I am often asked, “Big, (these are close friends who call me by my first name), isn’t it exhausting to be so continually witty and clever? How do you deal with the pressure of the constant adulation? What do you do to relax and get away from writing this blog, which is so extraordinary, it should be featured on “Freshly Pressed” every day, but never is. How do you cope with such an injustice? (I love my friends)
Well, I walk away. No, I don’t walk away from the person asking the question, that would be rude. I walk away from the computer and up the Monticello Trail. It’s a beautiful wooded trail that starts just 1/2 mile from where we live. It gently climbs and winds two miles up a mountain to the estate of Thomas Jefferson. You know, that President guy.
I thought, if you would like, you could walk up with me and enjoy some of the views and venues that are encompassed by this trail. So put on your hiking shoes, grab a bottle of water (or something stronger if you are so moved) and follow me.
If we get separated, just follow the map above.
This is the start of the trail. Oops, a scary tunnel already! Wanna turn back?
It’s not so scary when I’m not in it.
The trail starts to wind quickly. I’ll tell you straight away, there are very few straightaways.
Our first decision. Hint: take the trail on the right.
I have been impolitely requested to jump in this very lake on many occasions.
If you get tired you can rest, but I’m not waiting. (That’s my wife, I always wait for her)
Further up and deeper into the woods.
Let’s stop to look out at the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. They started forming 400 million years ago, which makes them slightly older than me.
Dead trees often come crashing down on the trail. Note the newer wood where the trail has been repaired. Wait….what’s that loud noise….?
Get back here! I said this was a walking tour.
If you need a refill on the grog, there’s the Michie Tavern down there on the left. Open to travelers since 1784. Wait, I’ll join you.
Two miles of trail and finally out of the woods, near the estate entrance and a bridge too far.
And you thought we’d never get here. Actually, there’s more trail yet.
Looking back from the entrance. Jefferson also owned that little mountain.
It’s just around this bend now. (How did she get ahead of us? Last I saw her she was sitting on a bench.)
We made it! The Welcome Center. The house is another 1/2 mile up another meandering trail. You can buy a ticket and walk it or a bus will take you the rest of the way. I’m heading back home. It’s all downhill! Have fun on the tour.
You’re not living there any more now are you? I’m following your trail in bed, the best way to exercise 🙂
No. We moved last June. I really, really miss that walk but there are some pretty neat ones around here.
Don’t tire yourself our clicking the mouse!
Don’t panic, I’m on the iPad, so no clicking involved 🙂
Once again, a WINNER!
Thanks, Bernice. I could make that walk blindfolded now.
You should seriously think about picking out your 20 best blogs (I’m sure there’s at least 20) and putting them together in a book for publishing. Your sense of humor and drollity (is that a word?) is right up there with Dave Barry and all the other well known humorists whose names escape me right now. I’m also impressed with the growing number of your followers. Their responses are so much fun to read also.
You are very kind. It’s a lot easier when you don’t have a deadline or are doing it for a living. Who would have thought when I was back at Riverside being a smart a–, that later in life, people would actually voluntarily want to see me acting out. You and Cindy B. were my first and most loyal readers and I really appreciate that.
Loved Loved Loved your opening paragraph! Had me cracking up! I think you should be freshly pressed everyday as well 😉
Thanks Jeanna, as you can see, I’m one of my biggest fans. (And maybe the only one)
OK, this counts as my cardio workout for the day – could you post some shots of you bench-pressing 200 lbs so I can get in the weight-training?
If you read this blog and take this walk every day, you are a shoo-in to win the biggest loser contest. And you won’t have to leave the living room.
Re: the bench pressing; can I just send you 10 pics of me pressing 20 pounds?
That’ll work. I don’t want to get to bulked-up.
That second “to” is supposed to be “too”.
Loved the jaunt along the trail. Glad I found you blog!
Hi Caroline and thanks for visiting. Hope you will come back. I look forward to reading your blog as well. I seem to have as many readers in England as anywhere else. Must be my type of self-deprecating humor.
With a name like Hood you know I have a lot of family heritage from across the pond. And my grandfather on my mother’s side was Basil Forsythe. How British is that?
Anyway, welcome again!
I keep getting bypassed by Freshly Pressed too! 😦 Here’s hoping!
We would love that hiking trail, it doesn’t look much like ours at all, but if we ever get down your way we are grabbing you and Queenie and taking a personal tour.
Bring it on! They don’t allow dogs on the boardwalk part of the trail but in the winter I sneak her on when it’s snowing because no one is there. I’m away right now but when I get home tomorrow I will email a couple of pictures of Queenie with her “boyfriend” out on the snowy trail.
We do have another great walk for dogs along the Rivanna River that Sampson and Delilah would love.
I know that walk. My granddaughter Amelia is a Senior at the university down the hill. The tunnel goes under the parkway I think? Meet any bears on your jaunt? TJ is a great guy, but a Democrat who was bankrupt when he died. Somewhere there is a lesson in this. Dianne
Well, then you know how pretty it can be. Give us a heads up if you come back into the area.
It’s amazing how many of our founding fathers left great debt that their families had to deal with. As you know. Monroe lived just 3 miles from Jefferson and also let his farm acquire overburdening debt. We go there for a wine festival each year.
MMmm. Can’t beat a nice walk to work off the praise. The tunnel does look scary but probably is’nt. Jefferson certainlyknew a nice place when he saw one
LOL! Yes, it is difficult to deal with praise, even if I do make it all up for myself.
Praising yourself is best. At least you know it’s sincere
I am a content armchair traveler this morning. Thank you. I’ve never visited Monticello but as an avid Jefferson groupie, I hope to some day. This was perfect till then.
Please let us know if you come. We’ll all walk up together–for real.
Hiya Big (I am friend)
That was the best walk I have been on in ages..next time I feel like a bit of a walk I shall look it up again and repeat the experience. Even at age 72 I did not feel at all puffed out at the climb.
Thank you so much for the invitation to join you
Glad you came along. You did well. Sorry I had to scold you about getting too far ahead of us.
Big (I count myself as one of your friends), thank you for sharing this beautiful journey with us. I’m tired now, so I’m going to lie down.
My bad, Tilly Bud, I forgot about how the jet lag must have affected you. Sweet slumber.
Thank you for sharing, my friend.
why am I anonymous?
Your welcome, Anonymous, if that’s your real name.
It was me… Kathy… and I don’t know if I am anon. this time or not.
Yes, you are. I think you’re forgetting to fill in a blank box before you hit post comment.
Wow — beautiful indeed! And I’m not even tired. Must be because I’m such a young chick. ;o)
Or maybe it’s because you were breathing from that oxygen tank the whole way up. Which, by the way, you wouldn’t share with anyone else!
Wonderful! I never knew about that trail and enjoyed the tours from the website. Thank you, BA
Thanks Cindy. I actually thought about applying to be a tour guide at the house but the time commitment was too great. Mostly weekends.