JPG Takes Richmond Part 1
By Fred Moskey
16 Nov 2012
I received and email from Linda Houghton telling me about a JPG Meet-Up in Richmond, VA, scheduled for late October. I had never been to a JPG Meet-Up, although I had been invited before. I thought about it and since it was only about a six and a half hour drive from Huntington, I decided to go. I made hotel reservations and told Linda I would be there.
On the morning of 25 October I was up bright and early, excited to get started. I fired up my old blue Durango and headed east on I-64. At Clifton Forge, VA I exited I-64 and headed north toward Staunton, on VA Rt. 42, away from the crowded interstate. It is a most peaceful and relaxing drive, only very little local traffic to contend with. The scenery along VA Rt. 42 has a beautiful view of the mountains and it also parallels the old Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad tracks.
I bypassed Staunton and returned to my eastward journey on I-64. I had to stop at the Afton Mountain Overlook, just west of the Blue Ridge Parkway, for some photos of that beautiful fall scenery. It was a perfect day for travel and for photography.
Arriving at Richmond's Marriott SpringHill Suites I settled in and waited for the hospitality room to open. At the appointed time I joined the JPG Meet-Up group in the hospitality room. There I met the sponsors of our Meet-Up, Linda Houghton and Betty Maxey, along with the other arrivals. Linda and Betty had a huge selection of food to choose from, it was quite a spread.
Early on Friday 26 October we assembled in front of the hotel for our trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first photo stop was covered in fog so we just took pictures of each other.
Soon we climbed above the fog and the scenery was splendid. There were many photos taken of the mountains, fall color, and each other. After lunch we stopped at the Albermarle Cider Works for a cider tasting.
Saturday 27 October, We made our way to Belle Isle, where Tom Houghton was our guide who took us on a tour of the island. Clouds from Hurricane Sandy were moving in, making the sky a little dark.
Next to the parking lot was the Tredegar Iron Works where we toured their museum and saw a movie.
We then walked along the canal to Bottom's Up Pizza for lunch.
After lunch we waited in the parking area of Richmond's Main Street Station for our drivers to pick us up.
The next stop was the Hollywood Cemetery for more photos.
That evening was a Halloween dinner party at Linda's house where we all had a great time and the food was excellent.
Sunday 28 October I hitched a ride with Michelle Maxey to Monument Avenue for photos of the statues and bright fall color.
Then it was off to Maymont Estate for more photos. By then the wind from Sandy was kicking up quite a breeze along with a bit of cold air.
After lunch we traveled to Cold Harbor National Battlefield Park for photos and history lesson.
Next stop was the New Kent Winery for a wine tasting. I left with several bottles of fine wine.
Monday 29 October was a change in plans due to Hurricane Sandy. The wind and rain took over and I spent most of the morning at the hotel. Later Michelle joined me as the group headed for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to check out their operation. I stocked up on doughnuts before we left. We next went to the Virginia War Memorial where the wind, rain, and dark sky curtailed our photo taking.
Now it was time for our farewell dinner at Betty and Jimmy's house. If Michelle hadn't been with me I don't think I could have found it. Betty and Jimmy had a magnificent dinner for us, I am sure everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
Tuesday 30 October was time for check out. Sandy had turned colder by then, and the rain was sure to turn to snow in the mountains.
Continued in part 2.