The Train to Maryland

No more steam locomotives, except scenic excursion trains, but Amtrak is still a wonderful way to travel and I go by train any chance I get. more

Aug 12, 2012 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Weekend Words: Madeleine L'Engle and the Tooth Fairy

Weekend Words: Madeleine L'Engle and the Tooth Fairy more

Jan 28, 2012 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Music, Mosquitoes and Memories

It’s been a year since I last heard that fall sound, the sound of my youth, floating on the cooling air in our neighborhood of an afternoon, before the leaves have started changing but after the sky has started taking on its crisp, colder blue. more

Aug 20, 2011 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Potts Mountain

Cara Ellen Modisett

Autumn Drives in June, Part 2

The second trip I made – in June – for fall drives – was into West Virginia, along a route that can intersect with the Virginia highlands route as well. more

Jul 16, 2011 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Flowers for sale

Cara Ellen Modisett

Autumn Drives in June

It's June, and I've been working on a story for our September/October issue... on fall drives. more

Jun 19, 2011 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Words for Writers

Four years ago, Dan Smith, editor of the Valley Business Front and a good friend for a long time, started the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. more

Feb 7, 2011 12:00 AM Ridgelines

The Most Wonderful Time(s) of the Year

The first of the three major chocolate seasons is over... more

Jan 4, 2011 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Salt and a Potato

I am thankful today for salt and a potato. more

Nov 25, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Moving Through Seasons

We've covered a lot of ground in the last few days, my husband and I. Three mornings ago we left Roanoke, Va., where the fall is just beginning to announce itself in spills of leaves on the roads in our neighborhood, the sharp shadows on the mountain more

Oct 16, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

A Little Evening Music in Floyd

Floyd, Va. is a musicians' town. Not in the same way Nashville is, or New York City, or Vienna, Austria, but in a quiet, neighborly sort of way, in my experience. more

Oct 12, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

My Other Mountains

I’ve been away from this page a little while, and am returning to it with an odd image, I realize – not a picture of mountain ridges, but of other shades of blue, from across two states, at the edge of another deep and ancient landscape. more

Sep 13, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Train Stories, Part I

Out the windows: trees, farmland, small-town downtowns, dirt roads, overcast sky. A hollow, long-reaching whistle signals our coming and our passing. more

Jul 21, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

My Great-Great-Grandfather's War

We've become so disconnected in time from the Civil War that in our minds it becomes another historical era, nothing personal, nothing human. more

Jan 17, 2010 12:00 AM Ridgelines

On Air

Note to self: when going on television, wear something with a lapel or a pocket, or both. more

Dec 8, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Blue Ridge Country Wins International Awards

The International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) has announced the winners of its 2009 competition and Blue Ridge Country has come away with three awards for 2008 stories more

Oct 28, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Ken Burns: The Interview

"National Parks: America's Best Idea" premiered on PBS last week. Prior to its airing, I talked with its creator, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, about his new documentary and about his 1990 film, "The Civil War." more

Oct 6, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Bud Robertson

Photo by Aaron McDowell.

Back to School

I checked my watch before heading into the coffee shop. I have 20 minutes before class, I thought to myself. Plenty of time – it's just across the street. more

Sep 9, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines

The Primland Resort observatory telescope

Cara Ellen Modisett

Seeing Stars

Now, in less mysterious daylight, I look at the dome, and wonder what it might see tonight, 27 million light years away, after I've gone back the 60-some miles to Roanoke. more

Aug 22, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines

Up and Down Mountains

I'm not sure which letter I didn't understand in "ATV" but found out early this afternoon. more

Aug 21, 2009 12:00 AM Ridgelines