This is the official Kentucky state slogan, the Kentucky brand so to speak, that was chosen as the result of a public vote. The meaning behind the Kentucky state slogan is this: “Kentucky is a place where spirits are free to soar and big dreams can be fulfilled. We relish competition and cherish our champions for their willingness to push beyond conventional boundaries to reach new heights of success.”

Obviously, my husband, Ron, took the Kentucky slogan to heart. Fueled by competitiveness, he decided at 10 pm on April 18th to head to the local gym (after I had gone to bed) to put in his exercise miles and record his time so that he would arrive in Kentucky ahead of me. I have to admit; initially I was a bit disenchanted as I thought that we would arrive in Kentucky together. Watching my husband laugh about it and knowing how competitive he is, is worth a chuckle.

April 19th at 6:28 pm I left Virginia and crossed the border into southeast Kentucky, one day after my husband, Ron. Upon my arrival, I received official confirmation by email. It read, ‘Your total mileage of 555.9 mi now puts you in the state of KY on the TransAmerica trail’. Crossing the state of Virginia took me a total of 3 months and nineteen days.

May 4th – May 17 I have been ill with bronchitis and have been unable to exercise.

Virginia Highlights

January 1, 2013- mid April – We arrived in Yorktown, Virginia and spent the night at the Hornsby House Inn. The Inn is located directly across the street from the Victory Monument, the starting point for our trip across the United States along the Trans America Trail. We parked our bikes and set out on foot to explore the waterfront marketplace and the scenic Yorktown Riverwalk. Picturesque streets are the backdrop for art galleries, antique and specialty shops. We visited several museums offering hands on programs and exhibits and watched a fifes and drums corp during one of their performances.

We stopped for lunch at the Carrot Tree Restaurant. Most Williamsburg and Yorktown restaurants claim to bring you close to history, but the Carrot Tree puts you in it! The Cole Digges in Historic Yorktown is Yorktown’s oldest home. Built in 1720, this house has seen the birth of a nation, witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, hosted presidents and paupers, and posed for pictures with Hollywood greats. I selected and savoured a delicious Strawberry Fields (a local favourite).

The Strawberry Fields was made with Honey-roasted turkey and Brie cheese served warm on a feather light croissant with strawberries, toasted almonds and lettuce with honey cider dressing and a side order of spinach orzo salad. Ron had a reuben sandwich and, of course, the owner’s famous carrot cake (Ron’s favorite). My sister, Cheryl, stuck to her usual salad selection and had Debi’s Spring Salad.

For three generations, the Hornsby House has been the center of hospitality in Yorktown and welcomed hundreds of visitors to the area. Newly renovated and opened- a fine quality B&B- offering 5 guest rooms and suites. The HH Inn is spacious and comfortable, and filled with family antiques. Enjoy our large common areas- inside and out. Walk accross the street to the Victory Monument, and close by, to the National Park Service Visitor Center. Enjoy a delicious home cooked breakfast in our dining room. Join our “special” afternoon repast- “High Tea” or Wine and Cheese. Sit and … read moreFrom here FrAfter visited Virginia’s historical triangle – Virginia’s “historic triangle” of Jamestown, Williamsburg and YorktownJamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown via the beautiful National Park Service Colonial Parkway. Later, in the evening, we took a sunset sailing cruise aboard the Tall Ship Serenity on the York River.

In the morning we relaxed on the beach after spending the night at the Hornsby Inn at the Monument Grand Suite. The suite was adorned with a king-sized four poster bed and two twin beds, a private bathroom (with tub), plus a cozy fireplace and large sitting area. We had a private outdoor terrace overlooking the Yorktown Victory Monument and York River.

The next day we traveled a few minutes north to the unique shops and beautiful bayside community of Cape Charles along Virginia’s eastern shore located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Cheryl is a shop-a-holic so we made sure she had her fix before we began our trip!

Yorktown, Virginia

Yorktown Battlefield
The site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.  In the fall of 1781, General George Washington, with allied American and French forces, besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’s British army.  On October 19, Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the war and ensuring independence.

Yorktown National Cemetery
This site was selected in 1866 as a good cemetery location in the general vicinity of various Civil War battlefields and scenes of action related particularly to the Peninsular Campaign of 1862 when General George B. McClellan was moving toward Richmond, the Confederate capital. The cemetery lay adjacent to the spot on the the 1781 Battlefield where the British had surrendered to General Washington.

There are 1,596 marked graves in the cemetery. Of the total of 2,204 burials, 747 are of known persons and 1,436 unknown. Those buried here were for the most part Union Army soldiers, although 10 Confederate soldiers and three wives are also identified. In an 1868 inspection made by the U.S. Army, it was reported that:

The interments number 2,180 of which number 11 officers, 716 white soldiers, four sailors, six colored soldiers, and eight citizens are known and two officers, 1,422 white soldiers, five colored soldiers, and 6 citizens are unknown. Besides the burials at the cemetery, bodies were removed from Williamsburg in James City County, and altogether from twenty seven different places in the surrounding country, within a distance of fifty miles.
Natural Bridge, Virginia – The Natural Bridge – Natural Wonder & Natural Beauty

“It is impossible for the emotions arising from the sublime to be felt beyond what they are here; so beautiful an arch, so elevated, so light, and springing as it were up to heaven, the rapture of the spectator is really indescribable!” – Thomas Jefferson, former owner of the Natural Bridge, Notes on Virginia, 1782

The immensity is startling…the majesty is striking. Twenty stories of solid rock, carved by the fingers of nature—Virginia’s Natural Bridge.

Discovered by Monacan Indians; treasured by an awestruck Thomas Jefferson who purchased it from King George III of England; surveyed by a young George Washington; traversed by Civil War soldiers – this great stone monument is a looking glass of history.

Gentle breezes stir and the mammoth archway whispers stories of America’s origins. Elevate your senses as you pass the sheer walls along the beautiful and serene Cedar Creek Nature Trail.

Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and easily accessible off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this popular Virginia attraction and National Historic Landmark is one of the oldest attractions in the U.S. and a ‘must see’ destination.

The Natural Bridge was a sacred site of the Native American Monacan tribe, who believed it to be the site of a major victory over pursuing Powhatans centuries before the arrival of whites in Virginia.[3]

Some believe George Washington came to the site in 1750 as a young surveyor on behalf of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.[4] To support claims that Washington surveyed the area, some tour guides claim the initials “G.W.” on the wall of the bridge, 23 ft. up, were carved by the future president. Legend also has it that George Washington threw a rock from the bottom of Cedar Creek over the bridge. In 1927, a large stone was found, also engraved “G.W.” and bearing a surveyor’s cross, which historians accepted as proof that he indeed surveyed the bridge.

Thomas Jefferson purchased 157 acres (635,000 m²) of land including the Natural Bridge from King George III of England for 20 shillings in 1774. He called it “the most Sublime of nature’s works.” Jefferson built a two-room log cabin, with one room reserved for guests, beginning its use as a retreat. While President, in 1802, he personally surveyed the Natural Bridge’s area. It has been said that Jefferson was able to throw a stone from the ground below the bridge to the top. Many famous guests stayed here, including John Marshall, James Monroe, Henry Clay, Sam Houston, and Martin Van Buren.

The area includes underground caverns thirty four stories below the earth’s surface with magnificent underground landscapes of dripstone, flowstone, draperies, pools, stalactites, and stalagmites. The surrounding area includes an indoor butterfly garden, and the largest zoo and most complete animal collection in the state.

If you prefer out-of-the-ordinary attraction, consider visiting Foamhenge. Foamhenge is a full-size replica of Stonehenge made entirely out of styrofoam in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Not my cup of tea but whatever floats your boat!