We spent a very enjoyable couple of days with my old friend John Lawson at his home in Roanoke. John is an avid gardener and cook like Sue, so the conversation revolved largely around the art of growing things to eat. John is a bookbinder by vocation, and he showed us around his bindery behind his home one afternoon. It was fascinating handling his bookbinding tools – many of which were custom built by woodworking craftsman to John’s specifications. Even more amazing was looking at, smelling, and feeling some of John’s vast collection of specialty papers which runs to several tens of thousands of dollars. Interested readers can find examples of John’s work and contact information for him at his website – CANDLELIT BINDERY. Today after John regaled us with a wonderful breakfast, we set out once again toward home.
Our intent for the day was to make it home along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but we got a late start, got severely lost trying to get out of Roanoke, and didn’t make it up to the Parkway until nearly lunchtime. Then we found the Parkway closed at the very next exit due to a bicycle rally event, so we had to make a significant detour around that to get back onto the Parkway again. It was rainy off and on until the late afternoon, and the taller peaks along the way were obscured by clouds, so we decided to split the trip home into two days, stopping for the evening at Miller’s Campground in Laurel Springs, NC.
We spent the entire day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We didn’t do any extended walking due to the blustery weather, and frankly due to a besetting case of “get home fever.” We did stop to look and take pictures at some of the overlooks. Many of them were fairly crowded with sightseers who were up to look at the Fall colors like us. In fact, we couldn’t even find a place to pull the camper off the road in some of them. We stopped to stretch our legs and eat lunch at one of the pull-outs somewhere near the Virginia-North Carolina border, and then pressed on. The threatening weather started to break up just before sunset, so after we got settled in at Miller’s Campground for our final evening on the road, we did go out for a short walk on the hill above the campground, sharing the meadow with a pair of young does grazing on the last of the summer grass.