Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Richmond, Va.

If you visit Richmond, make time to visit the Edgar Allan Poe Museum on East Main Street. It’s on the same street as the Main Street Station and the Farmer’s Market.

This is the front of the museum. It is a home from the era of Poe’s childhood, though not one he ever lived in or visited.

You’ll get to walk through several rooms with artifacts from Poe’s life in Richmond. He lived there early in his life before moving to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and back to Richmond at various times throughout his adult life.

Poe’s mother, a traveling actress, died when he was 3 and John Allan, a wealthy merchant, and his wife, Frances Valentine Allan, took him in.

I really liked the portraits; original manuscripts, including those of Poe’s sister Rosalie; and the layout of Richmond during Poe’s lifetime, showing where he lived, went to school and worked.

You can’t take photos inside the rooms, but you can outside in the courtyard.

This bust of Poe sits under a shelter in the courtyard behind the main museum building. I’m not really sure why people have left coins for the dead poet.
Here’s the front and back side of the information you’re given for the self-guided tour. It also includes a map layout of the buildings and grounds.
Don’t know much about Edgar Allan Poe? Check out these books.

And you most definitely should read Poe’s work.


New River Gorge

Here’s some photos from our trip to the New River Gorge a several weeks ago.

We stayed for a few of hours and would like to go back when we have time to explore more of the park’s trails.

These photos come from the Grandview Visitor Center, which isn’t the area where the famous bridge is located. (Bridge photos are below.)

See the train hauling all that coal?

Even though the bridge isn’t at this location, this is a good spot to visit. Walking along some of the trails and climbing to the top of the Turkey Spur Overlook were great.

This is the beginning of the Turkey Spur Overlook. We walked up several flights of stairs to the top of this rocky outcropping.

Me, being all artsy with the leaves on the Turkey Spur Overlook deck. 🙂

This visitor center is located off I-64, east of I-77, and off of Route 9 in West Virginia. Check it out!

Here are photos from Canyon Rim Visitor Center where the famous bridge is located. This was really outstanding! Every little bit we would pull over and take photos of the bridge from different angles.

Sidney’s ready for the next trail! We’re on an overlook checking out the bridge.

The New River Gorge Bridge.
Probably my favorite picture of the bridge (shot from the smaller bridge seen below).

Shot of the river.

A smaller bridge that’s below and beside the New River Gorge Bridge.

The smaller bridge is to the right (not pictured) and here is a picture of the New River Gorge Bridge and the road that goes underneath it.

There are just some pretty leaves I found alongside the New River below the bridge.

I want to walk to the Kaymoor Trail to the old mining community. There are also more waterfalls along this trail that we didn’t get to see because it was getting too dark to walk far on the trail.

The first waterfall on the Kaymoor Trail.

Ha! I love the look on Chris’ face. 🙂

Canyon Rim is located off of Route 19 in West Virginia.

We also went to the Thurmond Depot, but it was too dark to see anything. It would be cool to go back and check out the old community and train depot. It is located off of Route 25 (follow signs from Route 19).

Planning vacation travel

Chris and I, like many Americans, are planning to travel this holiday season to visit family and friends.

I never really experienced this myself since most of my family live in the same city, or at least within a good 2-3 hour driving distance.

But Chris’ family lives all over — from Oregon to New York.

Last year’s hotel booking was a nightmare. We arrived at the Motel 6 at 11 p.m. and discovered that our room looked like it had been rented out to a raccoon. Labeled nonsmoking, the room smelled of stale cigarettes; contained only once chair, which looked like it was commonly used as the ashtray; and had dingy white sheets that were stained and had cigarette holes.

When Chris returned from the car with our luggage, he found me frantically flipping through the phonebook for salvation. We found it up the street in a Howard Johnson. Although the hallways reeked of stale grease from the adjoining night club, our room was clean and had a bed that looked safe enough to sit on.

We didn’t get a refund from the hour or less we had the Motel 6 room, but we did get a peaceful night’s sleep at the HoJo.

We’re praying for an easier time this year and have researched reviews before we booked any rooms. I hope those reviews are up-to-date and valid so we can have a comfortable holiday season.

Wishing you a clean hotel and stress-free holiday travel!

Moses H. Cone and Julian Price Memorial Parks

Chris and I recently spent a few days in Gatlinburg, Tenn. A few Saturdays ago, we headed out down the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469 driving trail that winds through the mountains and valleys of the North Carolina and Virginia mountains.

The sun shone brightly for our leisure trip down the parkway and autumn leaf colors were just beginning to show among the light and dark green foliage.

We like to drive down the parkway, which has posted speed limits of 45 mph, and stop at various locations along the way.

The first two stops we made were at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and Julian Price Memorial Park. Both are located adjacent to each aother near Blowing Rock, N.C.
The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is 3,500 acres featuring 25 miles of trails and Flat Top Manor, a 20-room, 13,000 square foot mansion built in 1901 by Moses Cone. Moses Cone was a textile entrepreneur, conservationist and philanthropist.
The home now houses the Parkway Craft Center, which sells handmade crafts by regional artists. Visitors can walk, bike or ride horses on eight different trails around the estate.

We didn’t have time to walk around the trails, but from the porch of the home, you could a small lake with and a trail that loops around it. The view was gorgeous with the sunlight sparkling on a small lake. Some visitors did take advantage fo the trails, including one small group that brought their horses for a stroll.

Many people had stopped at the home to look at the various crafts, which ranged from jewelry to fabric dolls. My favorite was the computer elves — female creatures made of fabric with wildly colored hair and clothing that will sit on top of your computer monitor and help you with all your computer falfunctions.

Visitors are limited to the front of the home and to the first floor. I would have loved to seen what the rest of the house looked like, but it’s not open to the public.

From the estate, we traveled a few miles to a picnic area at the Julian Price Memorial Park. We ate sandwich and chips we had packed from home beside a small stream. Many people were enjoying picnics too and many families played frisbee or ball with children and dogs.

The Julian Price Memorial Park is adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and features 4,300 acres and a small lake.

Recreational activities include hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping and guided walks and evening campfire programs.

We didn’t get to enough any of the recreational activities at either site, but we’d love to. These are one of the many places we decided we want to go back and visit.

Next stops were Mount Mitchell and Linville Caverns. I’ll write about those in a future post!