The Rapp for Nov. 18

VDOT operator Charles W. Jenkins Jr. at the Rappahannock yard. Photo by Roger L. Foster.

VDOT ready for winter

Are the words “winter” and “snow” causing you flashbacks to last winter’s bad-weather trip? Not to worry, says the Virginia Department of Transportation’s superintendent in Rappahannock County, Richie Lillard: “We are ready.”

Lillard and his crew of 14 are responsible for maintaining Rappahannock’s 57 miles of primary and 218 miles of secondary roads. For snow removal, Lillard says, his crew have 14 pieces of equipment including eight trucks, three loaders and three motor graders. Equipment under contract adds 10 trucks with plows and spreaders, nine four-wheel-drive farm tractors with blades, two backhoes and a skid loader, he says.

Two chemical domes at the VDOT headquarters on Rock Mills Road next to the Flatwood recycling station are stocked with 10,000 tons of salt. Additional materials on hand include 2,000 tons of sand and 6,000 gallons of liquid calcium chloride, Lillard says.
You can contact the local VDOT facility directly at 540-987-8939 — a number Lillard says will be specially manned during snow emergencies — or call 800-367-ROAD (7623) or visit virginiadot.org for information, concerns or questions. — Roger L. Foster

Photo by Molly M. Peterson

Rapp photographer on top

After more than 1,250 votes were counted in its first-ever photo contest, the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) found it had a tie for the grand prize winner — and one of those two winners is Sperryville’s own Molly M. Peterson, who entered her photo (shown here) titled “Gratitude.” The picture of a happy pig being sprayed down on a hot summer day garnered exactly 37.7 percent of the PEC’s collected votes — as did a photo by John McTarnaghan — so the two will share the honor.

“The photo was taken this summer at Mount Vernon Farm,” emailed Peterson, whose husband, Mike, manages the farm. “It was such a hot summer and one of my favorite things to do was to spray off the pigs (pigs don’t sweat, that’s why they like to wallow).

“I swear I felt like a five-year-old because it was just so much fun. I love pigs — always have — they have so much personality.
“Mike took over spraying so I could take photos. I knew this little guy was smiling when I took it. One of the things I love about the farm is that the animals live as naturally as possible — these pigs live in the forest and the open paddocks so they’re allowed to be pigs and they certainly don’t mind interaction with us humans.”

Finalist images, including Peterson’s will be featured in a 2011 calendar available to anyone who donates $50 or more to the PEC (www.pecva.org) between now and Dec. 15.

Woodville’s Hedrick heads PATC

On Nov. 9 at the annual meeting of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, John Hedrick of Woodville was elected president of the 6,000-member club, headquartered in Vienna, Va. Hedrick has volunteered in many capacities in the club and is presently the supervisor of trails, responsible for the oversight of more than 1,200 miles of hiking trails in four states.

The visionaries who planned and built the Appalachian Trail founded the PATC in 1927. PATC volunteers contribute tens of thousands of hours of service every year. They maintain and build trails, cabins and shelters, teach Leave No Trace principles, publish maps and guide books, lead hikes and manage hundreds of acres of preserved land. Some 300 miles of hiking trails in Shenandoah National Park are maintained by PATC.

In 2000 Hedrick hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, 2,168 miles, from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin Mountain in Maine. He wanted to “give back” by volunteering his time to help preserve and manage for future generations the natural, scenic and cultural resources associated with the many outdoor recreational trails. The PATC was the organization that inspired him to act on that desire.

Narmada marks anniversary

Narmada Winery in Amissville will celebrate its first anniversary on the weekend of Nov. 20-21 with Indian food, music, dancing and more.

Limited edition first-year anniversary wine glasses will be available. There will be raffles and door prizes on both days.
Narmada is located at 43 Narmada Lane off Route 211 in Amissville. The phone number is 540-937-8215 and the Web site is www.narmadawinery.com.

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