Monday, March 22, 2010

Maple Festival

Lucky me, this year I attended the Highland County Maple Festival twice!!  I went the first weekend with some friends of mine on a cold wet Sunday, and was cheered by the warmth of the company I kept.  The second weekend I was acting tour guide for a couple from my church who had never attended before.  The weather was decidedly better the second weekend, but the crowds (and lines for everything) wasn't as enjoyable. 

The following are a collection of photos from both weekends:

To most this first will seem completely random, but to those of you who are familiar with the McDowell Pancake Breakfast you'll understand that the collection of people hanging around the tents are actually in line for breakfast (line going out the door).  At the time this photo was taken the line was into the parking lot, which meant about a 2.5 hour wait for breakfast...those were some committed individuals.  When I joined the line it was out the door, but not nearly so long, our wait was a little under 2 hours.  This photo was from the second weekend...the first weekend I attended the Maple Festival the rainy weather meant that there was no line and we were in and out within an hour.

I took this photo from Jack Mountain entering Monterey, Virginia.  The traffic into Monterey was so heavy that it was an almost 30 minute hold up to drive into the town.  I had plenty of time to get this photo and a few others from the car as we crawled by the overlook.

This maple tree is estimated to be over 200 years old and is tapped at the Rexrode Sugar Orchard in Highland County.  What an amazingly beatiful tree...and what a wonderful God to create such beauty!!

The Sugar Tree Country Store is located in McDowell, Virginia and is a must visit at the Maple Festival, and I'm not just saying that because I'm related to the owners :)  I enjoyed visiting with some of my cousins at the store during my visit the second weekend.  The first weekend I enjoyed visiting with them at church on Sunday morning at McDowell Mennonite.

Had my first taste of Maple Ice Cream at the Sugar Tree Store...YUMMO!!

The Highland Museum was offering Civil War reenactment in the front yard.  I took these next photos on the first weekend.  Ironically, the pacifist Mennonites were holding church service in the building next door :)

This small log cabin is a part of my family history.  At one time it was Vance Country Store, where my Mom's family had a store they ran particularly during the Maple Festival.  It hasn't been open since I was a small child, but I do remember going there as some of my earliest memories of the Maple Festival.

The following is a photo taken at Rexrode's Sugar Camp, where they were boiling down sugar water over an open fire to make into syrup.  Going to the sugar camps and learning (or in my case re-learning again and again) how maple syrup is made is definitely a wonderful tradition of the festival.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

thanks for sharing Jenn! I love the photos, and now I am craving something Maple!