Day 1

Sunday 1/6

Winchester VA


Bristol TN

We headed out of Winchester VA after taking a photo of Patsy Clien’s teenage home. A few years back Handley High School named their auditorium after her (even though Patsy probably did not attend the school) and  Willie Nelson was there to dedicate it (her first hit was one of his songs). We took, highways 522 and 340  past Front Royal to find ourselves at the fabulous Luray Caverns.

Look for two pictures that show a ball stuck in a big stalactite in the organ chamber. The story told is that the wedding was taking place while a bothersome boy kept bouncing his ball. You can imagine the vibrating noice it made. Mother told him to bounce it one last time. He got mad and hit it as hard as he could. It is still stuck there. An interesting point is that the ball is actually a globe! Yes, the blue earth is stuck in a cave. On June 7, 1957, the Great Stalacpipe Organ was dedicated to its inventor, Leland W. Sprinkle, Sr. of Springfield, Virginia. He spent at least three years of his life finding stalactites that made the correct pitch to make the organ work properly. You can see the wires with a hammer connecting to the stalactites in a photo below. This is something to hear and see.


Next, we landed at the Frontier Cultural Museum in Staunton VA. Its exhibits and interpretation tell the story of the distinctive folk culture that made America what it is today. The Old World exhibits show the diverse origins of the American frontier culture; the American exhibits demonstrate how the Old World cultures and the American Indian culture influenced the environment of the early Shenandoah Valley. The museum is still a work in progress.


Jorge found a scheitholt and immediately directed Ellen to it. Why? It’s the precursor the Appalachian or mountain dulcimer  which she plays expertly. And this one was tuned and ready to play. Could she play it? Of course!


Later we found a second one but it was unplayable. Then it was time to head to the barn. What a great and beautiful day for a drive!