A Cave, the Crooked Road and a Beautiful Hike

Floyd, VA

Luray Caverns

Hike to Tom's Creek Falls

668 miles down…alot more to go. 41 hours logged in.

So far, things have gone according to plan, except of course the 4:00 departure. BLTN (Better Late Than Never) is a firmly held family tradition. In fact, we believe it appears prominantly on the Cawley/Lafferty Crest.

Besides that bit of expected deviation, it’s pretty much gone according to plan. There is the occassional threat of mutiny from the back seat, but mostly all are well-behaved and downright civil to each other so far.  I’ve told them several times they are a pleasant group to travel with.

The in-flight movies have been good so far. Yesterday, we played Disney’s “Where the Red Fern Grows,” about a boy in Ozarks of Oklahoma and his hounds. The fact that the hounds die did not go over big, however.

“That’s nice, Mom, show us a movie with dying dogs on the day we leave Wednesday (our Dog) for a month,” Emmett said. (Wednesday is reportedly doing fine with Gina at home. Thanks, Gina and the Jo/Joe Crays.)

Today the in-flight movies was Forrest Gump. Always a tear-jerker…plus scenes of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The kids say that the highlights so far have been our impromptu visit to Luray Caverns; music (and candy-purchasing) on the streets of Floyd; seeing Aunt Cheryl for the first time at our quaint cabin at the Pine Tavern Lodge and the waterfall hike we took today.

I found Luray particularly interesting since in my sleep-deprived state,  I could not help making out the shapes of odd characters amid the stalactites and stalagmites. In addition to many trolls, witches and several forest animals, I detected the unmistakable likeness of a fat lady with her arm around a llama. Really, it was unmistakable. Look at the troll picture on Flickr to see what I mean.

A down-home and delicious dinner at Floyd Tavern was a great experience–all you could eat homemade specialties including fried chicken, mashed potatoes, dumplings, and a slew of other sides served family style. Plus homemade cobbler for $12 per adult and $7 per kid. My glass of wine was $4.

After that, it was off to downtown Floyd, for the Friday Night Jamboree, where literally dozens of fiddlers, and other musicians line the street, playing in mixed groups for free. We planned on checking out the three bands in the Floyd Country store for four bucks a person, but it was a lovely night and Aunt Cheryl, who joined us from Asheville had her dog, Sage, with her. (Troy and I did pop into a tasting room to try some local mead from the Blacksnake Meadery and other wines from local wineries…Next time, we might do a wine tour!)

Friday was a full day in the car, but today we took it easy. We slept in and drove just 4 hours, breaking up the drive with a nice two mile hike at Toms Creek Falls with magnificent views of the falls and and old mining shaft, as well as a dip in a swimming hole.

Aunt Cheryl outdid herself with a a great BBQ steak dinner for Emmett’s birthday.

Tomorrow is another long day. About 8 hours to Memphis with a lunch picnic with our friends, Derek and Hollie and family in Nashville.

Time to bunk down. Morning comes fast. More on Graceland later…

5 thoughts on “A Cave, the Crooked Road and a Beautiful Hike”

  1. Hi Cawley Clan!
    Col showed me your website when we were at the shore and just checking in to see how you were all doing! What a great idea to journal as well. So jealous, would love to go cross country. Everyone looks so happy! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, thanks for keeping us posted. I just showed Chris your website and he said to mark it in our favorites (which I already did) but he just loved it as well! Take care and have a blast! 🙂 The Gidley clan

  2. “…because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”
    – On the Road
    Jack Kerouac

    Hey! That’s funny you should mention family crests…the Gidley family crest features the two urchins from Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” Ignorance and Want. Our motto is “Are there no prisons? No workhouses????!!!”

    Some additions to the song list:

    Route 66 – Nat King Cole…A good place to get your kicks, Radio City Music Hall not withstanding.

    Going to California – Led Zep…Jimmy and Bobby get all boozy and acoustic (“la,la,la,la……”)

    Rocky Mountain High – John Denver…Play it loud and continuous, grow your own in the back of a van, qualify for state assistance in Colorado!

    Until we meet again, vaya con Dios!

  3. It is so quiet here on 19th Ave in Wildwood, NJ. Nevertheless, we are so happy for you to be able to do your trip across country. Keep us updated and we will continue to check your site. Nice pictures!
    Have a safe and enjoyable journey! Tom and Joan Kramer

  4. Thanks, All! Good additions, Mr. Gidley! Will be adding those post-haste. (Mo will be belting out John Denver in the next day or so, no doubt.)

    Glad to hear 19th is quiet, Tom and Joan.


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