Today was a day for what sports physiologists call "active recovery." You're resting but you're not inactive, if you know what I mean. Active recovery is especially needed for (a) type AAA personalities, and (b) people who've been racking up the training miles. That pretty much describes me. So this afternoon I decided that I would "rest" by driving up to Appomattox and hiking a couple of its trails. Yes, it was a day to slow down and smell the roses. My goals were to:
- Drive only on back roads I'd never seen before.
- Stop at historical markers.
- Take pictures of ante-bellum homes (a hobby of mine).
- Enjoy the quaint little village of Appomattox Court House.
Care to come along? As I mentioned, I took secondary and tertiary roads all the way to Appomattox. No hurry, right?
If Virginia is famous for anything, it's the number of historical markers it has. This one really surprised me. I had no idea there was a denomination called the Republican Methodists.
This lovely home stood just past the historical marker pictured above. Judging by its roof line, my guess is that it was built in the mid- to late-1,700s.
There are 7 main trails at the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park. I hiked the Tibbs Trail and the Stage Road Trail. The Tibbs Trail begins here at the cemetery just to the west of town.
This trail goes north and then east past the village, where it intercepts the old stage coach line that passes straight through town.
From here you are less than a half mile from the village center.
The famous court house building stands in the epicenter of the village. Ain't she a beaut?
The Clover Hill Tavern must have been a welcome sight for weary sojourners traveling between Richmond and Lynchburg.
Here I'm sitting on the front porch of the McLean House.
This view of the back porch is not as well-known.
It's always a sacred moment to stand outside the parlor where the surrender took place.
From here you simply walk back to your car along the stage road.
As you can see, the total distance is a manageable 2.5 miles. I finished the hike in about an hour.
And thus our little tour comes to an end. Hope you enjoyed it. For me, America is still vast and wild. There are so many sights to behold and experiences to savor. The U.S. is a really big place. Within the contiguous 48 states, as well as within Alaska and the islands of Hawaii, there's just about every kind of climate and ecosystem you can imagine. As a U.S. citizen I've been privileged to have been in 49 of the 50 states. Alaska is still on my bucket list. I can't wait to see it. The United States is truly an amazing place, geographically and beyond. Our parks are not only national treasures, they are global signatures. How blessed we are to live in such a beautiful and interesting world. Don't be afraid to slow down and smell the roses. Explore and escape! You will be glad you did.