Monday, February 16, 2009

Video from Rose Hill!

This is my first attempt at uploading a video onto the blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yesterday's Rainbow

This photo is copyright 2009
by Mitchell Van Etten.

The photo was taken in western Lee County (looking just to the East of Whiterocks) as yesterday's storm passed by. Photographer Mitchell Van Etten can be contacted at

School is on 2-hour delay today due to a power problem.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

snow on the Rose Hill trail

It snowed! School is closed again. Here's a photo of the downtown Rose Hill trail, which runs from Martin's Creek all the way to the heart of downtown up behind O'Dell's Furniture. There's only critter tracks on this end of the trail so far today. I imagine by the end of the day, there will be pedestrian tracks and maybe four-wheeler tracks. Folks round here often enjoy getting out and playing in the pretty snow on their four-wheelers. I bet it's beautiful up on that mountain today with everything covered in white. It's snowing again now!
Happy Winter Wonderland!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

winter scenes

okay, I'm sure the amateur photography and blog post layout will look really goofy, but I tried to upload four photos - basically two different scenes from standing in my yard. I took the blue sky photos on Sunday. I took the snowy photos yesterday (Monday). School is closed today. Maybe a bit more snow coming tonight? It's snowing right now, well, just enough to make it "kinda extra purty" out the window.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Martin's Station and 138,890 visitors

Rose Hill is located at the original site of Martin's Station which was at one time the westernmost fort. Today there is a replica of Martin's Station fort down the road less than 10 miles at Wilderness Road State Park.
Wilderness Road State Park was mentioned in a Kingsport Times News article on Thursday about the 35 Virginia State Parks and their economic impact. The article explains, "Park officials reach the economic impact funding based on an average of $75 spent per overnight visitor and an average of $16 per day use visitor."
The article reports on the economic impact estimates for Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Wilderness Road State Park in Lee County, and Southwest Virginia Museum (which actually is a state park) in Wise County. In 2008, Natural Tunnel had 158,000 visitors and a $3.2 million economic impact. Wilderness Road had 138,890 visitors and a $2.2 million impact. It's a great place, Wilderness Road State Park. Serene, set before a stunningly beautiful mountain. Buffalos live there. I've walked and biked (or you can ride your horse) parts of the trail there many times. We've had birthday parties in a park shelter there. We've had picnics there, etc.
Even though over 138,000 came to visit the park last year - it's still one of this area's best kept secrets. There's about three REALLY big reenactment events each year - when people come in from all over the country - both the reenactors and the visitors. For those weekends, the fort is back in use, running just like it once did, complete with battles between the settlers and Native Americans, who live out in the woods for the weekend. There's lots of smaller events and happenings at the park during the year too. But most the time, it is so quiet and serene with very few visitors scattered across the grounds. Warm days you'll find bunches of kids and families near the playground part. If you go, make sure to go in the visitors center and watch the free movie which runs every 20 minutes. It's a high quality film with stunning scenery. I could watch that same film many times. It's really good.
For more information about Wilderness Road State Park go to