Homesickness is a gut-wrenching feeling. If you have never felt it before, trust me when I say that it is a not a good feeling. Especially, if it is impossible for you to "go home" because either your home no longer exist or your family members are deceased. I felt a bit of homesickness this weekend, so I decided to visit Meadows of Dan, Virginia.
I traveled the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke to Meadows of Dan. Just traveling this road brings on the nostalgia. My Grandpa Burnette helped build the Parkway in the Rocky Knob area, I was employed as a National Park Ranger for 5 years, and I am currently a "Parkway Neighbor" since my property adjoins Parkway land.
In Meadows of Dan at milepost 179.2, you can drive across the Round Meadow Creek Viaduct. This steel girder bridge was built in 1939 over Round Meadow Creek and a very deep ravine.
When I was a child, my daddy used to tell me all kinds of tales about when he was growing up and the crazy things that he and his brother used to do. They both went to school at Meadows of Dan. (I attended the same school years later.)
Daddy told me that one day, he and his brother, Lindell, decided to skip school and go to the Round Meadow Bridge with some friends. It was only about two miles from the school. The boys all decided that it would be a great idea to walk under the bridge. Okay......under the bridge....big deal. Until I realized that he meant on the under structure of the bridge!
That is a really, REALLY deep ravine under that bridge!!!
So, what were they walking on underneath that bridge?
See the ledge on the right? I can't even imagine trying to walk on that, much less having to swing my body around the vertical pieces. Oh yeah......and by the time you get to the center of the bridge, look how far down it is to the ground. YIKES.
That is daddy on the right and his brother Lindell on the left. They do look rather dare-devilish!
My daddy swore that he really did do this. And, based on some of the other tales that he told me about growing up, plus the stories that Grandma Burnette told me about him, I think I would have to believe it!!
He was a handsome young man!
Even though I do not have any immediate family left in Meadows of Dan, it just gives me a happy feeling when I visit the places of my childhood. Sometimes the memories are overwhelming and I get a tad emotional, but I treasure these memories and feelings. No one can ever take that away from me.
You can go home again..... if only in your mind.