Am I on some Americana-induced high or did my first apple picking adventure really rank high as one of my best Virginia experiences (so far)? Well, maybe both.
A few weekends ago, my girlfriend I decided to head west (to Charlottesville) to partake in some traditional fall apple pickin’. What I didn’t realize was how INCREDIBLY beautiful the drive and experience would be. Not sure if my Richmond Fan living had subjected me to fall in some narrow minded coma but my little weekend excursion really opened my eyes to a different side of Virginia. The really pretty side. Hint, the proud state motto: Virginia is For Lovers.
Apparently not to far west from Richmond, you’ll run into mountains…hills…large hills. Whatever you want to call them; to me, they’re mountains (hey, I’m a Texan). And I honestly think I picked the best weekend to drive out there- because it was an un-redundant vision of trees in shades of yellows, oranges, and reds. Much better than a Bob Ross painting. Oh yeah, I can get down with Bob Ross.
Our destination was Carter Mountain (see, they call it “mountain”) right off route 20. The winding road that climbs the mountain was heavy with traffic but luckily I wasn’t driving so I managed to enjoy the scenery. Once we arrived at the top of the mountain, it felt almost…whimsical with rows of apple studded trees, roaming children, puppies, pumpkins, and amazing smells. A unicorn might as well popped out from a row of apple trees.
We spent hours roaming through the different orchards, collecting Staymans, Winesaps, and Pink Ladies- oh, these are all different types of apples…you know, since I am now an expert and all. I’ll admit, being able to reach and pull a apple off a tree to do a sampling while roaming through the orchards makes a mockery out of my grocery store’s produce section. After filling our bags with apples, I purchased a few bottles of local wine, picked up a pumpkin, and some apple butter for the fam back in Texas. It was awesome. It’s the simple things in life that I am starting to appreciate. And cherish.
After we got home, what did I do? Made a apple glazed pork chops, asparagus, and apple crisp for dessert. I also plan to make homemade apple sauce with the rest of our apples. *Admitted apple junkie*
Awesome drive, experience, and trip. Already looking forward to go back next fall.