Splendid color is the rail thing
A “Fall Foliage Ride” on the Conway Scenic Railroad highlights the “Fall Foliage Special” at the Dana Place Inn at Pinkham Notch in Jackson, on the banks of the Ellis River. Other features of the package are two nights' lodging, daily country breakfast, and dinner by candlelight one evening, plus a “wilderness box lunch” one day.
Prices start at $359 plus tax for two persons, valid through Oct. 26. Prices generally are per person double and are based on availability. Details: 800-537-9276; www.danaplace.com/ fallfoliage.html.
Did somebody mention green-fruit fun?
The 22d Annual California Avocado Festival – Friday-next Sunday in Carpinteria – has such crowd-pleasing activities themed to celebration of the good-fat fruit as a “best guacamole” contest, an avocado rock-climbing wall (the rocks look like avocados), and a ”best-dressed avocado” contest, where people dress up their avocados to look like people.
Not only will you be able to taste a number of recipes featuring the celebrated ingredient, you'll be able to see the winner of the Avocado Festival poster contest, which has artists from around the area designing an avocado-themed print for the event. The winning art, which is usually an abstract illustration of something round and green, winds up being a collector's item.
You can see a gallery of the cool posters from years past online. Free. Details: 805-684-0038; www.avofest.com.
Native heroes, stars celebrated in Roanoke
What do the Carter Family music group, Francis Gary Powers and Daniel Boone have in common?
The legendary country musicians, the U-2 pilot shot down over Russia and the frontiersman all have connections to Virginia's coal country. That made them eligible for honors on a new Southwest Virginia Walk of Fame in Big Stone Gap.
The 23 initial inductees – some of whom are still living – were honored at a ceremony unveiling the walk featuring engraved tiles on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Museum. The porcelain tiles are fashioned to resemble the native limestone and sandstone used in the late 19th-century house where the museum is located, said director Sharon Ewing.
The coalfields pathway is restricted to people who were either born or spent at least five formative or creative years in the coalfield counties of Lee, Wise, Scott, Dickenson, Russell, Buchanan and Tazewell and the city of Norton.
“Lots of folks could claim Boone,” Ewing admitted, but added that his influence while in Virginia was great. Details: www.swvamuseum.org.