Del. Ken Plum: Staycation II

by Del. Ken Plum October 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 17 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The strong positive response to my recent Staycation column caused me to think that I should write another one with travel suggestions for a different part of the Commonwealth. With the first column we went south through the beautiful Piedmont of Virginia.

For this trip I suggest that we go further west on I-66 to the Shenandoah Valley. Before turning south you might want to consider going north to Winchester on I-81 particularly during apple picking season. Also north is the wonderful Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (www.themsv.org) with its permanent exhibits as well as special shows.

Next door to the Museum is Historic Rosemont Manor, for many years the home of former governor and senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. whose machine ran Virginia politics for decades. It has limited lodging available to the public but can be rented for special events. Also in Winchester is the home of Patsy Cline, the queen of country music, which is open to the public.

There are many civil war sites in the Valley. A Civil War Trails map is available at www.civilwartraveler.com. You can also head south at Front Royal until you come to the entrance to the Skyline Drive. The views are beautiful; in the first segment you can see seven bends of the Shenandoah River. The Drive gets crowded during the fall foliage season, but the beauty of the drive makes it all worthwhile.

If you have not been to a natural cavern, get off the Skyline Drive at Route 11 heading west to Luray. Most people agree that the natural beauty of the Luray Caverns cannot be beaten. Luray is in Page County where I grew up as a youngster. Head further west on Route 211 until you get to I-81 that runs down the center of the Valley. For a more scenic drive consider going south on Route 11. It is a little narrower with slower speed limits, but remember–on a staycation we take our time to enjoy the sights.

The campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg is beautiful, especially the early limestone buildings. Stop on Court Square in town and have lunch at Capitol Ale House. Further south to Staunton a recommended stop is the American Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor museum with homes from the seventeenth century relocated from England, Ireland, Germany and other countries to show the kind of housing the early settlers had. If you need a meal, stop at Mrs. Rowe’s (Mrs. Rowes Family Restaurant). You will think you are back in the 1960s. A slice of pie is a must, and you can buy Mrs. Rowe’s pie cookbook.

We have about reached our limits for a one-day trip, so we can head home. It will add to the time of your trip, but if you go east on Route 64 you can pick up the Skyline Drive at Afton Mountain. Heading north you can eat at Big Meadows Lodge or spend the night at Skyland Lodge where I worked in the summers during high school.

If you want, we can plan a longer trip where we go to beautiful Abingdon, home of the Barter Theater or further west on the Crooked Road of Country Music (Crooked Road). I have traveled around Virginia all my life and never get bored with it. Glad to have you along.

  • SuperCoop1280


    Do you ever talk about issues facing the county that you live in such as the potential proposed increase in the population density in Reston? I would think that as our elected Delegate since 1982, you would have a position on this particular issue and would seek to explain your thoughts.

    It would be nice to hear from you on this instead of always asking for campaign contributions.

  • Willie Reston

    That’s way, waaaay more than you can do in a single day. Also, better check out Skyline Drive while it’s still somewhat affordable:


  • Mike M

    Hey, Ken. We both love Virginia and know how to appreciate its beauty and history. It’s really a special place in a great country. On that we can agree. But why, as an elected Delegate for Reston, do you always write about things that are not relevant to your relationship with your constituents? Why don’t you write about the big issues that matter to us all and that are germane to your role? Why is that Ken?

  • meh

    I’m so glad that Ken is tackling the toughest issues of his district. Things like MS-13, gangs, drugs, unemployment, fiscal concerns and the rest. Whooops….He’s talking about a “staycation” and just trying to pander to his base for more money

    Thank goodness Reston Now is here to serve as a bannermen for Delegate Plum.

    • OldButSlow

      If you consider MS-13 to be a genuine problem in our district, can you share how that has affected your life?

  • Constitutional Conservative

    Looking forward to a fantastic discussion on this very inoffensive piece from our representative, who is running unopposed for the third straight election.

  • TheRealMikeSapupello

    I wish Ken Plum would take a vacation and never come back.

    • 40yearsinreston

      The locals would pluck the chickens and boil the tar to prepare his welcome

  • 40yearsinreston

    No interpretation of history according to Comrade Plum?
    No race baiting ?
    Is the election over ?

    • Anonymous Poster

      I’m as surprised as you are. He didn’t even mention that TJ owned slaves.

    • OneReally

      Given the National headlines I doubt he would. If the GOP was accuse of what the DNC is currently. His post would be different.

      A few weeks he had a post that made it seem you should be ashamed to be from Virginia. Now its all sugar and spice and everything nice.

  • Anonymous Poster

    Thats a lot of miles to put on the ‘ol hybrid for one day.

  • Kenny P

    “Looks like a machine gun to me”

  • TheKingJAK

    This was a nice piece from Delegate Plum, and one which I enjoyed reading.

  • RoadApples

    Although I am not the most ardent supporter of Del. Plum. That being said: Congrats to him on his interesting travelog.

  • ObviousBias

    Doesn’t this guy want us to ride bikes and take the metro everywhere? Driving 200~miles on a saturday in an EV is kind of pushing it.

    and promoting civil war sites? That’s racist Ken. tsk tsk

    • Ted

      Civil war sites are racist?


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