We North Carolinians have always experienced a special fondness for our sister state of Virginia. We share common roots in the first attempt at a permanent English settlement in Spanish America, first at Roanoke Island in 1684 and finally succeeding at Jamestown in 1607.
Along with Ohio, Virginia is the Mother of Presidents with eight coming from each state. America’s four greatest military commanders were born and reared here, with the fifth entombed at Norfolk. Not to leave the US Navy apart, the greatest naval strike force on the East Coast in deployed at Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
They often say that “Virginia Is For Lovers” and for this author, that applies to its history and natural beauty more often than not. The Tidewater has its magnificent gardens and homes, the Piedmont has its heroic battles of the War for Southern Independence, but the Blue Ridge Mountains have a magnificence all their own.
My late Uncle Harry Perkins was a wannabe Virginian, though he was born and raised in North Carolina. In his later years, he spent the vast majority of his time in Stuart, Floyd, the Meadows of the Dan and driving his Toyota van up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway, not to exclude this scenic section of VA 8 running between Stuart and Floyd.
The Blue Ridge, more than any other part of Virginia, is where the past still lives and you must see it above all else.