Every now and then you get an opportunity to escape the busy day-to-day and get lost in the amazing beauty of nature. That is exactly what we did on our weekend getaway to Virginia to visit our very good friends Randy and Julie Minnick. Three days… the Blue Ridge Mountains… campfires and Virginia whiskey was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Bourbon Road led us to God’s Country this time!

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We really had no agenda, no real schedule or list of things to accomplish. We just wanted to re-connect with our good friends and experience a little bit of their new life in the mountains. Leave it to Randy and Julie to pull out all the stops and make and amazing experience. For those who don’t remember, Randy was an original co-host of The Bourbon Road and moved away to their new amazing life in Virginia after episode 21.

They live at the top of a mountain in Montebello, Virginia. It is a beautiful place, but you better just pack away your cellphone because you are not getting service up there. Camping, fishing, hiking and sitting around a campfire is what you can expect if you visit this beautiful area. Of course, if you travel about 20 to 30 minutes you will find yourself in civilization with ready access to restaurants, shopping and the ever important ABC store. The ABC store is where you will need to go to find a bottle of your favorite bourbon or rye.

One of the more exciting days was spent on ATV’s covering the many miles of trails just off the ridge where Randy and Julie call home. We climbed and crossed rivers as we covered what seemed to be a never ending maze of perfectly maintained trails. At one stop, we got off to go on foot to an amazing 200 foot waterfall. Not sure if it had a name, but it was majestic as it dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons into the trout filled streams below.

On our last full day, Julie made an absolutely delicious “Bourbon Crème Brûlée French Toast with Bourbon Whipped Cream”. It was to die for. Randy supplied the Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond (6 Year, now discontinued) for adding to both the toast as well as the creme. I have included the recipe here and I strongly encourage you to try it. Make sure to follow the directions carefully. Julie is quite the “foodie”, and it has taken her awhile to master this.

Bourbon Crème Brûlée French Toast with Bourbon Whipped Cream

One the last evening, Randy and I recorded this podcast “114. Virginia Whiskies and a Blue Ridge Weekend” where we tried a couple of Virginia whiskies while talking about all things Virginia. You should definitely click on the link above and listen in on the episode as we have a great time sipping on a bourbon and a rye enjoying Appalachian life at its very best.

I really needed this little getaway. If you need to get out and escape the shut-in feeling of 2020, I highly recommend nature and a good bottle! Cheers!

Jim Shannon
(@jshannon63, jim@thebourbonroad.com)