It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.Charles Dickens
A little wiggle room in your travel itinerary just might do what it did for us: produce a great stand-out memory. At Frederick House in Staunton, VA, our first stop for Road Trip 2020, we asked the owner if he had a favorite, don’t-miss place that might not be “on the radar” for area tourists. He smiled as if to say, “I know just the place,” and replied “Just up the road a bit is Pebble Hall Wildflowers — pick your own bouquet, leave a donation in the Honor System bucket, and enjoy the scenery! One of my favorites.”
So Pebble Hall became, for us, a serendipitous find and more: a privately owned 15-acre farm complete with, as the owner told us later, a wildflower garden tended by his wife, corn fields and cows tended to by himself, with a house, museum, fairy garden, silo and tractor — available to all with free roaming on the property.
“Photographers,” the owner told us, “love our place for capturing shots of families, brides and grooms, and children laughing as they play among the flowers, corn stalks, and farm implements. One girl from Mary Baldwin wanted to pose with the cows and post her photo on Instagram. Of course, we let her — they’re friendly,” he said with a smile.
We strolled the flower fields noting their natural state in seemingly random (yet pleasing to the eye) plantings. At the end of the prime summer season, their vivid colors heralded one last grand show before fall.
Photo ops appeared at every turn: corn fields, silo, tractor, fencing, and we could see why this place, natural and unpretentious as it is, would appeal to many. For two city slickers as we are, Pebble Hall was a heavenly treat — a chance to stand still and breathe country air rather than just pointing at barns and farms from our car. We took it all in.
The owner asked us as we approached the back side of the farm, “Have you seen the museum and fairy garden yet?” We hadn’t. But did so, with great reward.
The museum held the owner’s collections: stones, castings of animal footprints, bones, skulls, feathers, you name it. If it was natural and nearby, he put it into the museum.
His wife developed the fairy garden alongside the house as another area to show off a sweet collection of figures and fairy huts among the perennials.
Pebble Hall Wildflowers may take some of you back to your childhood, if farm experiences were part of your growing up. For us, it was a chance to linger and look lovingly at America’s heartland and better understand the joy of living simply.
The owner told us that he and his wife hope to sell the farm in three or four years, so you heard it here: Another lifestyle may await you in Weyers Cave, Virginia, if the sweet sounds and natural vibes of country living appeal to you.
But even if you’re not in a buying mood, take a couple of hours to decompress as you wander the fields and land around Pebble Hall. As you can see, a tip from a bed-and-breakfast owner paid off for us. All we had to do was ask!
Rusha & Bert
How to get to Pebble Hall: Take I-81 from Staunton, VA. At Exit 235, go East. When you come to the stoplight in downtown Weyers Cave, turn left. Turn right on Chapel Hill Lane (Route 996) to the first right.
From the website: “You won’t fight traffic, but there might be a cow or turtle in the road!”
Hope you’ll check out other posts in this series: Road Trip 2020