Posted by: Beemer Bob | October 19, 2014

xxxHomeless in the ridge (Oct 17)

After a week of
rain, drizzle and cloudy foggy days. The sun comes out and the forecast promises a beautiful day.

A good day to crank up the goose and ride, ride and ride.

We start with heading to the blue ridge parkway. Taking a detour to get gas we find the old McCormick farm. McCormick was considered the pioneer of mechanized farm machinery. Most notable was the McCormick Grain Reaper.

I would happily explain to you what a grain reaper is if only I understood. All I know is it was some contraption used in the harvesting of wheat. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Grim Reaper.

I didn’t understand the reaper and thrasher but it had a cool looking mill.

The McCormick Farm is now part of the Shenandoah Valley Agriculture and Research Center. We then accessed the blue ridge parkway by way of the Tye River turnpike through the George Washington National Forrest. This road was very steep, twisty narrow road with some beautiful views

We then joined onto the parkway and rode for a few hours. We only managed to stop and take this picture. If we stopped to take pictures of all the beautiful views, we would never get anywhere.

At about lunch time we were hungry so I had the GPS search for nearby dining. It showed a place called “Woodruff cafe and pie shop” in Monroe, VA about 10 minutes from our current location. This place sounded interesting so off we go. Little did we know what a treasure we had found.

Pintos and cornbread! Sounds good to me.

Not much of a place but very homey and cozy


We both had the pinto beans and cornbread. For dessert, Tree had their famous fried sweet potato pie and I had a pumpkin milkshake.

This place has been here for over 60 years. Pictures of some of the pictures on the wall.





Then we meet this young lady.

This is Mary. Mary is 98 years old but sharp as a tack. Her and her husband built and operated this shop. This sweet lady likes to make pot holders from pretty pieces of cloth people give her. She likes to give them to her friends and honored Tree with a gift of this potholder.

Mary and her daughters that now operate the store were some of the nicest people I have ever met. Before we left, we felt like family.

Mary had written a small book of her memories of which we bought.

Outside I was able to get Mary and her three daughters to come pose with the goose.



We say goodby to our new friends and head to a place they told us about where one could pick pumpkins in the field.

Fun little road through the backwoods.

We find the orchard

In the pumpkin patch looking for the great pumpkin

This one is a keeper. Just the right size for our small home on wheels. Picking a pumpkin from a real pumpkin patch is a bucket list item for Saint.

Back at the orchard. Saint says we need more apples. I think she just likes the idea of buying fresh apples

On the way back home we went through a windy narrow road. We stopped at a rest area and saw this in the woods. Seemed odd and out of place.

Other sites at our stop



Time to get home.

That evening I read Granny’s memoirs. It was an interesting history of her life and loves. This was a God loving woman who always seemed to find joy in all things and people. Her book reminded me of a story my Mom wrote before she passed. It meant a lot to me to be able to read my mothers memories of her life and I’m sure Mary’s family finds the same joy. If I’m ever in the area again, I will surely drop in to say hello to our friends in Monroe.

Our trip to the Pie Shop was an example of those unexpected delights when you just set out without a itinerary. Just let life happen and you will not be disappointed.




  1. Another outstanding post. After a week of rainy skies, clear blue one’s are a real treat. Thank you for making me envious of your journey. Mary and her family are people to emulate. Were you standing on a huge tree stump in the first picture?


  2. Bob, really enjoying this trip. Love the Blue Ridge and Skyline drive. We were there this past Labour Day. It really is the things that just happen and you never planned on that make the trip remarkable. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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