13052
Smith Mountain Lake
A Virginia Sampler: Exploring Blue Ridge Mountain Historical Sites
Learn the story of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you visit Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, walk the Appalachian Trail, discover historic sites and enjoy unique regional entertainment.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 13052RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
689
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
D
W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith mountain Lake

Activity note: Welcome activities include a brief gathering before dinner.

Dinner: Your first meal with us will be dinner served in Smith Hall - the Center's administrative and dining facility. All meals are served in an "all you can eat" buffet style which has people coming back for oftentimes more than seconds - including dessert! We can accommodate low fat, low salt, vegetarian and Atkins diet devotees.

Evening: Your Road Scholar Coordinator will begin the Orientation/Get Acquainted portion of the program promptly at 7 PM. We will also view a 10 minute film which provides a good overview of Smith Mountain Lake itself. After a 10 minute break we'll gather together again for the get acquainted part of the evening. Given past experience we should be through by 8:30 PM allowing you ample opportunity to rest up for the next day's activities.

DAY
2
April Cheek-Messier, Thomas Jefferson
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
B,L,D
W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith mountain Lake

Activity note: Presentation on D-Day and the Memorial, Thomas Jefferson discussion.

Breakfast: Our first breakfast at the Center will begin at 7:30 AM - the buffet line will remain open until 8:15; however, as is usually the case most participants will arrive early to begin sampling the fare.

Morning: Class begins again at 8:45. We're fortunate to have with us during the morning class session a staff member from the National D-Day Memorial located in Bedford, Virginia. During the discussion of the events that unfolded on and before June 6, 1944 we'll have an opportunity to learn not only the military, economic and social impact the invasion had on world history, but also the effect it had on the little town of Bedford, Virginia. In 1944 Bedford was a small farming community in rural Southwestern Virginia with a population of around 3,200. On D-Day this little town lost 23 young men in the invasion effort. The effects of this tragic loss are still felt in and around the town since, as is common in small communities across the country, everyone knew everyone else. Proportionally, Bedford suffered the severest D-Day losses of any locality in the country; consequently, Congress rightly decided the National D-Day Memorial should be located in Bedford - as a living, perpetual memorial to the thousands of Allied forces who made the supreme sacrifice in history's largest and most significant combined military effort. As part of the D-Day story we'll also view a video about the day and the town of Bedford produced by a French television company - an interesting opportunity to view the event from the French perspective.

Lunch: Lunch at 11:30.

Afternoon: Thomas Jefferson has a great deal to tell us about social and political aspects of today and yesterday. You'll leave the classroom with a much greater appreciation and understanding of this extraordinary, but all too human, man. Refreshments are always available throughout the morning just in case breakfast was not quite filling enough!

Dinner: Dinner at 5:30.

Evening: As a complement to the discussions about Jefferson and your own personal experience this afternoon, our instructor will engage you in a spirited discussion of Jefferson and his legacy.

DAY
3
Poplar Forest, D-Day Memorial, Southern Appalachia
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
B,L,D
W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith mountain Lake

Activity note: We will tour Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest in the morning. Walking and standing for up to 1 hour. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour of the National D-Day Memorial. Walking and standing for up to 1 hour.

Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:30.

Morning: Upon our arrival at Poplar Forest we'll have an opportunity to view the grounds of Jefferson's home as well as the interior. Both venues provide ample evidence of Jefferson's brilliance and foresight in horticulture and architecture. Since Poplar Forest is still undergoing restoration and renovation you'll have a unique chance to inspect the daily archaeological work taking place on site. At the completion of our visit you'll exit through (where else) the gift shop where Jeffersonian memories can be purchased.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Poplar Forest.

Afternoon: Upon our arrival at the Memorial those who desire to ride a golf cart around the site will be given an opportunity to board one. The tour will take approximately an hour and will culminate in - naturally - a visit to the gift shop. You may want to purchase a copy of the tape you viewed earlier in the day and/or other interesting material pertinent to D-Day. A number of prior participants have told us they wanted to be sure to take something home with them to give to grandchildren, children, etc. in order to ensure that generations that come after them do not forget the sacrifices and importance of the D-Day story. We will arrive back at the Center in time for dinner at 5:30.

Dinner: Dinner at 5:30.

Evening: Beyond the Stereotypes: Discovering the True History and Heritage of Appalachia Taking the incident of the Carroll County Courtroom shootout of 1912, which made national headlines for nearly a month before being replaced by the sinking of the Titanic, this session will examine common stereotypes of the Appalachian region, their origins, and how writers have and continue to disseminate those images today. The class will briefly look at common themes of nature, spirituality, family, community, and sense of place while illuminating the true Appalachia from the preconceived. By highlighting the story of the infamous courtroom shootout and those involved, participants will better understand the heritage and history of one of the most distinctive regions of America.

DAY
4
Virginia Museum of Transportation, Peaks of Otter, AT Hike
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
B,L,D
W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith mountain Lake

Activity note: A busy day! We will begin our day with a trip to the Virginia Museum of Transportation where we will receive a guided tour and have time to browse. We will continue our trip to the Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike on the Appalachian Trail is 2 miles for moderate and 6/10 of a mile for easy, but the terrain is rocky.

Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:30.

Morning: This morning we will travel by van to the Virginia Museum of Transportation home to the class J 611 steam engine. Located in Roanoke Virginia the museum is at a major hub in the Norfolk and Western Railway. We will have a guided tour and plenty of time to browse the exhibits also.

Lunch: Lunch at 12 noon in Roanoke.

Afternoon: You're in for a real treat as we travel by van to the Peaks of Otter located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Along the way a number of interesting and historical sites will be pointed out and described. Once we arrive at our destination we will take a 2 mile (or 6/10 of a mile for easy) hike on the Appalachian Trail over somewhat uneven terrain to a Trail shelter and review the Trail journal which will be there waiting for us. Along the way our instructor will point out interesting plant and animal life we're sure to come across. After our return to the van we'll take a short drive to an overlook which will afford us a spectacular view of Shenandoah Valley.

Dinner: Dinner at 5:30.

Evening: To complement our hike we will get a first hand account of an Appalachian Trail through hiker.

DAY
5
Booker T. Washington's Birth & National Monument, Boat Trip
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
B,L,D
W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith mountain Lake

Activity note: Our drive to Booker T. Washington's Birthplace and National Monument will take only 15 minutes. Once there participants should be able to walk a short distance and stand for approximately one hour.

Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:30.

Morning: We'll travel to Booker T Washington Monument and National Park and you'll be enthralled and uplifted by one of the nation's most stirring stories of an individual who rose from slavery and abject poverty to become a respected educator and early African American civil rights leader. Booker T. Washington was born on the nearby Burroughs "plantation" in 1856 and through his own intelligence and ambition became the founder of Tuskegee Institute and eventually an adviser to President Theodore Roosevelt. Through discussion and a visit to the Booker T. Washington Birthplace and National Monument we'll trace the life of this remarkable American. On our tour of the site you'll be startled to view the size of the plantation "big house" and its close proximity to the cabin where Washington, his mother and siblings, lived and worked.

Lunch: Lunch at 11:30.

Afternoon: We will travel by coach to the northern shore of Smith Mountain Lake and board the Virginia Dare. For the next two hours we will enjoy a beautiful cruise of Smith Mountain Lake.

Dinner: Dinner again at 5:30.

Evening: The entertainment will leave you pleasantly surprised and finally mesmerized by the talent on display. Since you all have a long trip home tomorrow the "show" will conclude by 10 PM.

DAY
6
Local life in the 1800's and Hunter's Raid, Jubal Early, Program Concludes
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
B,L

Activity note: The morning will be spent in class.

Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:30.

Morning: Class begins at 8:45 after room checkout. As a compliment to your experience at Booker T. Washington National Monument, we will meet "Miz" Elizabeth Burroughs. Born in 1802, she raised tobacco and 14 children over her 93 years. Brought to you by Beatrice Iceman, a living history re-en actor, you will learn about hoop skirts, mason jars, slavery, and abolition. Hear the story of Union General "Black Dave" Hunter's 1864 raid down the Shenandoah Valley and how Confederate General Jubal Early handled that situation.

Lunch: Lunch at 11:30.

Afternoon: Departure after Lunch. Have a safe trip home and come back to see us soon!