The Story Behind

Mabry Mill

While traveling north on the Virginia's Blue Ridge Parkway in the Fall, we had learned thatMabry Mill was not to be missed; so we set off early for the 20 or so mile trip from our campground, planning to sample buckwheat pancakes,grits, and spiced apple--mountain food--for brunch.  Thehickory-planked mill itself is a working restoration of a waterwheel-driven lumber mill dating back to the early1900's.  There's now an interpretive center surrounding the millwhere volunteers describe aspects of early mountain life. 

Nothing prepared us for the beauty of  the Parkway.  The Carolinas were warm, bright, humid, roadways  broad with manicured, deep green grass on all sides. These mountains  are cool, fog-draped, covered in hickory, maple, sycamore and oakoverhanging the road.  There's a hint of Fall in the air, thelight, just-changing leaves, fog brushed hollows, tires singing on  damp roadway.

And pleasant people.  A waitress  at Mabry's visitor center/restaurant with whom we spoke while waiting for our food.  Honest conversation, not empty small talk; she  arrived in the area from Compton, a suburb in Los Angeles.  Why  did you  choose to settle here?  I love it here, the pace, the  people, never going back.  Later, the hostess joined us for more conversation, asking about our trip. 

The Mill restaurant wasn'tempty, but people simply took time to enjoy and find out about eachother.

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