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Beginners Guide to Skiing

Beginner’s guide to skiing – all you need to know

The vacation is approaching and it’s the first one that involves skiing. Learning to ski for the first time is an exciting experience though it can seem rather daunting. Many beginners may have watched the Winter Olympics and seen the sometimes unbelievable exploits of top athletes on the ski slopes and wondered how they got to be so good. The answer is with talent, practice and good planning, and there’s no reason a beginner can’t progress to experienced status, though possibly not making it as an Olympian!

Good planning will pay off

For someone who has never been skiing before there are certain preparations that will help make the whole process a lot smoother. Apart from the obvious need for ski gear, it’s easy to forget that skiing is a very physical process and as a first timer it makes lot of sense to get fit beforehand.

Skiing puts a lot of stress on a number of parts of the body, in particular the knees and ankles, hips and thighs. Shoulders, back and arms will also be strained, so building up a regular exercise regime some two or three months before the vacation will pay off and prevent the major hurting that would otherwise occur.

Good exercises to strengthen the quads and glutes, because a lot of skiing is done in a part squat position, are box jumps, lateral jumps and squat jumps to help build the requisite muscle strength. Some weight training and cardiovascular work will also assist the body to get into shape.

Ski gear – buy or hire?

There’s no doubt that skiing can be an expensive sport, but the beginner doesn’t need to buy everything up front. The sensible thing to do is to mix buying and hiring. There’s not much point in buying an expensive set of skis only to find that the sport doesn’t really appeal.

Clothing and certain smaller elements of equipment should be bought because they can always be used again. Undergarments of thermal materials, long sleeved t-shirt, a fleece, waterproof jacket and salopettes, a hat to cover the ears and thick gloves are the essentials. Some may prefer a ski suit and often there are good bargains to be had out-of-season when the previous season’s gear is being sold.

Another essential, and not too expensive, is ski goggles, such as goggles with polarized and mirror lenses – they keep the sun and snow out of the eyes. In addition, sunscreen should be packed – cold it may be on the slopes but the clear skies give a lot of UV radiation to the skin.

Ski boots, skis and helmets can be hired at a resort, and the ski shop staff in resorts such as Winterplace in West Virginia will help make sure everything fits properly. The state may not seem an obvious ski destination, but its mountains have a northern exposure with a perfect climate that lets winter arrive early and stay late, providing ideal conditions for both beginners and the more experienced skiers.



The Magill Family returns to Rockwood Manor for a wedding 97 years later.

For over 135 years now this great old family home has been blessed with a variety of family weddings and events.

This weekend we are blessed to have the Magill Family return to the home of their Grandparents.

Crystal Magill will be wed today to Chris Jenkins on the same front lawn as her great grandmother Ellen Howe Bell married Orrin Magill in 1915.

Orrin and Ellen went to China with the YMCA and spent the majority of their early lives together there. Most of the children were born there and the family has grown up all over the world.

Her Grandfather Orrin Magill was born here at Rockwood on one of the families return trips from China.

We wish Crystal and Chris the very best in their future life together. Check out their wedding site .

Magill to wed at Rockwood Manor

Remembering Lieutenant Elliott Hampton Howe

On our basement wall is a scrolling signature of Elliott Hampton Howe in 1897. I always thought he was a cousin but did not know the ties.

Then I was able to read the book on the Howe Family “Listen to the Mockingbird by Col Daniel Dunbar Howe.
I was now able to put a tie to Elliott and learn of his storied fate. Elliott came from a family of soldiers and his duty to our country cost him his life.
He died for this wonderful country in France during the Meuse Argonne offensive of the First World War.
On October 11, 1918 this young cousins life ended so that our great Nation could continue.
We would like all to remember him on Memorial Day.
And now I can put a story to his signature and thank him for what he did.


Rockwood Manor B&B has been Pinned by BnBFinder

Apparently our beautiful Italianate Architecture caught the eye of Marisa at and she has put us up on Pinterest under “Inn-triging B&B Architecture.

Thanks to my Great Grand-Parents Francis and Sarah Bell and their alliance with James Burkholder a architect from Lynchburg VA. His outstanding design is

unrivaled in this part of Virginia.


Kentland Community Heritage Festival

Kentland  was the homeplace of  James Randall Kent and his wife Mary Louisa ( Cloyd )Kent. Their daughter Sarah James Kent was the wife of Francis Bell and my Great Great Grandmother.              She and Francis built the home Rockwood here in Dublin Virginia where they could be close to the railhead for shipment of cattle and farm goods to markets in the Big Cities.                                               We today continue their legacy under the name Rockwood Manor  Bed and Breakfast. To show how family names continue on both my Mother and Sister are named Sarah Kent.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kentland Farm is now owned by Virginia Tech as a experimental farm and is 3200 acres of the best farmland in Virginia.

The Link below is to a poster describing the upcoming event.

2012 Kentland Festival Faded version

Valentines Sweetheart Special BOGO Half Off

Surprise your sweetheart with a Romantic stay at Rockwood Manor.  Stay with us on Friday night then enjoy Saturday at half price.

You may also  add to your stay, a candle light Valentine dinner at the Manor. 

If you wish for further entertainment, you can choose between  a Ballroom Dance Club meeting or a Bluegrass concert next door at New River Community college .

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away~ make your plans now! 


The Rolling Stones Tribute Band “Satisfaction” at Pulaski Theater

“Satisfaction” is known as the best Rolling Stones Tribute Band in the world and they are here at the Pulaski Theater on Friday July 29th.

The International Rolling Stones Show

Internationally acclaimed as the most authentic cast and production show available honoring the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band.

Las Vegas Sun-“Shined like the real Stones”

CBS News/New York-“A must see…you get Satisfaction”

Showbiz Magazine-“They have you in the aisles like Jumping Jack Flash”

Their website link is

Rockwood Manor is pleased to see such a great event happen here. Come on down tonight and see them.

Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to the People of Alabama.

After the wonderful visit here by Homer and Linda Hickam and then recently receiving their newsletter with such a glowing description of their visit:  Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:

We’ve posted our newsletter on my blog with LOTS of photos and news.
Hope you enjoy it.

Our family here feels such deep concern for them and the People of Alabama who have been so badly hurt in last nights storms. Our own Pulaski town and Draper were hit by tornadoes in one of the recent waves and though we too have experienced the destruction I cannot put in word what it must feel to those who have lost loved ones today.

Pulaski Bikes is now open in the Pulaski Train Station

Mike McMillion and his bike shop are now posed at the entrance to the Dora Trail in the now reconstructed Historic
Pulaski Train Station. It was so good to hear of a bike trail like the Dora and New River now having ties to a local bike shop.

Stephanie wins “The Running of the Brides”

It was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!

We left Roanoke after lunch on Thursday and it took Christina (great friend and bridesmaid) and I 8 hours to get to her family’s home in Queens. We stayed with her cousin, got up for breakfast with her parents (Mary and Dino) at a local diner, and headed into the city. By the time we had finished breakfast, her aunt showed up to inform us that she had seen the initial running on tv, with 200 ladies in line for the doors to open at 8 a.m.

We drove into the city, over the Queensboro bridge, and I started getting a little nervous. One of my other friends’ brothers,Phil, met us outside of Filene’s (photo), and was kind enough to park the car so we could get inside. It took him 45 minutes, and we were anxious to start our search anyway. However, since we arrived closer to 10:30, we walked straight in, and immediately started digging through the 2500 dresses!!!!!

After an hour of looking and trying on 20 dresses, I was getting a little frustrated with the other gals in the store bumping into us and there being no room. Everyone was VERY polite, but each bride had managed to bring an average of 3 people with her, so it was supercrowded. There were brides in all state of dress and undress running around, trying on and tossing aside things that didn’t fit……at one point, I saw a $5000 gown on the floor! The Filene’s store employees were great to try to get into the stacks of dresses and rescue and rehang them, so it worked out ok.

We actually left to get a bottle of water and regroup. Phil came back and he and I and Christina each took a section of the store, went to look for the sizes and specifications I had called out. Phil found my second place winner (photo), but it was too big and the seamstress advised against it. (There are seamstresses and drycleaners to help you see if a dress will work or not.) We kept on trying, and Christina actually found THE ONE! It is a beautiful Davinci gown, and I saved over $1200!!! It is not what I thought I was looking for, it is even better……I can’t wait for Rick to get to see me in it!

I could not have done the whole search without my team! It was smart to have a man along to just carry our gowns, since you pick out what you want to try, then find a corner of the store to try them on in. Christina kept handing me these beautiful gowns to try on…….AMAZING variety and selection, but it was a challenge to find them. Phil asked the store manager what the system was, and she said that they literally drive the truck up to the door at midnight before the event, and just unload the dresses onto the racks that they have cleaned out from the previous day and the regular store merchandise. You might be looking at a size 2 one minute and a size 26 the next, and they are NEVER near each other! That’s why the initial dash at 8:00 am is such a madhouse……ladies just grab the most they can and then trade, with signs and friends helping negotiate! I was glad to miss that part, but I did have my pink whistle so I could alert Christina and Phil when I was ready to try on. We tried to get a couple of pictures of the actual event, but it was difficult….I’ve attached a couple for the fun of it, but they are not great…..sorry for the blur!

I hope you guys are doing great, and can’t wait to see you again soon!!!!!!