Dwight Peck's personal website

Summer 2021

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The road home to Staunton, with a brief pitstop in Wytheville, VA

Wytheville, Virginia, is noteworthy for being alongside Interstate 81 within a comfortable next day's drive to Staunton and for having a nice pet-friendly La Quinta Inn.

In fact, I81 is widely understood to be the original Highway of Death, to be avoided whenever possible, but this time, having left the Cumberland Falls behind, our eastward lanes are mainly flowing smoothly and the westward lanes are completely stationery for mile after mile. The poor sods.

The scenery improves dramatically once you come seriously into the Appalachians.

Here we are in our La Quinta, in very nearly the same room, in fact. Choupette is deciding on her next move.

Freedom to roam can be a great feeling, but there seems also to be a certain sense of security when you're trapped inside a cat carrier -- it normally takes Choupette a few minutes to reassure herself.

And even then, she prefers to perch up high with a clear field of vision in all directions, just in case.

The festive mock battles should begin shortly.

As, for example, in this ambush about to commence so fast the the camera will record only two tumbling blurs.

Once the vigorous fake-aggressions have revived all cats after 5 hours of staring out the car window, they've settled down and we'll go find dinner.

In fact, we're already booked at the Log House 1776 restaurant, and we've arrived early so that some of our party can reacquaint herself with the associated antiques pickings.

That's Antiques Building #2 on the left, and the main building, labeled the Wilderness Road Trading Company, in the centre.

As it turned out, I'm informed that we found the pickings disappointing in #2 on this occasion.

So we move on to the main event.

A glance around the yard illustrates some of the problem here.

What would we do with something like that?

Or something like that -- which, from two years ago, fit in very well, as it happens, on the kitchen/stage of our flat.

But not this year, perhaps the mood is just not upon us, so we have an opportunity to take a short walk down the main street before our appointment with culinary perfection in the 1776.

The day is darkening already, and we won't insist upon excellence with these few photos to give a general sense of Wytheville -- we had more time . . .

. . . and a better-lit afternoon during our visit in October 2019 -- late October, in fact, just in time for the town's Hallowe'en festival, which was suitably gruesome. Some snaps we shot on that occasion are here.

Remember, this is the high street, the main drag, as it were.

This edifice out of frame on the left, with the cemetery on the front lawn, was originally the George Wythe Hotel, subsequently renamed the Bolling Wilson Hotel in honor, so to speak, of Edith Bolling Wilson (1872-1961), the second wife of Pres. Woodrow Wilson. She was born here: 'From Wytheville to The White House'.

Here's ole Dan'l Boone, on an iron plaque stuck here on a monument in 1928. The stone monument was rebuilt in 2005, but the plaque remains as it was. (There was some sort of improbable legend that the marker was fashioned from iron salvaged from the USS Maine, which was sunk during the 'Spanish-American War' in 1898, and thus the Daniel Boone memorial text below throws in some unrelated sentiments as well.)

We are in love with this monument marker, chiefly for its powerful belief that when the USA started the Spanish-American War it 'became a dominant power for peace in the world'. (This is the wrong time to try estimating the numbers of people round the world who, over the next 120 years, might have quibbled with that thought.)

Two years ago, the Millwald Theater seen here had metamorphosed into the Crosswalk Church ('Sun. 10:30 AM'), with a barber shop and a video games exchange tucked in alongside. Now it seems up for grabs.

Many American towns these days seem to have imaginative wall murals, but they're not all stuck in alleys. This commemorates the life of Edith Bolling Wilson -- about which we could probably learn still more just three blocks up the street at home in Staunton, because we've got hold of a Woodrow Wilson birthplace museum and Presidential Library. Fascinating.

It's a quiet evening in Wytheville.

Jumping the gun a bit on Hallowe'en -- it's only the 9th of October. Unless those are not for Hallowe'en.

Time for dinner

Very satisfactory, in an uncrowded upstairs room (there seem to be about 50 rooms here, some the size of closets), not expensive, and an amusing waiter.

A last ambush the next morning, and then a reconciliation before being stuffed together into the cat carrier.

And so back to Staunton, after four months away from home.

What's next, then? Some local Staunton views with the changing foliage.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 18 November 2021.

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