On our way from Roanoke today we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. High above the surrounding countryside at almost 4,000 feet at its highest point, the air was clear and the views very far reaching.
The view over the Great Valley which runs from New York to Alabama alongside the Appalachian Mountains was very impressive.
Leaving the Parkway we drove to Natural Bridge - a small town, hotel and state park which is built around a most extraordinary feature carved out of the rock by the river which has been a tourist destination since the time of Thomas Jefferson in the late 18th century.
The US11 road runs over the top of the arch and so it is obviously considered to be solid!
We followed a riverside path under the bridge and visited a reconstruction of a Native American village from 1699..
This remarkable house was surprisingly cosy inside on a cold morning although rather smoky..
It was about 20 feet across and would have been home to a family of 6-8 people, the village consisting of 10-15 such houses plus long houses for meetings and working areas.
The next stage of our drive into the Allegheny Mountains took us on a small, windy and hair-raising road through some steep woodlands..
Finally our destination was ahead. The Homestead Resort in Hot Sorings, Bath County, Virginia, is built around natural hot springs...
It is quite a substantial place and so we spent several hours finding our way around and exploring, as it was getting dark.
The entrance hall is quite large and some of the many formal rooms very colourfully decorated..
As night fell the hotel and grounds were illuminated..
We will explore fully tomorrow..