Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Dogfest, Level Cross, N.C.

I got a press release this week about the 13th Annual Dogfest at the Level Cross Community Center (N.C.).

It’ll be 1-4:30 p.m.Oct. 17 at the center — 112 Branson Mill Road, Randleman. Take the Level Cross Exit, which is north of Randleman and south of Greensboro off of U.S. 220.

This is a fundraiser for the Humane Society of the Piedmont and Ruff Love Foster Care and Dog Rescue. It’s also used to raise awareness of homeless and abused animals and encourage spaying and neutering.

There will be several activities for families and their four-legged friends, including a costume contest, face painting and pumpkin decorating.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. Children 2 and younger get in free.

Shelton Vineyards’ Harvest Festival

Shelton Vineyard will host its 5th annual Harvest Festival Oct. 9-10.

I have three, wonderful days off that weekend so I plan to ask Chris if he wants to go.

The winery’s website says the festival will feature pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes and other produce. There will be grape stomping, which I’d love to see!

There will also be craftsmen and music — staples you always see at all festivals in the area.

The times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

And the event is free!

Upcoming October Events

Remember when I told you the Davis-Bourne Inn of Independence was keeping a very good, detailed calendar of events for the area? (I’d link to it, but can’t find the post.) Well, the inn has since closed (though I’ve heard someone is going to buy and reopen the inn and it’s restaurant).

You could try The Twin County Calendar of Events site. It looks like it’s kept up now, though in the recent past I saw it was missing a lot of the festivals, and some of what I’ve got listed below isn’t on there now.

You can also scour local news sites and google key words, but that’s a lot of work and probably won’t help any non-locals.

Here’s some October events. Most of this information is from local news sites (The Gazette or Mount Airy News) or events I knew of:

This Saturday (Oct. 2) is the annual Baywood Fall Festival the Baywood Elementary (Va.). I always loved covering this festival. It’s small and personal. It is for the community, after all. There’s always a parade and crafts and I hope there will be pumpkin painting for the kids again. It was always fun getting pics of those.

Next weekend is both the Mountain Foliage Festival (Oct. 8-9) in Independence (Va.) and the Whitetop Mountain Sorghum Molasses Festival (Oct. 10) at the Mount Rogers Fire and Rescue Squad (Va.).

At the Mountain Foliage Festival, there are a ton of events Friday night and all day Saturday. You will be exhausted if you try to catch all of it! So plan you visit accordingly. Suggestions: Potty Princess Contest on Friday and the state’s only and official Privy Race on Saturday.

Oct. 16 is both the New River Trail Fall Foliage Bike Ride and the Bridle Creek Fall Festival at Bridle Creek Elementary.

On the Mount Airy News site, I found this event and thought it was interesting — Tastefully Superficial: the Art of Victorian Dressing at the Historic Sharpe House in Statesville, N.C. The event is on Thursdays and Fridays through Oct. 17.

If you hear of anything else, just post in the comments below or send me an email. That way more people can be aware of events!

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Gallipolis, Ohio

On our trip to Cincinnati a couple weekends ago, our main stop was Gallipolis, Ohio, a small town just over the Ohio River from West Virginia. It’s located off Ohio 7, south of U.S. 35.

The name of the town means “city of the Gauls.” It was founded by 500 French colonists in 1790.

We ate a picnic lunch in the town’s park, which fronts the river. The park was planned many years ago and is the site of where the original colonists camped when they first landed.

At the Visitors’ Center, we talked with a tourism official about the area and learned a little more the town and surrounding area. Nearby is Bob Evans’ Farms, the founder of the restaurant chain Bob Evans. The farm is open for tours and we’d like to go back to check it out one day.

The farm will host a Farm Festival Oct. 8-10, if you’re interested.

We also checked out the Elizabeth Evans Waterfowl and Bird Sanctuary in the town. We were surprised to see that the sanctuary was just a big, mowed field with benches along the perimeter. There was small creek with trees that ran along the far side of the field, but we were hoping to see a pond or wetlands area.

We were also hoping to find a trail to explore the park, but it appeared to only be a field. It seemed to be a nice park to have in town and I’m sure the park’s neighbors enjoy going there for a nice, peaceful afternoon, but it won’t do much for tourists.

Next was Our House Museum, an 1819 tavern located on First Avenue. It was an easy walk from the park.

The director gave us a 2 hour-long tour of the 3-floor (including the attic) home. The museum boasts collections that include General Lafayette’s jacket and mementos from Napoleon Bonaparte to a sweetheart, who married someone else rather than return to Europe to join the exiled French leader.

I really enjoyed looking at the various home furnishings (including hair art), clothing and kitchen utensils (in a kitchen separated from the rest of the house).

If we go back, I’d also like to check out the French Art Colony, a multi-arts center. I like going through galleries, especially if they showcase local and regional artisans. One of my favorites is Tamarack in Beckley, W. Va.

Here’s some other buildings and sights from Gallipolis:

Downtown shopping district. The park is right behind the photographer (Chris).

Another section of the small, downtown shopping district.

While Our House Tavern was for men and women, this tavern (across the street from Our House) was strictly for men.

This building, across the street from the park, is pretty large and beautiful. It’s located by the river. Wouldn’t you like to live in it?

If you’re interested in learning about more things to do in Gallipolis, visit this site. It includes hiking trails, shopping and lodging.
Need a map to get to Gallipolis, Ohio? Check out these products:



Happy (Belated) 4th!

Chris’ parents just left this morning after a weekend visit. They usually spend every July 4th with us.

So, this post is a little late, but, nonetheless, I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!

Here’s some visual goodness from various 4th of July celebrations we attended. (All photos by either E.A. Seagraves or Christopher Brooke. Do not use without permission.):

Fancy Gap, Va. (July 3rd)

Chris (left) samples some kettle corn at one of the first booths we came to.

This isn’t a great picture, but I posted it anyway. I like the birdhouse, the bowls and cutting boards.

Local woodworker Tod Price makes a wine stopper. (The wood products above are not his.)

A crowd shot.

This lady (right) is originally from Arizona, but now lives in the Twin Counties, Va., area (Grayson and Carroll Counties and City of Galax).

Another vendor (right) talks about some of her products.

The music got started in the early afternoon, right before we headed home.

Hillsville, Va. (July 4th)

Members of the local VFW

More local veterans

A local Girl Scout troop. They won the award for best overall parade entry.

A local Christian Association of Bikers club.

At least four dogs participated in the parade, including this patriotic dachshund.

Classic cars are always a part of local parades.

The Kazim Hillbillies is a regional Shriners group. They’re usually a lot of fun.

Weekend photos — May 22-23

Though I had to work Sunday and most of Saturday was spent doing chores, Chris and I did find time to take two 2.6 mile walks on the New River Trail State Park.

Here are some beauties and what I think that they are. Now, my identification skills aren’t that great and Newcomb’s just isn’t my friend, but this is what I came up with. If you have any suggestions or can correctly identify them, let me know in the comments below.

I think the flower below is possibly a campion of some kind. I’m not too sure. Any ideas?

I couldn’t find the fuzzy bloom below or anything that closely resembled it in Newcomb’s or our other wildflower book. I’m leaning toward an orchid. Anyone?

I’m certain the purple beauty below is a Virginia Waterleaf:

And, of course, this is a Virginia Spiderwort, one of Chris’ favorites:

And the very familiar fire pink:

While I was at work Sunday, Chris ventured out and took some more pictures in Carroll County and our yard. Check ’em out:

Mountain Laurel

Bug on a leaf

Tulip poplar bloom



And, if you were wondering, we did go to see the Embers play at Hillsville’s summer concert series, checked out the cars in the cruise in and talked with some artists at the Carter Home’s Art Festival. Chris took some pictures for The Gazette.

Activities in Asheboro, N.C.

Normally I post activities in my own area of Southwest Virginia, but thought I’d share some upcoming activities in my hometown, Asheboro, N.C.

While visiting The Courier-Tribune’s website for some news updates, I found a list of June activities. Here’s the article. The cemetery tour of the Old Asheboro Cemetery on June 5 will feature World War I and II  and Korean veterans in recognition of D-Day (June 6). An interesting idea. (Note: Chris’ niece, Roxanne, will celebrate a birthday June 6.)

Star, a town in Montgomery County (south of Asheboro and Randolph County), will celebrate its heritage on June 5. Here’s the article about the festivities.

PawPaw is fond of saying, “I was born on Little River,” which is a small river that runs through Montgomery County. PawPaw attended Star Elementary and grew up in the Black Ankle community, where his family holds a reunion every summer. I wish I could go to the event, but I have to work that day.

Also, another fun fact, an article in the Monday’s paper about Johnny Miller caught my eye. I pointed to his picture and asked Nannie who he was. “He looks familiar,” I said. Nannie didn’t know him. Then I had an ah-ha moment. Miller was one of my regulars when I was a waitress (among other duties) at Back Creek Seafood many years ago. It was nice to see a familiar face in the paper. 🙂