We are expecting to drop to the mid 30s over night. Tomorrow and Friday is expected to be right at the 50* mark before a chilly rain moves in for Sunday afternoon. Needless to say I'm once again practicing my stove idling skills. I suppose I should just say thanks for the beautiful weather - it's truly a blessing for so many - but for pete's sake it's mid January!
The high in Northern VA today reached a balmy 42* with a pleasant breeze. This year I'm blessed to pickup elementary kids from a semi-rural area of the county and taking them to Clifton School which is located in the town of Clifton, VA - a small town time sort of forgot. It's only 26 miles from the National Capital but there is a working cattle ranch and several farms. The town is in the valley and reached by 3 winding country roads. The school is located on top of the highest hill and I have a 30min layover there in the afternoon while I wait for school to be out. I can stand on the edge of the hill and watch the 3:00 o'clock train roll through the valley bringing all traffic to a stop. In my mind's eye I can hear the whispers of history echoing through the valley. The Clifton area is rich in natural resources and has had humans living in the valley for thousands of years. The English were among the first settlers to arrive around 1690 in the original land grant given to Lord Fairfax. Several current residents can trace their family lines back to this original land grant. Modern day Clifton is on what was originally the Alexandria and Orange Railroad - the only train connecting Washington, DC with Richmond at the time of the Civil War. Just down the track, to the north is Fairfax Station and then Alexandria and DC. To the south is Union Mill and Manassas; both major supply depots for the union army. This entire corridor was under continually attack by both sides during the war; in fact the railroad bridge at Bull Run was rebuilt an amazing 8 times during the war. It's foundation and stone work is still visable. After the war Clifton became a resort of sorts because of the short trip from DC and the natural cool water springs. President Grant kept his horses there and often "jumped" a train for the day or weekend. Today's Clifton is home to about 50 homes, a couple of restaurants and a couple of bed and breakfast inns. There are no stop lights and you’re better off parking and walking if you have business in Clifton but time can be made to freeze if you are willing to stop and listen to the echoes of history. I'm glad to be able to spend part of my afternoons in Clifton. Lisa