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Floyd County

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    • Day 141

      Trouble in paradise

      October 23 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      I needed a bed.... The car sleeping was cold and uncomfortable and I was getting lethargic. I arranged a Workaway for my last few days with Devona, a single, working mother with a hobby farm - 36 acres of woodland in the mountains of Virginia. 2 fat, free roaming horses, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 8 chickens, 2 guinea fowl and an organic vegetable patch.

      The setting, once again, was idyllic. My job was cleaning. She asked me to deep clean her 5 bedroom house in 4 days of 3 hours a day work. She has a specific diet and preferred not to feed me as well in exchange for 5 hours of work. The house was very clean and I realised immediately she was highly strung, high maintenance and a narcissist. I don't use that word lightly. She has a lot of rules in the kitchen connected to her food allergies which are definitely more in her head (health anxiety as a coping mechanism for stress).

      I met another young, Italian volunteer called Emma. She was pretty, darned miserable. She said she had ADHD and autism and was scared of Devona. There was an age, culture and language barrier at play. But also Devona could be snide or simply insulting with a smile on her face.

      Devona also works from home, a full-time job which requires long haul travel. To be honest, I had a lot of admiration for what she has achieved and accomplished in her life, and her stress levels were understandable. Sadly, her stress spilled over to cause discomfort to others. Emma had had an unpleasant 5 weeks and was counting down the hours to leave, a few days after me.

      I laughed to myself because I couldn't believe my luck. From one middle-aged, psychobitch Joanne bullying a vulnerable teen Addison in a stunning setting to another. I know it's no accident of the universe.

      I can get on nicely with Devona, ignoring her faults and focusing on her qualities. It helps that we are a similar age. I decide I will not allow the tensions in the air to ruin my last week of my trip. Day 2 however escalates into a full blown shouting match between Devona and Emma, and I have to intervene to stop Emma from being kicked out.

      It took a few hours and a lot of (my) ears being bashed to get Devona to calm down, and by the 3rd evening, harmony was restored to everyone's benefit, even if, understandably, from Emma it was a bit of self-preservation acting. Both thanked me for sorting it out. A new career in conflict resolution, methinks? I

      I did do 5 hours a day so I could supervise Emma and most of the house did actually get done, including exterior walls, sorting the basement and using a toothbrush on the skirting boards.

      It was really cute to have the horses wander up to the kitchen door if they wanted a snack. One of the dogs, would stay out all night, barking.... warding off black bears and coyotes....much appreciated. The other dog would run out of the house in the morning to eat all the chicken eggs before being collected by the humans :-)

      Emma's last job before she leaves is to harvest Devona's pumpkins. They look gorgeous.

      The woodlands and mountains are still full of autumnal colour..... Every blink of my eye captures peak radient beauty of mother nature. I am very still inside, calm. Not joyous, not sad. I know it's because my trip is ending imminently and with all the chaos in recent times, I haven't had the space to process anything, let alone, face up to my return.
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    • Day 98–101

      Blue Ridge Parkway

      October 16 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Manchmal macht man alles richtig: Wir sind zur richtigen Zeit am richtigen Ort. Das haben wir dem Abstecher zu den Outer Banks zu verdanken, denn nur dadurch ist genug Zeit vergangen, in der die Blätter auch im Süden erröten konnten. So fahren wir den außergewöhnlich schönen Parkweg in den und am Rande der Appalachen südwärts. Die Straße scheint mit den Rhododendren und dem sorgfältig gemähten Seitenbankett wirklich durch einen angelegten Park zu führen, doch es umgibt den Weg Wildnis. Auch die Rhododendren sind nicht angepflanzt.
      Es ist Hochherbst - wenn es den Hochsommer gibt, warum nicht auch dasselbe für die 3. Jahreszeit - und der Farbwechsel der Blätter in all seiner Pracht vollzogen. Wir erleben einen Farbrausch: Wir sehen nicht nur die blau gefalteten Berge in der Ferne, so wie der Name der Straße es verspricht, sondern das gesamte warme Farbspektrum des Laubes im Herbst. Manchmal wirkt die Szenerie wie Kitsch, aber hier ist nichts arrangiert.
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    • Day 7

      Tot aan Meadows of Dan

      May 9, 2007 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Dit was de eerste nacht bij normale temperaturen. Dus voor ons doen lekker lang geslapen. Op weg terug naar de Parkway toch maar even de Roanoke-Zoo meegepakt. In een “Zoo-choo-train” werden we door een 75- jarige machinist in een minitrein 2 maal rond het dierenpark gereden. En dat alles in een recordtijd van 3,5 minuten. Een enorm park dus. Maar alleen al het moeizaam in de kleine dieseltrein kruipen van de 75 jarige manke opa was de moeite waard. Met alle aandacht voor alle kinderen luidde hij hard de stationsbel en wees onderweg enthousiast de vogels en beesten aan. Overigens was Robbie meer onder de indruk van een groepje Mormonen dan van de dieren.
      Na een mooie rit door het heuvelachtige deel van de Parkway (mooie groene weiden, grote donkerrode “barns”, metalen silo’s, metershoge rododendrons, bloeiende magnolia, donkergele azaleas, git-zwarte koeien, spierwitte kerkjes en houten huizen in allerlei kleuren) hebben we uiteindelijk bij Mabry Mill een heerlijke pannenkoek gegeten (als beste van de hele Parkway getest, zeggen ze). Robbie werd daar overladen met “cute, beautifull, honey, pretty, lovely, angel...........” van het bedienend personeel.

      Overigens het plaatje hierboven van de watermolen(=Mabry Mill) is het meest geschoten plaatje van Virginia. En het wordt voor het gemak in nog 10 staten van Amerika gebruikt op lokale ansichtkaarten.

      We staan nu op een heuvel in Meadows of Dan. Een klein western dorpje met wat winkeltjes, een hotel, een kerk, een knife-shop, een bakery, de regio dealer van New Holland tractoren, een candy/fudge-fabriek en een camping.
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    • Day 13

      Dinner at Dogtown

      May 12, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

      Live music here. Their first song sounds like Jonny Reb having a hoedown on the farm. I'm real glad some people want to keep this music alive.

      Found out the tent leaks from anywhere there's a seam. WTF. That's like making a car that leaks wherever there's fixed glass... it's a failed product! Going to toss it and stay in cabins for the rest of the trip. Way more comfortable anyway.

      Tomorrow will be a travel day. I started 2 days late and I've been out 4 days. Starting to get a feel for how much slower (delays) it is to travel by bike. Want to skip some of Blue Ridge and get closer to the well-known rides near Asheville.

      Now checking the radar like I'm paranoid. Have clean (and dry) clothes with me and (dry) bedsheets in the tent. Gotta eat and run, bye!
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    • Day 12

      Chantilly Farm Campground

      May 11, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Lighting strikes twice. Back up a sec. There are still lots of beef and dairy farms around here. The estates can be pretty big, acres of rolling fields of grass. This campground used to be one. Now it's a campground, hosts weddings, has a gospel festival and a bluegrass shindig, etc. Today there's not many people tent camping... just one!Read more

    • Day 13

      Sun dried

      May 12, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      When I got back from my ride it was still bright sun and breezy so I set everything out to dry. There's still nothing on radar. Which is frustrating. I bet as soon as I leave with my laundry it will happen.

      I laid down for a nap... clouds. Now thunder.
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    • Day 11

      3. Tag Appalachen: Blue Ridge Parkway II

      October 21, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Übernachtet hatten wir im Quality Inn in Hillsville. Gutes Zimmer, sauber und warm.
      Am Morgen hatten wir viel Nebel, der sich aber recht schnell verzog. Eine wunderbare Fahrt durch die Appalachen, über Berge, durch weite Hochebenen und kleine verschlafene, aber sehr sympatische Örtchen. Wir haben hier ein anderes, unaufgeregteres Amerika gefunden das uns sehr gefällt.

      Heute übernachten wir in Waynesboro, einem kleinen Ort am Rande der Berge, auch in einem Quality Inn, Wallmart gegenüber :-) .

      Morgen geht es den 4. und letzten Tag weiter durch die Berge, den Skyline Drive durch den Shenandoah-Nationalpark entlang über Front Royal nach Harpers Ferry.
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    • Day 12

      Life in Floyd VA

      May 11, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      When I come to a place like this I can't help but wonder why people put up with traffic congestion, apartments with street parking only, 2 bed 2 bath for more than you can possibly pay in your lifetime... I know the obvious stuff like jobs and access to specialist doctors, and if you like big cities and all the stimulation they offer then this rant is irrelevant, but I'm just thinking of quality of life. Like what is life expectancy here versus the Bronx, or LA, or New Haven, or living 1 1/2 hours from your job in Boston? How much does aggrivation and frustration shorten your life? Would you like the rest of your life to have repeated and predictable irritations or occasional, unavoidable ones?Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Floyd County, مقاطعة فلويد, Флойд, ফ্লইড কাউন্টি, Condado de Floyd, Floyd konderria, شهرستان فلوید، ویرجینیا, Comté de Floyd, Floyd megye, Contea di Floyd, フロイド郡, Konteth Floyd, Floyd Kūn, Hrabstwo Floyd, فلوئڈ کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Floyd, Округ Флојд, فلوئڈ کاؤنٹی، ورجینیا, Quận Floyd, Condado han Floyd, 弗洛伊德縣

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