Tuesday, September 28, 2010


DOC'S NEWS: CIVIL WAR BOOKS: "THE GRANITE SENTINEL As a son of the South, my early and profound influences were formed largely through oral history and some very good boo..."



As a son of the South, my early and profound influences were formed largely through oral history and some very good books. I knew who fought with what army where in the War Between the States. I take pride in sharing DNA with some who did their duty and served these great armies and cavalries until all was lost. I supplemented my knowledge with even more books, notably Life in Dixie During the War, by Decatur, Georgia heroine Mary Gay and, of course, Gone With The Wind. These could have satisfied my curiosity about life back then, but reading George Coletti's monumental new work Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel, was an eye-opener, awakening me to how little I actually knew.

Prompted by Coletti's brilliantly told stories, I began visiting many of the places near my home. The Andrew Johnson cemetery, holding the remains of a Stone Mountain founding family, the Stone Mountain Cemetery with the mass graves in the Confederate section, an uncomfortable experience as you think of the wartime tragedy leading to such impersonal burial, knowing how their surviving families likely never knew what happened to them.

Grown men make war and everyone somehow loses something, a life, a few years of youth, a healthy body or hope. There are magnificent heroes in The Granite Sentinel to be sure, but the overriding sentiment is that war is senseless, attacking the core of our collective humanity. That's not to take anything away from the brave soldiers who gave their lives-my own family shares a similar heritage-but more a personal lament that any of God's children had to die unnaturally.


It takes a mighty effort to bring a reader's interest back to the events of long ago, but Coletti is equal to the Herculean task. The characters seem to leap from the pages grasping for a heartstring. There is a message: "Never forget us."

The United States approaches the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States and The Granite Sentinel is perfectly positioned to make these tumultuous events and brave, good people live once again through the power of good storytelling, something Southern writers have nailed down from time immemorial.

All the elements of greatness are drawn together in The Granite Sentinel: romance and love, loyalty and duty, chivalry and generosity, and most of all, honor. Reading the debate between two of the South's finest statesmen-orators, Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs during Georgia's Secession Convention in 1861, is a stunning example of the remarkable power of language, history, law and love of place. Two men destined to lead the Confederacy, one as Vice President, the other as Secretary of State. One opposed to Secession, the other in favor. Both were close friends and shared a love for the South that transcended differences.
 The Granite Sentinel is profoundly important and belongs in the home library of all who love both the South and America.

Because of George Coletti's epic saga so skillfully produced in Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel, those who read this book may feel moved to answer the calls from those gray spirits that seem to still cry out.

"Rest now. We will not forget you."

Saturday, September 25, 2010



Rockland is a storybook village where almost everything is linked with the ocean. The lovely village provides the quintessentially American vacation encouraging visitors to slow down and smell the roses.

My abode for a few days was the grand Lime Rock Inn, www.limerockinn.com. Tucked away on a quiet street in Rockland’s Historic District, the magnificent bed and breakfast is a pleasant walk to the world-class Farnsworth Museum, fine dining, interesting shopping, and the Atlantic shore. Encircled by a wraparound porch and landscaped gardens, this beautiful turreted Victorian mansion exemplifies Queen Anne architecture and harkens to the enviable lifestyle of 19th Century New England.

Lime Rock became my Rockland headquarters, combining luxury amenities, a dream-inducing bed, topped off with delightful breakfast conversations with Frank and PJ enjoyed with just baked pastries and hot gourmet coffee.

Like the other historic inns, The Captain Lindsey House, www.lindseyhouse.com, is near Rockland’s many wonders.  Innkeepers Ken and Ellen Barnes retired as owners of the windjammer Stephen Taber – the oldest documented
schooner in continuous recorded service – and wove their maritime life into the ambience of this luxurious escape. World-traveled mariners, the gregarious couple’s combined talents include careers as highly respected professional actors, directors and set designers. Originally built in 1835, the Barnes’ purchase of the inn saved it from demise, allowing guests to behold the stunning collection of furniture and collectables from their world travels.

The Old Granite Inn, www.oldgraniteinn.com, began in 1840 as a Federal Colonial house built of gray granite quarried nearby in St. George. The house was both the residence and office for at least two physicians and their families. Today, Joan and Edwin Hantz manage the Inn, furnished with an artful counterpoint of genuine antiques and modern pieces.  The extensive front porch is positioned to greet the day and inspire late afternoon conversation with tea or a glass of wine.

The stately Berry Manor Inn, www.berrymanorinn.com, was once the home of one of Rockland’s most prominent merchants. Built in 1898 with all the grandeur of the Victorian age, Cheryl Michaelsen and her husband Michael LaPosta bought it a century later, converting it to an elegant bed and breakfast now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  Recognized as one of Maine’s most romantic inns, the Berry Manor Inn is renowned for its room amenities and overall hospitality, an ideal vacation home for exploring Rockland’s cultural treasures.


The "Captain Jack" is an authentic downeast working lobster boat. Like thousands before me, I got on board for a glimpse of seals, the legendary harbor porpoise, an occasional sunfish and maybe a whale. Captain Hale (his real name) hauls in his traps so guests can get up close and personal with the lobsters and crabs.
The trip is a photographer’s dream with ocean views of Owls Head Light house and the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse amid sounds of herring gulls, black back gulls, terns and osprey all combined with local history and experience the daily life of a local lobsterman
. Bonus: you’ll leave knowing the difference between male and female lobsters.


Few small towns in America offer cultural advantages like the Bay Chamber Concert series, www.baychamberconcerts.org, and the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, www.farnsworthmuseum.org.  Local museums include Maine’s Lighthouse Museum, www.mainelighthousemuseum.com, exhibiting the largest collection of lighthouse lenses, the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, www.owlshead.org, with a fabulous collection of early cars and planes. Among the most renowned art museums in New England, The Farnsworth exhibits works by great names in 18th and 19th-century American art including Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Thomas Eakins and Maurice Prendergast. The museum also houses works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center exclusively features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth, America's first family of art.


When Food Network brought Bobby Flay to Rockland, this confirmed that the local gourmet reputation is now national. The Historic Inns of Rockford, www.HistoricInnsofRockland.com, offers a gourmet progressive dinner at three restaurants with a specially created tasting menu that during my stay included Café Miranda, In Good Company, Amalfi on the Water, Suzuki Sushi, Rustica Cucina Italiano and Lilly Bistro. My evenings with chef/owner John Stowe at Rustica and Kerry Altiero’s spectacularly eclectic Café Miranda provided memorable cuisine.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010



"I'm a little drunk now," Nick said. "You aren't drunk," Bill said... Bill poured the glass half full of whiskey. "There's just one more shot." "Got any more?" Nick asked. "There's plenty more, but Dad only likes me to drink what's open." "Sure," said Nick. "He says opening bottles is what makes drunkards," Bill explained.  "That's right," said Nick. He was impressed. He had never thought of that before. He always thought it was solitary drinking that made drunkards. From “The Three-Day Blow,” by Ernest Hemingway.

 If there’s a better time to visit America’s southern-most point than fabled “Hemingway Days,” it would be when the bridge connecting this small town with Cuba is finally built. American railroad visionary Henry Flagler, who did build the Breakers Palm Beach, had drawings and plans made to build a railroad bridge from here to Havana, but hurricanes and other uncertainties kept the drawings on a wall, exhibited today in the Fort Lauderdale Museum.

For now, this festival celebrating the life of one of this tropical island’s most beloved denizens will remain a must visit for those who love a party with purpose. “Papa,” as Ernest Hemingway was called affectionately, lived, partied and wrote here here and his home is one of the best museums in North America.

During his stay he wrote or worked on Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls,The Snows of Kilamanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. He used Depression-era Key West as the setting for To Have and to Have Not, his only novel set in the United States. The more than 60 descendants of Hemingway’s  unusual six-toed cats inhabit the grounds, sporting names like Gertrude Stein, Simone de Beauvoir, Audrey Hepburn and Pablo Picasso.


Hemingway is associated with any number of cocktails, but none more so than the Mojito. The drink was invented for him at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba, where Hemingway drank them with celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, Ava Gardner, Nat King Cole, Jimmy Durante, Erroll Flynn,  and countless others. Another drink inspired by Hemingway is the Daiquiri. La Floridita Daiquire or Papa Doble came from the bar in Havana in the hotel Papa frequented just as he did in Key West’s watering holes.

Another important giant of the island’s literary and drinking tradition is playwright Tennessee Williams. Key West is the only place in America where the Mississippi-born playwright owned a home. Like Hemingway, the slow pace and open society was appealing and inspired creativity. Tennessee Williams first became a regular visitor to Key West in 1941 and is said to have written the first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire while at the La Concha Hotel.

Williams favorite cocktail was the Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink fashioned in New Orleans.

Another Key West legend was President Harry Truman whose Little White House is another popular spot for tourists. Mr. Truman’s drink of choice was good Bourbon, the Kentucky staple, I. W. Harper. He had one ounce every morning after his walk.
Ernest Hemingway aboard The Pilar


Hemingway and his friends became known as the "The Key West Mob,"  noted for fishing and drinking in the Dry Tortugas, Bimini, and Cuba for days and weeks at a time in pursuit of giant tuna and marlin. Hemingway's Key West was filled with interesting people from the well to do to the down-on-their-luck fishermen. Hemingway used many of these people as characters in his novel To Have and Have Not, which is about Key West.

Little has really changed here. Locals call it the Conch Republic and a few old Cubans still call the island Stella Mara, star of the sea. It’s crazy, Bohemian, somewhere between Jack Keorac and Jack Kennedy. It’s perfect year round and remains the most romantic destination in the Sunshine State.

Sunday, September 12, 2010



“The way to heaven is on horseback.”
Florida and horses came together when the Spanish Conquistadors landed near Augustine. The descendants of the horses these soldiers and explorers rode are Cracker horses found throughout North and Central Florida. Today’s Florida horses range from pets to racing champions, a testament to the soil, vegetation and environment of the Sunshine State. Horses, according to many, have a spiritual magnetism that beneficially affects us.


Central Florida’s Ocala and Marion County, www.ocalacc.com, claim the distinction as “Horse Capital of the World.” Home to more than 200 farms and training centers devoted to breeding, training and showing breeds such as the Thoroughbred, Paso Fino, Missouri Fox trotter, Arabian, Morgan, miniature horse, quarter horse, hunter/jumper, and the gentle giant draft horses. Between 45 and 50 different breeds are represented in the area, with nearly 29,000 employed in the county's Thoroughbred. Central Florida Thoroughbreds consistently finish first in 20 percent of the foremost stakes races in the U.S. and are counted among Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Belmont Stakes, Preakness and Kentucky Derby winners.

The "Horse Shows in the Sun" is one of the largest hunter/jumper events in the United States. This five-week spring competition held at the grounds on U.S. 27, northwest of Ocala, brings the area an estimated $30 million with more than 2,000 horses participating.

Just up the road near Gainesville is Paynes Prairie, www.floridastateparks.org/paynesprairie,  providing a rich array of habitats for wildlife, including alligators, bison, wild horses and over 270 species of birds. The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail stretches 16 miles through the park for walking, cycling and horseback riding

A work in progress, the R.O. Ranch Equestrian Park in Mayo, Florida envisions a natural and cultural setting that will showcase the beauty and simplicity of North Central Florida. Set in the Florida Cracker style of the 1920s, visitors will experience original Florida with cracker cows grazing, the smell of flowering magnolias, the sounds of rustling cabbage palms, a horseback ride down one of the many trails inspiring the visitor to reflect on past and present-day living.


Located in the Red Hills bioregion of lush landscapes and rolling hills, Tallahassee is a near-perfect place for equestrian pursuits where horse farms are plentiful. A signature Tallahassee event, the annual Red Hills Horse Trails, www.rhht.org, is an international qualifying competition on the road to the Olympics.  Trails Include Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, Maclay Gardens State Park and the Lake Overstreet trails.

Dixie Plantation is located in Greenville, the Florida city where singer Ray Charles spent a good bit of his childhood. A quail hunting preserve, Dixie raises and trains bird dogs, primarily English Pointers. Because of the comfortable gaits, stamina, and ability to keep up with the bird dogs, Tennessee Walking Horses are the breed of choice for field trials. Dixie’s Livingston family owned the champion Tennessee walking horse Midnight Sun, siring more champions than any other walking horse in history. Dixie maintains a herd of walking horses and many are direct descendants of Midnight Sun. www.dixieplantation.org.   

Florida’s equestrian heritage precedes the creation of America, connecting Old and New World love of horses from riding to racing and breeding. This is a growing tradition, and when you look around, you’ll find that riding and event opportunities are almost everywhere in Florida.

Editor's Note: Natural North Florida is a wonderful website providing even more useful and detailed information: www.naturalnorthflorida.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Steve Thomason casts for trout along this great trail
"If fishing is like religion, then fly fishing is high church." - Tom Brokaw

SYLVA, N.C. – It’s the sport introduced to countless Americans by Ernest Hemingway through his Nick Adams stories. Trout fishing with a fly rod is a connection with ancients who fished to eat and survive. Today, it’s more catch and release. Wading down into the Tuckaseegee River in Jackson County, North Carolina was a new baptism, an up to the hips immersion in Smoky Mountain holy water, a ritual to cleanse a troubled soul and quench a city dweller’s thirst for adventure.

The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail features some of the best trout waters in the South encompassing portions of four wild rivers, the Tuckaseigee, Chattooga, Whitewater and Horsepasture, with 15 prime spots for hooking brook, brown and rainbow trout. While the experience is for beginners as well as grizzled veterans, it helps to have a guide.


Alex Bell heads heralded AB's Fly Fishing Guide Service. He helped to choose the fly fishing trail's streams from wide-open rivers like the Tuckasegee for beginners to more remote and challenging waters like Scott and Panthertown creeks.  A former coach, Bell is the consummate fly fishing instructor and is the best go-to guy in the region for learning trout fishing shills. Bell emphasizes that fly-fishing is just as enjoyable for women and teenagers. “All you need is a desire to learn,” he says.

Bell provides guide services and also teaches classes at High Hampton Inn that includes a 3-night, 4-day fly fishing school, he describes as “the experience of a lifetime.” Located at a 3,600-foot elevation, High Hampton Inn is at the heart of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, www.flyfishingtrail.com. The fly fishing school includes accommodations, all meals, and three nights lodging. Bell’s instruction is geared to any level. More information is available at www.abfish.org.


The recent addition to the trail of the 2.2-mile stretch of the Raven Fork trophy water on the Cherokee Indian Reservation includes waters stocked with rainbow, brown and golden trout, and is designated as catch-and-release fly fishing only. Raven Fork is a 2.2-mile stretch of water northward from the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge outside Cherokee and is regularly stocked with large rainbow, brown and golden trout. It's not uncommon to catch trout 20 inches or longer, and many exceed 30 inches.

"Cherokee wants to be a destination east of the Mississippi River that every fly fisherman knows," observes Alex Bell. "They have different strains of trout coming in and great vision for their fishing program. I think it's going to keep getting better and better."

The trail also features several smaller streams. Tanasee Creek and Greens Creek cut through scenic areas of the Nantahala National Forest, while Panthertown Creek bisects Panthertown Valley, which, according to Bell, is often referred to as the "Yosemite of the East."


Stephen Thomason, a photojournalist from Atlanta, joined other writers fishing under Bell’s command. “You don’t need pills,” he said, “to feel better when you’re in the water fly fishing.” Now 32, Thomason was stricken with crippling vasculitis three years ago and taught himself fly fishing skills and how to tie his own trout lures, universally called flies.

Fly fishing is an attractive, often healing option for those who suffer health problems or are infirmed or limited in their physical abilities. Thomason is quite skilled, fishing regularly in lakes and streams near his Atlanta home, but prefers the cool, clean mountain waters of Western North Carolina and North Georgia, he says.


Fly fishing here is an up and coming tourism trove and after just one year, the results are apparent. Bell sees the trail’s tourism potential as part of an economic turnaround for Sylva and the Jackson County area. “We are just two and a half hours from Atlanta and the environment is as good as you’ll find this side of
Accommodations are available at www.smokymtngetaways.net.

Prior to plunging in the mountain waters, you are asked to take an oath: "As a true sportsman, I pledge to never litter and to avoid trespassing on private lands.  I will respect the rights of property owners, and always leave the streams in better condition than I found them."

Saturday, September 4, 2010



Alexandra joined Doc for a Champagne breakfast
During visits to New Orleans, I enjoy flutes of Champagne with Creole eggs, shrimp and grits, biscuits, ham and andouille sausage. I came to expect it, but always thought that this noble custom was confined to the French Quarter, Quebec City and Paris. My early morning breakfast interview in Atlanta with the heiress of Laurent-Perrier one of the world’s great Champagne houses caused me to reconsider these old notions.

Breakfast suddenly rivaled dinner.

“I have enjoyed my visit in your beautiful city,” Alexandra told me while the attentive waiter poured another glass of Ultra-Brut Laurent-Perrier, which we paired with scrambled eggs and caviar. I couldn’t resist telling her about the Champagne folklore in the South. During the Civil War, Confederate blockade runners managed to smuggle in thousands of bottles. Champagne, as anyone familiar with Rhett Butler knows, has always occupied a hallowed place at Southern dining tables.

Founded in 1812, Laurent –Perrier has always been avant-garde in creating unique and elegant champagnes. For over 50 years, Bernard Nonancourt, Alexandra’s father, has dedicated his life to innovating and perfecting Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Alexandra gently took me along a journey of her Champagnes, the history of this region of France and all the great events associated with Laurent-Perrier. Mark Twain once said that he believed Joan of Arc to be the world’s greatest figure. The young warrior who became a Saint was from the area of Rhiems, the capital of the Champagne region of France.

Continuing a tradition of association with things noble and regal, Laurent-Perrier has been, I was told, the official Champagne of the Academy Awards for the past decade. Alexandra de Nonancourt’s father, in honor of her marriage, specially crafted an elegant Champagne and named it after her.

Sometimes you really hate to see breakfast come to an end. Our parting was memorialized by a gift of a rare bottle of Champagne from Alexandra. I’ll save it for something very important in my life, perhaps a day that has particular significance for Atlanta. 

With Champagne, we celebrate and christen. Champagne is the universal elixir of love. Nothing comes in second. We ring in the New Year with it and serving it on Valentine’s Day is obligatory. It’s also very appropriate for saying farewell.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne is now among my favorite things. I associate each glass of magnificent bubbly with Alexandra, the gracious emissary who spiritually took me to her region of France that produces it.

I confirmed the perfect pairing of food and beverage for breakfast.

Good-bye orange juice.

Have you enjoyed the New Orleans breakfast experience? Where? When?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Original, Delicious Soup With A Great Story


 I was given this recipe by one of my heroes (some of my other heroes are Joan of Arc, Mark Twain, Johnny Cash and Julia Child), Jim Sanders. Sanders, wounded five times as a foot soldier in World War II, went to France in 1948, bought a bicycle and toured the countryside, learning the language, the food and all about wines. When he returned to his Atlanta home, he was a French trained chef and had his own wines from France headed to Atlanta where he opened up the first fine wine retail shops in the Deep South and became a remarkable restaurateur and graduate school level wine educator with his classes in the back of his store.
I was lucky enough to be one of his students and all I love beyond my family is owed to him. Jim served food in the same room in his store daily, calling it “Poor Jim’s soup kitchen.” Customers would stop in and eat a full course meal, drink his wines and share stories. Everything, of course, was at no charge.
Jim died in 1999 and ironically is buried close to my mother and brother. I stop by on special occasions to lay flowers and walk over to Jim’s grave, noticing that others had visited, perhaps bring along a chair and opened up a bottle or two, sharing some stories. (Jim’s trademark JSANDERS was on every cork of the 180 different French wines he imported.) This is one of my favorite recipes and Sanders served it once each week:



1 lb. raw beef pieces
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
24 oz. tomato juice
1 pt. beef stock
2 oz. butter
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. medium Sherry
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. white pepper
Salt to taste.
In a soup pot, melt the butter. Add the beef pieces and vegetables and braise until the beef is browned. Add the tomato juice, beef stock and spices and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the cheese and Sherry, but do not boil.

Jim Sanders’ young manager was Stephen Thomason who was 21 at the time Sanders died. I asked Stephen which wines were served with this soup. “Our Coates-du-Rhone,” he recalled, “was nearly perfect, loaded with pepper and spices and the customers loved it. Other choices were Beaujolais-Villages, and even a Gervey-Chambertin.” White wines? “Not really,” says Thomason. “This is a hearty soup that will overpower even many heavier white wines.”


What wines would you serve with this?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



The New River offers hiking as well as paddling thrills

GALAX, VA. It is the second oldest river on earth and like the River Nile that runs through Africa to the Mediterranean, the New River’s journey from North Carolina, through Virginia flows northward. This river was the backbone of my Southwest Virginia Cascade Highlands journey.
The New River begged me to canoe north on the rapids and nothing beats going north on this mighty river than a novice shooting through the Virginia rapids. While in certain areas challenging, the rapids are manageable. Launch was at Blue Cat Outfitters and Greensboro, North Carolina writer Lynne Brandon joined me for miles of river fun.
Spectacularly showcasing the grandeur of nature, Grayson Highlands State Park also has wild ponies. The rigorous hike to the summit to see the horses is worth the effort. More than memorable exercise, this was a prelude to the bike ride along the majestic New River Trail.  A railroad track is now a first rate path alongside the New River featuring canopies of overhanging trees, spectacular bridges with quite a bit of history. Families, seniors, veteran bicyclers intermingled along this nature lovers delight.
Foggy Ridge (www.foggyridgecider.com) is the Blue Ridge home of Diane Flynt’s delicious artisinal Hard Cider, a lower alcohol food friendly delight. Her venue is worth both a visit and some cider purchases. Nearby wineries include Villa Appalachia, Chateau Morrisette, AmRhein and Blackstock, which is a very rare meadery where tasty Tupelo Honey Mead is produced.


Galax is an epicenter of music, art and food.  After dinner at the Galax Smokehouse, the Virginia home of Memphis-style barbeque that serves  “the best banana pudding in the world,” a tour of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts confirmed that Galax actively incorporates mountain music heritage with regional folk and fine art providing a large measure of visionary cultural diversity.
Galax, billed as the “World’s Capital of Old-time Mountain Music” offers live broadcasts of Bluegrass music onstage at the Rex Theatre on Friday evenings. WBRF produces one of only three live bluegrass and old-time radio shows in the country. The virtuoso banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin players combine rich falsetto harmonies, inspiring visitors to join locals in fast paced clogging that harkens to ancient Ireland and Scotland.
Walking around Marion somehow confirms that Norman Rockwell and Grandma Moses captured the majesty of small town living and the abounding joys found in rural America. Like this beautiful Virginia city, the palatial General Francis Marion Hotel Hotel (www.gfmhotel.com) took its name from the Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion and offers the amenities of a modern hotel with the romance the of the Jazz Age.
The upper mezzanine’s Card Room features floor tile motif of playing cards, a black rooster and a bubbling cocktail.  Executive chef Marcus Blackstone expertly leads the gourmet restaurant, The Black Rooster.
Marion’s Lincoln Theatre (www.thelinclon.com) is one of only three existing Mayan Revival-style Art Deco era theaters in America. Exotic representations of mythological gods and creatures adorn the ceilings and walls alongside history influenced murals. The performance schedule is eclectic and includes the PBS-staple, “Song of the Mountains.”
 Lovely Saltville is home to my favorite raconteur, the incredible Charlie Bill Totten who once told me “there’s nothing in the country that equals Saltville.” He backs his claims with the impressive Museum of the Middle Appalachians (www.museum-mid-app.org) featuring geology, Ice Age, Woodland Indians, Civil War and company town exhibits and a collection of more than 4,000 photos of Saltville.
Built in the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Hungry Mother State Park features swimming, camping, cabin rentals, boat rentals, hiking and Hemlock Haven complete with a lakeside gourmet restaurant.
The area is unspoiled Virginia, pure Americana and a trove of tourism adventure where good things thrive.  For more information: www.thecascadehighlands.com.


What are your favorite hiking, canoeing or kayaking memories from the New River?
Is there any comparable region for Bluegrass enjoyment?
Can you name the famous Major League Baseball legends from Southwest Virginia? Hint: One is a Philly, the other a Brave.