University of Virginia campus

Eastern Excursion – The Way Back

As I started to head back toward Wisconsin on my Eastern Excursion (part one is here), I had one final appointment on my schedule: an interview with Robert Finley, InterVarsity’s first evangelist. Finley was hired right out of college, the University of Virginia, where he had started what was the largest student initiated Christian group of any U.S. college in the early 1940s. He worked for InterVarsity during the week and Youth for Christ on the weekends.

Finley worked closely with Billy Graham, also a Youth for Christ evangelist, as well as Dawson Trotman who started the Navigators, Bill Pierce who started World Vision, and later with Bill Bright who started Campus Crusade. After leaving InterVarsity, he started two significant ministries: International Students Incorporated and Christian Aid, which works with indigenous ministries in countries across the globe.

The Christian Aid Guest House

While in Charlottesville I stayed at Christian Aid’s Guest House, and met evangelists from Ukraine, Nepal, and India. It occurred to me that Christian leaders who had stayed in this building over the decades were used by God to help thousands and probably millions of souls enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

 University of Virginia campus

While waiting for my interview with Dr. Finley I made a quick visit to the nearby University of Virginia campus.

Thomas Jefferson

The University of Virginia, of course, was founded by Thomas Jefferson.

George Washington

Facing Jefferson on the campus is the same statue of George Washington I saw at Valley Forge.

Edgar Allan Poe marker

The poet Edgar Allan Poe also has a Virginia connection.

 

Beaver Creek Reservoir

The interview with Dr. Finley went well and the next morning I was on my way towards the Blue Ridge Mountains, seen in the background at Beaver Creek Reservoir.

Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah National Park.

Soon I was driving those mountains, along Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah National Park.

deer were feeding alongside the road.

At the early morning hour there were few cars on the road, and deer were feeding alongside the road.

a wooded trail.

I stopped to stretch my legs along a wooded trail.

 

 a rocky mountain top.

…which eventually emerged onto a rocky mountain top.

Mountains faded off into the distance in every direction.

Mountains faded off into the distance in every direction.

the Appalachian Trail,

My first hike along the Appalachian Trail, one small section of it.

 beautiful mountain flowers.

Getting out of the car provided close ups of the beautiful mountain flowers.

beautiful butterflies.

Which also attracted beautiful butterflies.

Mary's Rock Tunnel

When I got to the Mary’s Rock Tunnel I knew I was nearing the end of the beautiful drive. It’s 600 feet through solid granite.

a bear.

I saw lots of bikers along Skyline Drive, and also a bear. Couldn’t get my camera quick enough to shoot a photo of the bear. But as I drove through Front Royal VA, I saw another bear, in the parking lot, and managed to snap a few photos as he headed for the woods across the street. Sheriff’s deputies and an animal control officer were soon hot on his trail.

 Sara and her family.

Saving best for last, the visit to daughter Sara and her family.

catching sunbeams with Lana and Audrey

One of our first adventures, catching sunbeams with Lana and Audrey in the nearby woods.

 the bouncy house at Caleb's birthday party.

And then off to the bouncy house at Caleb’s birthday party.

a water fight broke out.

Which got more interesting when a water fight broke out.

The bouncy house was ignored for awhile.

The bouncy house was ignored for awhile.

everyone got as wet as they wanted to be.

And everyone got as wet as they wanted to be.

I passed along my baby computer to Lana and Audrey.

I passed along my baby computer to Lana and Audrey.

Mommy helped Lana write a story.

Mommy helped Lana write a story.

Sometimes waiting to have your turn with the computer is no fun.

Sometimes waiting to have your turn with the computer is no fun.

play-type

I was reminded of myself at this age when I used to visit aunt Flossie and play-type on her old Underwood typewriter.

Aunt Flossie's desk

This was the desk where I used to sit. Sara just happens to have it in her basement.

Audrey looks very nice.

Sunday morning, time for church, and Audrey looks very nice.

Everybody looks very nice!

Everybody looks very nice!

a chess set at a Gelato shop in Winchester.

After church we’re intrigued by a chess set at a Gelato shop in Winchester.

the whole family together.

And finally we get the whole family together when Daddy comes home from church.

Belle Grove plantation

For a little excitement on a hot Sunday afternoon, we visit the nearby Belle Grove plantation, where a Civil War battle has just been re-enacted.

heading back to Wisconsin.

Alas the visit was over way too soon, and the next morning found me on the road, through the mountains, heading back to Wisconsin.

 

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