Monday, Oct 17, 2016 – Thomas Jefferson, Monticello and the Blue Ridge Parkway

I left the campground at 10:30 am this morning and drove to Charlottesville, VA.  It was about an hour and a half or so.  On the very eastern edge of Charlottesville is The Jefferson Monticello.  The lifetime home of our 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson.

The home was built by Thomas Jefferson on 3000 acres that he inherited from his father.  He married in 1772, went on to have six children with his wife in the next ten years until her death in 1782.  Only one child survived to adulthood.  She went on to have eleven children.

In 1776, he was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.  In 1800 he was elected President.  He died July 4, 1826…..exactly 50 years to the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.  It seems that Thomas Jefferson was deeply interested in about everything.

So, the cost for general admission to the house tour is $25.  You watch a 20 minute documentary about Mr. Jefferson, then load on a bus that drives you up the hill to the house.  Then you get in one line and a guide tells you about things to see outside of the house.  Then you get in another line and a guide gives you all the rules.  Then a guide takes you inside to tour the house.  It is actually pretty small.  It is a two story house with a basement.  On the main floor there is only about ten rooms.  If you pay more money, you can see the upstairs.  I did not choose to do so.   90% of the building is original construction that is just maintained.  The furnishings are not original to the house as Mr. Jefferson died deep in debt and everything was sold off after his death.

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After leaving I Monticello, I drove to Waynesboro, VA to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America’s longest linear park,[3] runs for 469 miles (755 km) through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, mostly along the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Its southern terminus is on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and offers access to the Skyline Drive. While the two roads join together end-to-end, they are separate and distinct entities, built as two different projects and managed by two different National Park Service units. The Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The parkway, while not a National Park, has been the most visited unit of the National Park System every year since 1946 except two (1949, 2013).[4] Land on either side of the road is owned and maintained by the National Park Service and, in many places, parkway land is bordered by United States Forest Service property.

I stopped at the only restaurant close to the campground for dinner.  The Pink Cadillac Diner.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  It was super clean, the waitress was very nice and the food was excellent.  There were definite Elvis references on the menu.  I had the “Love Me Tenders”.  There were five very large and delicious chicken tenders, great mashed potatoes with delicious brown gravy and yummy baked apples.

Went back to the trailer at 7:30.

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