1864 when Federal troops penetrated the upper end of Fort Valley during the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. Elizabeth Furnace was rebuilt in 1883 but had no appreciable output and was abandoned in 1888. After the war, many of the furnaces continued operations. Virginia's furnaces played a role in reconstruction and as late as 1870 Virginia was producing annually far more iron than it had during the years before the war. This economic resurgence of Virginia's iron industry did not extend into the 20th century.
Reclaiming the Land In 1913, the Forest Service acquired the furnace and surrounding land. Hillsides were bare, roads were eroding, and stream channels were filled with debris - all caused by the mining and charcoaling required to operate the furnace. Work began immediately to revegetate this area and protect it from fire. (Information from the historical plaques at the Elizabeth Furnace House).
View on Fort Valley Road
The Shenandoah River
As we were leaving the Massanutten Mountains headed for Luray, Virginia we saw the River Hill Distillery was open and giving tours...Why yes we would like to see how you brew your whiskey!
Fred and his wife Amy already manage a horse-boarding service-River Hill Stables, which includes public lodging for overnight guests. They also farm and raise their own beef, which they sell directly from the farm. Two years ago they started their own distillery as well. Page County Virginia has a long history of whiskey-making (moonshine) but of course the River Hill Distillery is totally legal and 100% family owned and operated...and a great place to visit.
The tour was wonderful and Fred and Amy are 2 of the nicest people you will ever meet...and OMG are Fred's eyes BLUE!
Fred showing us the "mini-micro" distillery.
We stopped in Luray, Virginia to have some lunch at Uncle Bucks. It was Halloween so there were a lot of trick-or-treaters out and about.
Downtown Luray, Virginia
We also checked out the Warehouse art gallery in Luray
the Warehouse Art Gallery
I loved the feel and the look of this space.
Paper Mache....I love, love, love it...I almost bought it too but hubby reminded me I am saving for a jeep!
Sculptures at the Warehouse Art Gallery
I doubt I could ever cut it as a farmer but the pink tractor would help!
Over all an awesome day with Hubby and Hubby's dad.
Click on the Alligator Fish Boat for more of Today's Art Room Report