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It’s an ill wind that …

Mabry Mill, running on water from former Hurricane Ida

The last week of August felt like the hottest, most humid, and most miserable week of the summer. Late Sunday, Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans. The levees held, and the storm moved north. On Wednesday, what remained of the storm passed over central Tennessee, bringing rain (and much cooler weather) to western North Carolina.

Having felt housebound by the heat, I made a little road trip to Meadows of Dan, Virginia, to enjoy the highlands weather. The high temperature up there was 67F on Wednesday. Though I had a rain jacket with me, I walked some in the rain without the jacket and intentionally got wet.

I don’t know when the mill races at Mabry Mill were repaired, but they have been repaired, were full of water, and the water wheel was turning. I had been afraid that the impoverished U.S. Park Service would never have the money available for the repairs.

In the video below, note that the wheel is turning very slowly. If the mill actually was in operation, the volume of water sent onto the wheel would be much greater, and the wheel would spin much faster. The mill and restaurant were closed when I was there, and there was nobody around but me.

The low temperature tonight will be 55F. It seems possible that September actually has arrived on schedule this year, after several years in which everyone was saying that September is the new August.


  1. Tom wrote:

    We’ve been there several times. Never thought it would be operable. Thank you for sharing.

    Very cool.

    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  2. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Nice story David. It is still very hot here, another week of triple digits in the Sacramento Valley. San Francisco and most of the Bay Area are cooler 60º to 87º. Another scary fire started this AM near Auburn, however the wonderful fire personnel are keeping it contained. The other fires are slowing down, Tahoe I believe is safe and the Chico area fire is now under control by these wonderful women and men. I know I would just drop from exhaustion. Armageddon is upon us if the average citizen doesn’t cut back their excesses – gas, water, plastics, electronics, etc.

    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

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