My annual vacation to the Graves Mountain Bluegrass Festival. Spending nine days next to the Shenandoah Nat'l Park and watching bluegrass concerts towards the end of the week--truly heaven.

Friday, day one. The campsite is set up! Now time to enjoy a little relaxing. It'll be a few days of sightseeing and hiking before the big crowd starts coming in around Wednesday.

Ah, a double rainbow in the field which will soon house hundreds of campers and tents.

Time to start a hike. It'll be a few days before I pick up my kid. This looks like a nice hike. The end of route 670 (bottom right of map) to the Skyline Drive (bottom left of map). I'll mainly follow the Rose River Fire Road, which used to be the Old Blue Ridge Turnpike back prior to the park.

A hike to the top of the mountain. yeah, that's it. Since Graves mountain Lodge is nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mt. range, why not walk to the top--to get to the Skyline Drive the hard way? About 6 1/2 miles from the end of the road, where I parked, just past Graves Mt, to the top of the Blue Ridge at the Skyline Drive.

Progress, almost 5 miles down, and nearly 2 miles left to the Skyline Drive and the top!

Just think of the history this old roadway has seen. It is no longer a way to drive accross the mountains, since the park has taken over the land. The Old Blue Ridge Turnpike is just that, old.

Don't miss the turn to the left. The Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, before the National park days, continued on to the right and crosses the Skyline Drive at Fisher's Gap Overlook. This is the route Stonewall Jackson's men followed from the Sheanandoah Valley towards Fredericksburg during the Civil War. Quite the historic old roadway. Now only the park trucks and hikers have access to this once-important old winding turnpike.

The scenery on the hike up is quite wonderful

Approaching Big Meadows, finally, after about 7 miles hiking uphill

a memorial to the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corp.

That was quite a nice hike. Altogether, it was about a 14 mile round trip hike. Wow, can't believe I did that. A hot shower and a few cold beers await--they should were good.

Concert Time!!

Thanks Barry for this great pic of my son and I enjoying the concert!

The Lewis Family with Lil' Roy leading the way

Oh neat, a hay ride!

Time to chill out now back at the campsite

Not every 3-year-old gets to meet the Governor of their state, Gov. Tim Kaine--who, while Governor of Va, was picked by President Obama to head the National Democratic Nat'l Committee. He is now the DNC chairman.

Those from central Virginia will know Tim Timberlake, a long time radio personality, standing next to Gov. Tim Kaine

Jimmy Graves and the Graves family on stage with Governor Tim Kaine

The Governor is quite the harmonica player

Winding down after yet another fun time at Graves Mountain Lodge. Too bad we have to wait another year to return. My son's favorite parts has to be seeing the big red firetruck and the hay ride. "What is a governor?"

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Updated June 8, 2008

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