The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


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By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

"Never take the main roads, they're the future with their stores, offices and service stations. Always travel the backroads. You can see the future tomorrow but backroads are the past and someday they may be gone. On backroads you can see old weathered barns with wagons and horse drawn hayrakes. There are meadows fenced with old chestnut rails and creeks that bubble and cascade over rocks that have never known polution. There's a part of our heritage on our backroads that no pen or camera will ever capture. There are cows wading in a creek, sharing a 'deep hole' with native trout. You may have to stop occasionally to let a mother grouse herd her little ones across the road or a deer might stop grazing in a roadside meadow long enough to watch you go by. The old timer you'll pass will throw up his hand and if you've got time, he'll stop and talk 'a spell.'

You'll not get anywhere in a hurry on a backroad, but only the future's in a hurry. Backroads are part of the past and what they offer most is time, time to enjoy the present and get a glimpse of times gone by."

Each month The Mountain Laurel featured a self-guided BACKROAD tour of out of the way places of beauty in the Blue Ridge. So often, visitors to the Blue Ridge Mountains only travel the Blue Ridge Parkway or Interstate highways and never get to see the really pretty places that are hidden away on mountain backroads. As residents who love and appreciate a stream gurgling through a glade or a deer standing in a roadside meadow or an old weathered barn tucked away in a mountain hollow, our BACKROAD column allowed us to share our favorite places with you.

Display # 
Title Created Date Author
Wythe County, Virginia - Backroads Tour September, 1985 Written by The Mountain Laurel
Doughton Park - Backroads Tour October, 1985 Written by Bob Heafner
Nelson County, Virginia - Home of the Waltons - Backroads Tour November, 1985 Written by Debbie K. Marshall
Buffalo Mountain - Backroads Tour December, 1985 Written by Bob Heafner
Orchards and The Hollow – Backroads Tour April, 1991 Written by Bob Heafner
Mercer, Summers and Monroe Counties of West Virginia - Backroads Tour December, 1995 Written by Susan M. Thigpen

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