On Saturday, July 27, a hardy gang of ten members and guests assembled at the Duffield,
Virginia Hardees for a drive to Hanging Rock Picnic Area near Dungannon, Virginia.
Sam Chandler and Ricki Fields in a 79 MGB, Ben Bailey in his familiar Weber-powered MGB,
Roger and Pat Boggs in a shiny red 93 XJ6 coupe, Al Bradley in his sparkling 1959 Austin
Healey 3000, Herren and Otti Floyd in a Mercury Capri convertible, David Wallace in a
Mazda Miata, and new member, Bill White, in a Ford Ranger pickup.
The group backtracked south
on US 23 about 4 miles to the Ft Blackmore exit, where the group got on Virginia route 72 for
the 27-mile trip to the Hanging Rock Picnic Area. The route was idyllic in that pastoral
sort of way, following the meanders of the Clinch River north, through the old farming and
riverport communities of Fort Blackmore and Clinchport, before motoring through downtown
Dungannon. Just outside of Dungannon, heading toward Coeburn, the road picks up a few more
curves as you enter the Jefferson National Forest.
We shortly arrived at a wooded picnic area,
deserted except for a stray puppy who tried to make fast friends with everyone. An impromptu
vote was taken on whether to hike to Little Stoney Falls or eat our picnic lunches. We hiked.
And hiked. And hiked some more. The trail to the Falls, usually rated an easy to moderate 2.8-
mile jaunt, was a bit more of an ordeal as a result of spring flooding which had washed out
portions of the trail. Upon reaching the upper Stoney Falls, a quick head count revealed 7
of us had made the distance. Herren Floyd even hiked down to the pool below the upper waterfall
to get a photograph of a view that some of our members may never see and that he was quite sure
that he would never see again.
Several of our group removed sox and shoes and waded the always cool waters of Little Stoney
Creek. The trip back to the picnic area was mostly downhill, and was accomplished with quite a
bit more alacrity than the hike up. After dining on our packed lunches, we departed for home,
most of us with aching feet, sore backs, or some kind of ache. Our British and non-British
cars certainly had a much easier time on this trip than the drivers. The Little Stoney Falls
is a beautiful destination, and can actually be reached by a parking area above the Falls,
accessible by a gravel forest road if you wish to hazard chinked paint or a busted oil hose.
Our British cars are certainly grateful that our feet did most of the work on this drive.