Rocky Highlights Re-Opening of Park on Philpott Lake, and Encourages Fellow-Ramblers to Join Ruritans for Breakfast

This is my first effort to combine two shows into one half-hour episode of Rocky’s Ramblings. It just seemed that both are timely and important. So, join me in celebrating the anticipated re-opening of Jamison Mill Park within a month, and head out to enjoy Saturday morning community breakfasts. As you’ll see, my focus was the breakfasts put on by the local Ruritan Clubs. But, one of the larger breakfasts is put on by the Horse Pasture Volunteer Fire Department. Both organizations use the money they make to further their community support goals. So, get out there and support them by starting your weekends with a GREAT breakfast.

Let’s look first at the status of Jamison Mill Park. With the bridge finished and Franklin County Parks working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to lease it as a County Park, the park should RE-open before Memorial Day to the public after a few years of being closed.

Now, on to the Ruritan Saturday morning breakfasts. And, actually, I need to also include other community breakfasts, because the Horse Pasture Voluntary Fire Department holds a breakfast on the 4th Saturday of every month with much the same philosophy, and is looked at be neighboring Ruritan Clubs as such.

Here is the list of local Ruritan Club and VFD community Saturday morning breakfasts:

Spencer Ruritan – 40 George Taylor Rd, Spencer, VA – 1st Saturday of the month, November through May

Bassett Ruritan – 277 Philpott Dam Rd, Bassett, VA – 2nd Saturday, year-round

Sanville Ruritan – 3451 Stones Dairy Rd, Bassett, VA – 3rd Saturday, year-round

Horse Pasture Volunteer Fire Department – 17815 AL Philpott Highway, Ridgeway, VA – 4th

For more information about the Ruritan Clubs, Here’s their link: Ruritan National Clubs.

Head to your local Ruritan Breakfast to give yourself a good start to your weekend of rambling. As always, I encourage you to make sure you are driving a safe, well-maintained vehicle.

Here’s your Defensive Driving Tip for the week:

Speed Limits. We have them for a reason. Research shows that it is not so much speed that causes accidents on the road; rather the differences in speed between cars. If all drivers are driving within 5 miles per hour of each other, we are better able to decipher what’s happening around them. So, honor the speed limits and drive defensively!

Until my next episode, here’s wishing you SAFE RAMBLING!


Rocky Rambles Out to Philpott Lake to Talk About the Many Things To Do At this Regional Gem

Philpott Lake has been a cherished gem and outdoor recreation haven in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains since the 1960’s. One visit to the Overlook, with it’s Million Dollar View, and you’ll agree!

I rambled out to talk with Park Ranger Brian Stewart to highlight the opportunities. Of course, I hope you enjoy the show. But, no show could give you the true sense of beauty and relaxation, or do service to the recreation opportunities that this beautiful little lake offers.

If you’re looking for a place to camp, picnic, swim, fish, boat. kayak, or otherwise enjoy some serenity and natural beauty, you cannot do better than take a visit to Philpott Lake. Just look at this Fall picture of Emberson Falls, on the upper portion of the lake.

In the show, there are a number of references to websites and other resources. Here are those references with links for you to follow.

Here is a Virtual Tour of Philpott Lake

In the show, I promised to give you the link to make reservations for camping and picnic shelters in the Corps-managed parks. Here is that link:

Here is the link for reservations of the Philpott Marina Group Campground,  and for other information regarding the marina: Philpott Marina and Group Campground

We also discussed the volunteer program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or if you are looking for volunteers, here is the link for the best resource I know:

We talked about the status of Jamison Mill Park, specifically the bridge reconstruction project and the efforts to lease the park to Franklin County. From talking with both the Corps and the County, it appears that the lease is on track for an early May turn-over, giving the County time to get Jamison Mill Park open before Memorial.

The bridge reconstruction is…well, here; see for yourself!

Philpott Lake is a beautiful little lake, a cherished gem, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The seasonal pictures in the main show (above), the farthest horizon that you can see is the Blue Ridge Parkway. How cool is that!?!

Two recreation opportunities that we did not talk about in the show are the kayaking opportunities and hiking trails. Kayaking has absolutely exploded on Philpott Lake, easily the fastest growing recreation on the lake.

The hiking trails on Philpott Lake offer a great deal of diversity and access to the beauty  of the back country along the lake. The Dogwood Glen Trail, on the Franklin County (northeast) side of the lake also allows horses.  This trail runs from just below the dam, 3 miles up Stoneybrook Ln (mis-labeled in Google Maps as River Brook Rd), to Salthouse Branch Park, and can be accessed from either end. The largest trail system on Philpott Lake, with 6 miles of trail, is the Jamison Mill Park Trail System.

As always, I encourage you to get out and do your own ramblings. You couldn’t stumble upon a spot any prettier, with more recreation opportunities than right here at Philpott Lake.

As you go about your ramblings, make sure you are driving a safe, well-maintained vehicle.

Here’s your Defensive Driving Tip for the Week:

Fog can be terrifying when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Turn your headlights on, but use the low beam to cut under the fog. Remember, if you can’t see other vehicles, other drivers can’t see you either.

We’re all familiar with massive pile-ups on the highways. The most dangerous conditions that lead to such pile-ups is heavy fog conditions. Check the weather before you head out – a concept known as Know Before You Go. If heavy fog is forecast, be wary. If you find yourself in heavy fog, get off the road if at all possible.

Until my next post, here’s wishing you SAFE RAMBLINGS!

Rocky Rambles to Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in Bedford County, Virginia

This was a very special rambling for me – to commemorate the birthday of, Thomas Jefferson, principle author of the Declaration of Independence, our 1st Secretary of State, our 2nd Vice President, our 3rd President, the author of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, the visionary behind the Louisiana Purchase, and the founder of the University of Virginia.

But, I wanted to commemorate him by highlighting something more personal. Watch the show and you’ll see what I mean.

As you can tell, Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is one of my favorite places for rambling to. Once you visit, I think you’ll share my point of view.

Jefferson’s Poplar Forest at 1542 Bateman Bridge Rd, Forest, VA

The Bible tells us that we all need rest, to get away, to recharge our batteries, to heal the wounds that we get in our every-day lives. Thomas Jefferson did so at Poplar Forest.

Poplar Forest is also a great get-away for you. If you don’t go to such restored historic sites because you don’t like being herded like cattle, this is the place for you to visit. Allow the docents to show you around as you want to be shown.

Keep in mind that Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is operated by a private organization, not using tax dollars. So, they operate through memberships and donations. If you would like donate to the cause, here is the Poplar Forest Support Page. If you would like to join the organization, here is the Poplar Forest Membership Page. Finally, if you would like to volunteer and make your own unique contribution, here is the Poplar Forest Volunteer Page.

So, get out there and do your own rambling, if not to Poplar Forest, to find the many other places to go, things to do and events to attend, many of which are right in your back yard.

As you do so, make sure you are driving a safe, well-maintained vehicle.

Your Defensive Driving Tip of the Week:

As you drive, keep your eyes panning as far out in front of you as you can see. If you are in heavy traffic watch for the tail lights far ahead. When you start seeing brake lights blinking on and off, they give you an indication that there may be something happening up ahead. Then, take your foot off the gas and be prepared to respond as necessary. That’s what defensive driving is all about.

Until my next post, here’s wishing you SAFE RAMBLING!


Rocky Rambles to 3 Museums in Uptown Martinsville, Virginia

Every town in America has a story – and people trying to tell that story. I wanted to do something to let you hear that story of Martinsville, Virginia. I should say PART of that story. In a half-hour show, there’s no way I can get to all of the little museums – public and private – and story-tellers in our community. If you live near, or will be visiting, Martinsville, I hope you’ll take time to ramble on in to some of the museums and listen to the stories of the owners. Watch the show and think about the story of your own community – and then ramble on out to listen to that story.

Realize that I have just covered THREE of the museums in this ONE community. Here is the Martinsville-Henry County Tourism Offices listing of museums within the Henry County community. Martinsville-Henry County Museums

Here are the websites and addresses of the museums highlighted in the show:

The Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center and Museum is located at 1 E Main Street, Martinsville, VA and is operated by the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society.

Rucker’s Telephone Museum is at 20 E Church St, Martinsville, VA, and is operated privately by Steve Rucker, retired engineer from the local telephone company.

The FAHI Museum is located at 211 W Fayette St, Martinsville, VA, and is operated by FAHI, . They also have a FAHI Facebook Page

I encourage you to ramble on out to visit these museums and the museums in your own community.

As you do, make sure you are driving a safe, well-maintained vehicle.

Here’s your Defensive Driving Tip of the Week

Don’t Drive Distracted. We all hear the stories, see the aftermath, and mourn the losses from distracted driving. And, we shake our heads at the senselessness of OTHER drivers. But, if we’re honest, WE ALL commit acts of distracted driving too often. Remember that you are the operator of a 2-ton potential weapon. Put down the phone, wait to find whatever you dropped, leave that hilarious conversation, and wait to reset your GPS, until you are safely off the road.

Until my next post, here’s wishing you SAFE RAMBLING!