Gravel Bicycling Journal

bicycling, biking, blogging, Daily Post, gravel, history, Journal, revolution, Uncategorized, Virginia, woods, forest

On this particular day, My journey starts at Newport News Park, in Newport News, VA.  The park offers a 5.3 mile, hard-packed gravel, bike loop beginning at the Campsite Office. The path is fairly well shaded with an overhead canopy from beautiful trees. About half- way through the loop, a placard on the trail indicates George Washington’s Headquarters.

If you decide to further your bike ride another 5.6 miles and back, this loop crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park, in Yorktown, VA which leads to George Washington’s Headquarters, this route is mostly flat and wide wooded trails and some paved one lane roads.

Gravel bikers, mountain bikers, and hikers will see ramparts still in place from battles past.

This section is known as the French Artillery Park, it was an open field where the French established its ordinance depot.  Damaged pieces where brought here for repairs.

I biked a little further on the trail, wondering where this will lead me.  My bike computer reads I am six miles into my unknown journey. I thought, should I turn around or keep on.  About 20 yards ahead of me, I got spooked when two deer ran in front of me; not knowing if there were more, I stopped and took out my iPhone ready to take a picture, but I didn’t see any.  My history lesson continues as another placard appears.

In 1770, this is the spot of “General Nelson’s quarters

A little further on the trail was Daboville’s Headquarters.  It is difficult for me to visualize this area was inhabited and with plantation buildings.

Daboville’s Headquarters


 

On one side of the gravel road, stands a lonely marker, known as the Essex Lodge Cemetery.  It is dedicated to the memory of those who rest here.  The forebear’s and descendants of Thomas Wynn.  Host of General George Washington, October 1781.

This simple cross is thought to mark the burial place of about 50 unidentified French soldiers killed during the Siege of Yorktown.

Now, I am off onto a beaten path; where I see a group of turkeys.  There are a dozen or more, but as biked closer most of them scattered into the brambles.  I took a picture, but I only could photograph two turkeys.       

I hope you all enjoyed gravel bike ride through history. Comments are welcomed.

Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, VA

18th century, blogging, history, Uncategorized, Virginia

On our one-day bus tour, we arrived at the Jefferson Hotel a luxury hotel located in Richmond, VA, opened in 1895.   In 1969, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Not only is the Jefferson Hotel known for its authentic opulence, it has become synonymous with its extraordinary dining, breathtaking architecture and flawless service. This is what we saw as we entered the hotel. The photo to the right is the rear view.

You can see the stairs that led us to our dining area.  This particular day a group of school children sang Christmas carols as we journeyed up the stairs to our tables.

Carolers

We did not stay in the hotel rooms, but we did enjoy the feel of luxury.  We had a great luncheon with our bus group of 50 spread across five tables (10 each to a table).  We sat on the second tier of the rotunda which gave us a birds eye view of the plush, phenomenal décor of statues, columns and paintings. 

Table for ten


We were instantly served a mixed salad with a house dressing.  After we finished the salad, the servers brought our meal, a choice of salmon or pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, and warm rolls. My thick salmon was garnished with a lemon sauce that seeped through the salmon. My taste buds savored every bit of this fine cuisine.  Desert was a cheesecake garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream along with a choice of coffee or tea.

It is beautiful every day of the year, but exceptionally stunning during the Christmas season with its beautiful Christmas display of ornaments, an ideal time to visit the Jefferson Hotel. 

A Dogs’ Apology

Uncategorized, Virginia

My wife and I were dog sitting.  Our friend, in the military, got orders for a six-month deployment and we promised to watch Sebastian.   Sebastian is a six-year-old lhasa apso.

One morning my wife left Sebastian out in the yard to do his morning routine.  After 5 minutes, she opened the door and called for Sebastian.   No Sebastian, my wife was worried, thoughts came to her mind; how will I explain this to Sebastian’s master that he had run away.  She clapped her hands and kept calling his name.  Finally, his little white hair body appeared from the neighbors yard, his tail tucked between his legs and his little pug face bowed to the ground.

With one hand on her hip and the other hand pointing a finger at him.  My wife cried out to Sebastian “You better get in this house. Just what have got to say for yourself”?   Sebastian slowly lifted up his head, his big round black eyes looked at my wife.  At that point, she knew what Sebastian would say:

I am sorry about this morning.  I know you were very worried and upset.  I don’t know what happened to me.  The morning was clear and crisp.  I was so focused on the birds singing it just put me in a playful mood.  The air was finally fit to breathe.  I could smell things from a greater distance.   There was this scent filtering through the air that lifted me right off my feet.  I could feel myself being carried off to a far away place. I know you know that feeling. I have seen you focus on a TV show or read a book.  You don’t hear anything around you.  That was how it was with me.  Then I heard hands clapping and my name being called.  I looked around.  I was really scared nothing looked familiar.  I knew your voice.  I ran towards the sound then it stopped.  I didn’t know which way to turn.  I was so scared I pee’d on some pretty flowers.  Finally, I smelled something familiar and I followed the scent and it led me home.  I was so excited when I saw you, but I knew the tone in your voice I was in a lot of trouble.  I hope you will forgive me.  I know I will be punished and I deserve it.  Thank you for your love for me.

Comments are welcome

Apology

The Osprey’s Catch: One Fish at a Time

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Nature, osprey, Outdoors, predator, Virginia

April, the month the ospreys arrive from their winter range to begin the cycle of life. I captured the below photo in Newport News, VA at the spillway where Lake Maury overflows into the James Rive…

Source: The Osprey’s Catch: One Fish at a Time

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

18th century, American revolution, art, colonial, history, Lighthouse, outdoor painting, Outdoors, painting, Paintings, revolution, Virginia

I painted this picture from the water side near the causeways that protect the land from the slamming waves of the Chesapeake Bay.  The light of Point Comfort peeks through the luscious colorful tops of the trees.  At the foreground is an open field surrounded with a variety of old oak, maple and poplar trees.  For many decades, these trees survived the harsh element of mother nature.

Old Point Comfort Light House is located on the grounds of Fort Monroe in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton, Virginia.  It was first lit in 1802, stands 54 feet tall, and played an important part in the War of 1812.  The light house is listed as a Virginia landmark.

Old Point Comfort-3.jpg

If you are interested in the painting or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

Email:  06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

http://17-richard-smith.pixels.com

Thank You for your interest

Country Girl

colonial, Colonies, farms, history, Outdoors, Paintings, revolution, smokehouse, tobacco house18th century, Virginia

This is a painting I did in acrylic and oil on a 14 x 10 x .50 stretch canvas board.

In this quaint country town of Smithfield, Virginia, the painting depicts a colonial girl pulling the wooden rugged cart to gather pumpkins.  Taken back to the kitchen, the pumpkins will be made into deserts and soup to help feed the militia.  The setting takes place at the Windsor Castle barnes during the 1700’s.

Country Girl-2.jpg

If you are interested in buying my paintings or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

Email:  06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

http://17-richard-smith.pixels.com

American Goldfinch

Birding, Birds, golden, Goldfinch, Nature, Paintings, Virginia, yellow

This is an 8 x 10 x .50 inch I did on a stretch canvas with a mix media of acrylic and oil. The painting is an American Goldfinch. This bird symbolizes: abundance, positivity, inspired energy. The spiritual meaning is to be blessed with good fortune.

American Goldfinch

If you are interested in buying my paintings or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

Email:  06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

http://17-richard-smith.pixels.com

Thank you

Blue Bird Gap Farm

barnes, farms, history, Outdoors, Paintings, Virginia

This is a plein air painting I did at Blue Bird Gap Farm.

The first known owner of the property on which Blue Bird Gap Farm now stands was Captain William Tucker. Captain Tucker bought the property in 1622.  Since then it has changed hands several times through out the centuries.  In 1969, the City of Hampton, Virginia acquired the property and opened Blue Gap Farm.

The 60-acre farm has around 150 domestic and wild animals; such as the typical farm animals, also it is the home to birds of prey, whitetail deer, llamas, alpacas, tortoises, peacocks, rabbits, and waterfowl.

On the property is a petting zoo, for the young and the young at heart.

Although this setting is surrounded by the interstate and the urban communities, it is a peaceful, quiet, and tranquil place. The atmosphere and environment mesmerizes you to the deep country life of days gone by.

 

Blue Gap Farm.jpg

If you are interested in buying my paintings or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

Email:  06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

http://17-richard-smith.pixels.com

Thank you

Fort Monroe, Hampton VA

American revolution, colonial, Colonies, history, Paintings, Virginia

 

This is a plein air painting I did with acrylic paints on a 11 x 14 x .50 inch stretch canvas.  Inside Fort Monroe a moat surrounds the casemate, this is where I sat up my easel.

Built in 1834, Fort Monroe is the largest stone fort in the country.  It was a military installation located in Hampton Roads, Virginia, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.  Fort Monroe was decommissioned on September 11, 2011.  It now is a National Monument.

 

Ft Monroe.jpg

If you are interested in buying my paintings or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

http://17-richard-smith.pixels.com

Thank you

Symbol of Spring

Birding, Birds, Outdoors, Paintings, Virginia

Symbol of Spring
This is an 8 x 10 x .50 inch acrylic/oil painting done on a stretch canvas board.
A robin is a symbol of spring in the United States. This bird is the state bird for Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. America’s popular songs featured this bird; such as “Rock’in Robin”, and “When the red red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin along”.

Robin.jpg

If you are interested in buying my paintings, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com
17-richard-smith.pixels.com

Thank you