Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I was sitting around getting sicker and sicker of political ads tonight, so I thought I'd take what I've learned over the past six months about Mitt Romney, and apply that knowledge to his plan to save our American soul.
Mitt’s 5-point plan is as follows:
1. Become energy independent by 2020.
2. Boost trade by opening new markets.
3. Make our schools better
4. Cut the deficit
5. Become the Small Business champion
How will he accomplish these lofty goals?
Well he has lots of ideas, because, after all, he is a successful businessman who also happened to save the Olympic movement. He will work across the aisles and seek sage wisdom from his beautiful wife and delightful children. He will bring a dog to the White House.
He will open up all of America for drilling, baby, and build new pipelines across America’s bread-basket. He will rid our country of silly regulations that keep coal companies from easily extracting their livelihood from mountaintops.
He will give every student a great teacher and quality school by hiring the best and brightest from all over the world. He’ll train the poors to do the low-wage service jobs of the new age. He’ll snap his fingers and make higher education more affordable and effective.
He’s going to put a stop to China’s unfair trading and open new markets all over the world for our stuff, especially in Latin America. Those people love our stuff.
He’s going with Greece-lite by cutting 5% right off the top of our discretionary spending and cap all federal spending 20% below that of which the entire new economy all over the world grows to boost our small businesses and create new jobs. He’ll bust those nasty money-hoarding unions and get rid of the ridiculous 5 day/40 hour work week.
He will put a chicken in every small business owner’s pot and get rid of Obama’s care plan.
His plan is all about faith.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012: 6.7 Miles: Roanoke River Greenway to Vinton.
Sunday, July 8, 2012: Rest Day
Monday, July 9, 2012: 6.8 Miles: Hanging Rock Battlefield trail to Polar Lane to Thompson Memorial to Craig Ave to North Mill to Kessler Mill Rd. Quite a hilly walk with multiple pulls.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012: Rest Day
Wednesday, July 11, 2012: 4 miles: NHS, Woohaven, North Lakes loop
Thursday, July 12, 2012: 10.2 miles: NHS, Peters Creek Rd,, Norwood, Montclair, North lakes
Friday, July 06, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012: Sweltering day. Temps hovered near 100. No power. Too pooped to walk.
Sunday, July 1, 2012: Day of rest. Power restored.
Monday, July 2, 2012: 8.7 miles: Took car to Plaza Auto by Burlington Elementary. Walked home by going through Waldron Park and Olsen Road to Peter's Creek and then through Northside.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012: 8.1 miles: Jackie and I walked Lick Run Greenway from Valley View to the city and back
Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Day of rest.
Thursday, July 5, 2012: 7.7 miles: Jackie and I walked through Countryside and then over in the Fairhope/Harvest Rd area.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012: 7.4 miles: Countryside to Cove Rd Neighborhoods: Spent the rest of the day doing extensive yard work at home.
Sunday, June 24, 2012: Rest day: Worked at Smith Mountain Lake
Monday, June 25, 2012: 6.6 miles: All around Countryside and Northside High School. I saw a four point buck on the Countryside property right beside I-581.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012: 8.1 Miles: Tinker Cliffs. Jackie went with me and had great difficulty with her knee on the return trip.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012: Rest Day/Lazy day
Thursday, June 28, 2012: 8.4 miles: Roanoke River Greenway
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Saturday June 16, 2012: 6.5 miles: Peters Creek to Peachtree, Norwood to Montclair to Glen Cove and back through North lakes Twilight Wipeldale Caun.: Nice walk with Jackie.
Sunday June 17, 2012: None. Colonoscopy Prep
Monday June 18, 2012: None: Colonoscopy
Tuesday June 19, 2012: 5.5 miles: Tinker Creek Greenway. We went on the new addition. They've built a most amazing pedestrian bridge over the Roanoke River right where Tinker Creek and the Sewage Treatment Plant converge.
Wednesday June 20 2012: 7.2 miles : Lick Run Greenway: Nice walk. Saw the same homeless man as yesterday and the same work crew.
Thursday June 21, 2012: 7.1 miles: Rotary Park /Salem Greenway: Started by Pizza Pasta Pit and walked past Moyer Sports Complex and then along a gravel river path to Riverside Drive. Then back and into Salem proper. Then we walked back.
Total Miles: 35.3 Miles
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
So, I'm battling a yellow jacket nest right beside my garden hose reel. Sunday, I was switching hoses and stood for about three minutes on top of the nest. Thankfully, I was blocking their exit. So now, I'm in a spraying and poking war. I spray wasp/hornet killer then I sneak up and poke a broom handle down their hole a few times before I flee. Then I spray then I poke spray...poke...spray...poke. Time for a poke. :
It's quite thrilling!
Monday, June 18, 2012
I'm the worrying sort. I tend to stress myself out. Luckily, I think my new Sertraline prescription is really helping me put things in perspective.
So the way a colonoscopy works, in case you don't know and are curious, is that you have a day of prep to clean your bowel out. My prep day was yesterday, Father's day-which made for a rather bland celebration. You aren't allowed to eat starting at midnight on prep day. Then at noon, you have to take two women's laxatives. These begin your bathroom journeys as they start the emptying process. Once you are emptied, you then have to drink a half gallon of lemon-lime flavored sea water in 8 oz increments over the course of an hour or so to cleanse the whole track. Next, as Dave Barry explains, the nuclear detonation begins. It's like your rear end becomes a garden hose turned to the jet spray setting. This lasts for about two hours or until the sea water is eliminated. Surprisingly, I found the nuclear detonation rather exhilarating and the seawater not so bad. I'm glad I chose lemon-lime instead of orange or cherry flavorings.
Last night, after the explosions calmed, I slept like a baby. No worries. I woke up fresh, rested, and a-rearing to go.
The procedure prep was normal. IV lines, BP check. Embarrassing gown donned. Then I was wheeled into the room. I told the male nurse to "...be gentle with me."
He replied, "Because this is your first time, right?"
"I guess you've heard that one before."
"Yup. I've heard just about everything in my career. One guy even wrote on his butt with a Sharpie, 'Do Not Enter!'"
Once in the room, the female nurse introduced herself to me, and I introduced myself using the name "Jim Swanson." She looked at me strangely, and I said, "Just pulling your leg...my name is really ______." She chuckled shallowly, and I noticed that she made a point to check my wrist ID tag to be sure. Then the sleep lady gave me something, and I began dreaming of bears.
An hour later I awoke. The nurse asked me to pass a lot of gas, and I unabashedly obliged. I was amazed at how loud I was. I've always been a champion gas-passer, winning many contests at Boy Scout summer camp back in my youth. I was also amazed how quickly the sleep tonic wore off. In fact, as I staggered out of the place ten minutes later, I assured my wife that I could drive. She just laughed.
The meeting with the doctor went well. Only one polyp, which he felt was benign and thus burned into polyp oblivion. The rest of my colon looked grate!
So here I sit at home, one hour removed from waking up, with my writing creative juices flowing, and food about to go in my body for the first time since 6pm Saturday. Life is good.
Remember June is Men's Health Month. If you are over 50, sign up for one of the screenings. It's fun!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Finally, the trips to the bathroom subsided somewhat.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday June 13, 2012: 6.0 Miles: Northside loop. lewiston to Wm Fleming to Harvest lane to Angus to Lynhope to Portland to lewiston to Northside Rd.
Tuesday June 12, 2012: 3.5 miles: Northside Loop: Lewiston...transported to Tully Lane by peter's creek Church of brethren to Green Ridge to Twilight to Wipledale to Craun
Monday June 11, 2012: Rest Garden work Dr. Appt.
Sunday June 10, 2012: 2.0 Miles AT South at Rt 311. All day Garden work
Saturday June 9, 2012: 3.5 Miles : Northside Loop Kingstown Woodhaven Taney North Spring North lake. All Day garden work
Friday June 8, 2012: 3.5 Miles: Northside Loop Kingstown Woodhaven Taney North Spring North lake
Total Mileage for the week: 24.7 miles
Friday, June 08, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Howard Beale in the movie "Network" in 1976 is credited with uttering one of the most famous phases ever captured on film. What you may not remember is the rest of the monologue. Here it is...
I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
Folks, things in public schools these days are ridiculous. In Virginia, the state Math test has been made "more rigorous." Why? I suspect it's because children were mastering the old tests and the 100% Doom-Line was only two years away (you know..the date when 100% of all students needed to pass 100% of all tests). How would it look if the Doom-Line came and no one met doom? Last week I had one of my third graders take six hours to finish the blasted thing. Most children were taking between three and four hours. What kind of child abuse is that? If a parent had locked a child away in a room for six hours without a break, a meal, or fresh air...I suspect that they'd be charged with child abuse.
Like Howard Beale, "I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!"
Monday, May 28, 2012
|Carmel Beach Photo by Sam Ryder|
I've been trying to avoid thinking about this day. Memorial Day is an oft misunderstood holiday. Many believe that it's a time to thank a vet or a current service member, but, while that's never a bad thing to do, it's not really a day designed for that sort of celebration. Instead, Memorial Day (Decoration Day) was instituted to honor those who have fallen in service of their country.
I affixed a Marine Corps flag to the side of my house. I hadn't done
this previously because I was trying to bury the thought that my son is
out there serving in the most dangerous of zones doing the most
dangerous of things. It's hard to explain, but my pride and emotion got
the better of me today. I had approached his deployment by buckling down
and trying not to think about what he's doing. It seems to me that the
best way to make it through this period is to become numb to it. But
today, I allowed the emotion to get to me. I am so very proud of him
for choosing a life that he could have easily avoided and shunted. He
could have done anything with his VT college degree, but he chose early
on that his country is worth personally defending. On this day, I lift
my head and publicly ask God to protect him. All other days, I bow my
head in quiet silence and pray that God deliver him safely home before
I'm so very proud of my daughter-in-law for her
service in the Army. She's already safely returned from her first
deployment with another in her sights. I can only imagine how hard
these deployments are on their young marriage.
These wars are
painful. They aren't easy. They aren't simple black and white. The
brave soldiers who have given their lives deserve remembrance at the
very least. Each of them believed in service before self. Each of them
had hopes, desires, and plans. Each of them gave everything they had.
Memorial Day, to me, is a unique day. I'll be glad when it goes away so
I can lower my head and plow through the next 7 months.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
You can view the full, expansive and entertaining catalog from my dropbox.
Friday, May 04, 2012
Visit my Dropbox Links below
May the horse be with you.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
As I consider joining the Virginia Gubernatorial race with the 2014 election fast-approaching. I sat down and keyed in my basic platform. I'll need to drop a few pounds. People don't like to vote for people who are a little pudgy. One thing going for me is that I comb my hair to the side in true Virginia fashion. Of course the fact that I'm a despicable Virginia public school teacher is a hurdle to overcome.
I would be a job creator Governor by forcing legislators to Fully fund the minimum state share of the SOQ's and then add 45% more...just like localities are doing. Jobs are created when people are highly educated. Education creates jobs in Virginia.
I'd make gas taxes subject to inflation at the wholesale level (John Edward's idea) and tie this tax into transportation. I'd seek out a statewide health insurance program for all state and local workers, thereby creating a larger health insurance pool and reducing premiums. I'd raise taxes on anyone who is rich or associated with the tea party by 666%. I'd put a stop to the whacko right social agenda.
There’s money floating around out there that can be recovered without raising taxes on the middle class. I'd seek new revenue by extending the land preservation tax credit reform, scaling back the domestic production deduction, enacting mandatory reporting of earned income by business, adopting a minimum corporate income tax, eliminating the coal tax credits. I'd sunset all tax breaks and demand a review of all existing tax credits and breaks to determine if they are meeting expectations. Over 1.5 billion dollars annually is there to be mined.*
Speaking of that, I'd fire the current Department of Education and hire people who understand that our public schools are great schools and shouldn't be destroyed by ridiculous voucher, virtual school, testing, and evaluation schemes. I'd demand that teachers be the 7th highest paid teachers in the country since we are the 7th wealthiest state. I’d push to restore continuing contract rights as well as collective bargaining rights for state workers and teachers. I'd make sure that teacher/pupil ratios are REALLY lowered. I'd make sure that every teacher has the opportunity to earn a FULL, DEFINED pension. I'd make lottery proceeds be the supplement to education funding as they were originally slated to be rather than a funding source that allows for General Fund money to be bled away from education in favor of the problem de jour.
I’d restore corporal punishment, but only for mean-spirited lawmakers.
*My thanks go to the Better Choices for Virginia coalition for the really good revenue recovery ideas.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Oh well...so much for formatting...looks like everything's clipped. Maybe I'll work on it.
This is a project I undertook for my niece. She's getting married in September in nearby Boone's Mill, and she wanted to know what to do in Roanoke.
I might go back and add in my pictures at some point.
A Visit to Roanoke
Nestled in the bosom of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke, Virginia and the surrounding area offer the visitor a wide-range of lodging, dining, recreational, artistic, and eclectic activities.
She’s the grand hotel in Roanoke. Dating back to Roanoke’s frontier days in the 1880’s. She’s withstood destruction by fire and destruction by economy. She has arisen from the ashes and returned to her former glory.
A solid hotel on Roanoke’s desirable Southwest side. As an added bonus, The Elephant Walk is contained within the structure and Carlos’ Brazilian restaurant is only a short drive away.
Located beside the smoldering remains of Roanoke Victory Stadium, Roanoke’s newest hotel shines like a beacon. One of its special amenities is that it’s only a few hundred yards away from Roanoke’s impressive medical center and complex.
The Sheraton is located at the intersection of Hershberger and I-581. It’s an impressive hotel with a really nice lobby fireplace.
The restaurant is truly a growing enterprise. The flagship is located in Roanoke’s downtown market area. Another satellite is located in Northwest Roanoke. People rave about their fish tacos.
Probably Roanoke’s finest and most celebrated restaurant. The food is impeccable and the view of the valley from the western facing tables is unparalleled.
Probably Roanoke’s bawdiest restaurant. Pool tables. Working fare. A jumping joint.
People from around town know of Grace’s. It’s an unpretentious restaurant with excellent pizza and calzones for which to die.
It’s hard to believe that Roanoke would have a fine Mediterranean restaurant, but Isaacs is that place. The food is excellent.
A locally famous place. They specialize in hot dogs. They are good.
Salem’s flagship restaurant and meeting place. They serve Americans American food.
Since The depression, the TT has served thousands of customers ten at a time. They don’t cash checks or play with bumblebees. They serve some of the most interesting chili you’ll ever fully experience from intake to outflow.
The Radjou family from India runs this lovely Indian restaurant. They care about their food and their customers.
Comes highly regarded and part of the Holiday Inn Tanglewood package.
Ah well, what can you say. The Home Place is an old-fashioned family-style restaurant. People are seated and fed. The food is really good and greasy and fattening. They use butter. Located in downtown Catawba, population 12, this IS the finest place in the area to eat, or so many gloat.
It’s new and it serves coffee and people like it.
A very successful coffee house. Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea has grown to offer several locations around the valley. The coffee is great and the ambiance is laid-back.
Located on the City Market Square, this bakery serves up a wide variety of tasty and finely crafted breads and pastries.
Alex’s dream was to create a true French-styled bakery. With Bread Craft, he has succeeded beyond all imagination. His sourdough creations are amazing. Hint, try to olive loaf.
Bari and Elizabeta Sinani, refugees from Bosnia create the most delicious breads and pastries in Roanoke. Most incredible are their bureks which are light pastry-like pies filled with spinach and cheese or beef and onions. Such delights are a rare treat on Earth. Recently they expanded to a spot at the Roanoke City Market.
Considered by some to be Roanoke’s albatross while others view it as our great flying train, The Taubman Museum , designed by Randall Stout, is the home of a fantastic Thomas Eakin collection as well as all sorts of other art sorta stuff. One exhibit, a life-sized sculpture of King Kong, is currently plastered onto the side of the structure, complete with a biplane in his mitts.
Once upon a time, steam engines ruled the rails. Then they didn’t. But before they went away, there was O. Winston Link. This photo artist captured the era of steam and juxtaposed it against the coming storm of progress. Link’s photo’s were almost taken from Roanoke by his greedy second wife. Twice she was imprisoned for stealing his works. Yet her greatest crime, imprisoning a frail old man went unpunished.
Lots and lots of locomotives. The 611-J, the most advanced steam locomotive, is the resident master of the house along with the Class A 1218. Technical talk to be sure, but the collection also has a few planes, a quirky model train Barnum and Bailey Circus lay-out, and inexplicably, a Jupiter rocket, you know, the same kind of rocket that in May 1959 was home to space monkeys, Able and Baker, as they vaulted into space and returned alive to tell the tale. They were the first space monkeys to survive a trip to space. Sadly, Able died a couple of months later from an infected brain electrode, but Miss Baker lived 27 years and is buried at the NASA complex in Huntsville, Alabama. Able’s body was preserved and you can see him any day you want at the National Air and Space Museum. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Roanoke’s premiere eclectic live music venue. Out of the pavement of a cold, hard city depression, Kirk Avenue Music Hall rescued Roanoke’s music scene. Now, this fledgling musical arts center is attracting some incredible underground talent like Shawn Mullins.
Jefferson High School was the home of The Magicians. Then the school closed. Its shell sat abandoned for many years; water finding its way inside. Then it was rescued and turned into an incredible musical arts center. Many of today’s greatest performers have played there, including BB King and Richard Thompson.
With all the charm of a Chernobyl-style nuclear reactor, The Roanoke Civic Center from time to time has some interesting shows, from Broadway traveling circuses to Elton John.
Uniquely famous after local megla-media star, River Laker, performed a striptease at a fund-raiser causing the 202 to lose its ABC license, It’s still a destination on the city market.
This is where the local music scene makes its presence felt. Local bands cut their musical chops there.
Roanoke is blessed with a classic market square. Over the past few years, the city’s done its best to destroy it. Yet somehow, out of the ashes of discontent, irresponsibility, and corporate greed, the square has survived and has been reborn. As long as the city doesn’t renege on its lease of ten feet of public sidewalk for silent monthly Plowshares anti-war protests, peace and prosperity will reign.
Without a doubt, The Mill Mountain Star is Roanoke’s claim to fame. The huge man-made star, originally lit in 1949 by a forward-thinking Chamber of Commerce has shown brightly over the Valley ever since. Back in the day, the star used to shine red whenever someone in the valley died in a traffic accident. Later, the colors were switched to red, white, and blue to honor our nation’s 200th birthday. These days, the star shines white in honor of the fallen in the 9/11 attacks.
Mill Mountain Zoo sits atop Mill Mountain and guards our valley. Snow Leopards, red wolves and prairie dogs abound. A trip on “The Zoo Choo” is strongly recommended.
Only in Roanoke would one of the star attractions be two neon signs from the 1940’s. Yet, there you go. Residents are mesmerized and comforted by the electronic coffee pouring from the electric pot to the glowing cup. Dr. Pepper’s 10-2-4 sign reminds us always to drink our Dr. Peppers at 10am, 2pm, and 4pm; doctor’s orders. Roanokers take such prescriptions to heart as Roanoke leads the nation in consumption of Dr. Pepper per capita.
It’s hard to explain and even harder to understand. Over the years, Elvis’ miniature home had fallen into disrepair. In fact, it may not be there anymore. That would be a true loss.
All across America in the 1930’s, Coffee Pot restaurants ruled the roadsides along with giant balls of yard, giant corkscrews, giant reptile sculptures, and corn mazes. This icon is still here.
A bowl with and a Cheesy Western. Roanoke’s Millionaire Club.
Hot dog! People travel from all over the world to eat these slippery dogs. One man actually flies his own Cessna in from Northern Virginia just to get a tasty dog.
Completed in 1902, St. Andrews Catholic Church lords over Roanoke City. It’s a true gothic-styled gem of a church complete with imported, stunning German stained glass windows.
About twenty miles from Roanoke is the sleepy city of Bedford. Bedford, VA lost more people per capita than any other place in the country on D-Day. A grand memorial has been built to honor all the fallen. The Overlord Arch is something to behold.
Nestled north of Roanoke along the Blue Ridge Parkway, two mountains share a space, Sharp Top and Flat Top. Sharp Top is the rock star of the two. You can take the shuttle to the top or brave the strenuous hike. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the area from Roanoke to deep into the piedmont of Virginia. At the base of the mountains you can lodge, picnic, or dine in a pristine environment.
Situated about an hour south along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill is a picturesque mill from the mountain days. You can eat some incredible pancakes at the restaurant onsite.
This famous Depression era project rolls through The Roanoke Valley. Scenic drives can be made to the north or south.
The Cascades are located near the town of Pembroke in Giles County or about 45 minutes from Roanoke along I-81 south/Rt 460West. An easy half hour hike along a bubbling stream leads to a beautiful waterfall.
Marketed as “The Home of Dirty Dancing,” this beautiful mountaintop resort in Giles County is stunning. Yes, Patrick Swayze did some of his greatest acting there. The resort is dimmed a little since the natural lake inexplicably drained a few years ago.
Home of the Fightin’ Gobblers, Virginia tech is one of Virginia’s largest universities. Located in Blacksburg, just 30 minutes from Roanoke along I-81 South, VT is a beautiful rural campus with stunning limestone (Hokiestone) buildings.
Oddly, the New River is the oldest river in the world next to the Nile. Around these parts, people like to toss an inner tube in, hop on it and float the day away through Montgomery and Giles Counties.
The hike that people talk about. McAfee’s Knob can be reached via the Rt 311 parking lot atop Catawba Mountain. The hike is about 4 miles each way and is quite strenuous for the last mile up to the summit. The view, however, is beyond worth the pain. You can see ridge after ridge out to the west into West Virginia. To the north and east you can see to and beyond The Peaks of Otter. To the East and South you can see the entire Roanoke Valley and beyond. McAfee’s Knob is truly a destination.
A unique and short suburban hike up a mountain. The hike is a moderate climb up an ordinary small mountain. At the top, the cliff view of the Roanoke Valley is breath-taking as you look down on the Roanoke Regional Airport.
This is a strenuous hike that begins at the Dragon’s Tooth parking area along Rt 311 just west of Catawba. The hike is about 4 miles each way and summits at a strange tooth-like formation of massive rocks. The vista on a clear day offers looks into the Roanoke Valley and beyond as well as Blacksburg to the south.
By parking at River’s edge park in downtown Roanoke, you can either head a few miles to the east into Vinton or a few miles to the west deeper into Roanoke City. Whichever way you go, the river will be your friend.
The Roanoke River is normally gentle meanders through an industrial base. This stretch is relaxed and uniquely beautiful.
A strange little three mile round trip. Along a cinder trail, you cover an old train route through Roanoke’s rail history. Also, you get a solid dose of Civil War history, by learning of the epic Battle of Hanging Rock.
Stroll a paved path from Valley View Mall in front of the Target store all the way into the heart of downtown Roanoke. The trail offers solitude and babbling streams as well as cityscape vistas.
A unique hike through suburbia. The highlight is crouching and easing your way through a make-shift pedestrian tunnel under a major highway eventually ending at the Blue Ridge Parkway.