Early morning mist amplifies the Abingdon sunrise colors and bathes Mt. Rogers and Whitetop on March 12, 2015
These photos were taken on bank of the South Fork of the Holston River in Alvarado in the late afternoon of October 19, 2014.
This has been a cold winter in Abingdon Outdoors country, yet thus far we have not had the big snowfall that neighbors to the north have had. That was remedied on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, when we finally got hit with a blizzard.
Come Thursday, school was closed, court was closed, public offices were closed, and most businesses were closed.
My wife and I walked through Abingdon around noon, and usually busy downtown was largely abandoned, allowing for unobstructed photos of the snow-laden historical buildings around town.
Walking west on Main Street:
View of the Abingdon United Methodist Church. The exterior of the church was renovated in 2013. Note the freshly painted white parapets on the bell tower.
Continuing west, we climbed snow-covered stairs to the “Barter Green,” the area across Main Street from the Barter Theatre.
We continued towards the Barter Theatre and the Martha Washington Inn.
The LOVE sign in front of the Martha Washington Inn, appropriate for Valentine’s Day, February 14:
Walking through the snow past a former employer:
The Martha Washington hotel driveway was empty (except for the shuttle that is used to drive cyclists to the Virginia Creeper Trail):
Walking through town, we had the winter wonderland to ourselves:
Turning back east, we headed towards “courthouse hill,” where the county courthouse is located.
Snow-covered hat makes for a cold soldier:
Headed east on Main Street:
This night I did an evening mountain bike ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail. The sky was clear and the air was cold.
Crossing the railroad tracks on Pecan Street, a gigantic November moon appeared to rise directly over the tracks. By the time I got home and got my camera, the moon had moved slightly and was not quite as dramatic, but still impressive.
In the photo above, Jupiter appears as the largest star in the sky and is to the right over the moon. Airline contrails reflect the moonlight in both the foreground and background on a northeastern axis, while railroad tracks glisten from the street lamps in town on a northeastern axis.
The scene is reminiscent of The Polar Express, in which children take the train through the night to the North Pole.
This month we’ve seen more LOVE on the Virginia Creeper Trail. These are pictures taken today at the trail.
The Virginia Creeper Trail has over the years become one of the main tourism draws in the Town of Abingdon. Recent studies have it rivaling the esteemed Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia, in terms of economic impact from tourism.
The LOVE signs, which we Abingdonians have seen some other places around town, are part of an effort to boost Virginia Tourism. The sign usually doesn’t stay for long in any given location, so I wanted to be sure to capture it before the sign is moved. Putting the artwork up in this location was a good idea.
Whitetop Mountain contrasts with the almost-full foliage on the hillsides of Abingdon yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday morning, November 17, we had the first snowfall in Abingdon. It started after I was already at work, so I didn’t get any pictures of it. It only snowed for a couple of hours; it was not a particularly heavy snow, and the ground was too warm for any of it to accumulate.
Unlike many folks, I always enjoy the first snowfall in town, as it means we’re in the season where we’ll see more of it in the mountains as winter approaches.
However, the snow yesterday wasn’t the first this fall in Southwest Virginia. In the eastern end of Washington County we had noticeable accumlation twice in October.
The first heavy dusting occurred on Saturday, October 1, 2011. When we were camping at Grindstone last month (see my previous article), the campground host told me that it snowed all Saturday that first weekend of October, and there was significant accumulation all over the north side of Mount Rogers.
By the time I took the photo above, the weekend storm cleared out, the sun warmed the day back into the upper 50s°, and most of the snow had melted off of the mountains. You can still see some remnants on the summit of Mount Rogers (on the left side of the photo). The scene earlier in the day was more dramatic; it is a strange contrast to see snow on the mountains behind the green, deciduous trees in the valley before they’ve changed into their fall colors.