This weekend I came to appreciate the beauty of the thistle, and in fact, took more photos of thistles than anything else...and that is saying a lot b/c I had a very full 2 days in the mountains.
Backstory: I took part in a woman's event in the mountains just outside the small town of Fort Valley, Virginia "According to tradition, Daniel Morgan built the first road into Fort Valley from the north, at the order of George Washington, with a view to holing up in this naturally fortified valley as a possible last stand against the British during the American Revolution. The Continental Army's victory at Yorktown altered Washington's plans." (Wikipedia)
The event began on Saturday with 3 and 1/2 hours of shooting with 4 NRA certified instructors. 20 women took part. After this, we moved on up to the cabin and got the campfire going. We cooked dinner and relaxed a bit. After dinner, several of us went for a hike on the property. Our hostess and lead NRA certified shooting instructor, owns almost 100 acres in this most beautiful area.
After our hike, the rest of the evening was spent relaxing around the campfire. The 14 of us who spent the night either set up tents or threw our sleeping bags down on the small cabin's floor. We were really roughing it with no electricity or indoor plumbing (tho we did have 1 porta-potty about 1/4 mile down the road from our campsite) but we were prepared and had a great time.
On Sunday after a leisurely campfire breakfast we headed a few miles west to the Secret Passage Ranch and went on a 2 hour horseback ride.
What follows are a few more photos from this weekend.