By Cindy Rinker
It is a beautiful day at River Bluff Farm Bed & Breakfast. The breeze is stirring the trees that surround the deck behind the house and the view of the blue mountains in the distance is at once real and lovely and appears like a beautiful landscape painting.
River Bluff in Quicksburg is at the end of a winding drive that places it right in the midst of a quiet and peaceful area that is just minutes from downtown New Market and the bustle of Route 11.
It was the search for that serenity that brought Donna and Matthew Griffin to this lovely house above the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.
“Purcellville was just getting so big,” Donna said about their search for something a little more country. “The idea to run a bed and breakfast came first. We both thought it would be fun to do. Then we started looking. We were on the way to see another property when our real estate agent said ‘Let me show you this farm’ and we loved it.”
The house is amazing and looks for all the world like a farmhouse that has faced the test of time with its stone chimney and rough-hewn logs on the back of the house. In fact, it was built in 2000 by a woman who was interested in using reclaimed items to give the house its air of history.
There are three bedrooms in the home, each with their own private bath, and six people (three couples) can stay there at one time, Donna said. They will also rent the whole house to one group and it can sleep up to 10 people, including children and dogs.
There are places to sit and ponder in the house as well as the kitchen where Donna makes breakfast for the guests. The guests are free to cook other meals at the B&B while they are visiting, if they so choose. A large deck off the back of the house is just perfect for quiet time enjoying the outdoors and a yummy breakfast at the same time.
The people who visit River Bluff are from all over the world. On this particular day, a couple from Germany is staying at the house while they tour sites in the Shenandoah Valley as part of a longer trip. Having the bed and breakfast listed on the Internet has definitely brought in customers from near and far.
“We get a lot of people from DC, Virginia Beach, Newport News – areas like that,” she noted. Not too many local people stay there although there have been some who have come for a getaway or a special anniversary or birthday celebration.
Many people speculate that running a bed and breakfast would be hard work. Donna does not see it that way. “I think you work hard at any job,” Donna said. “But this one happens to be fun too.”
It probably is fun for Donna because she incorporates her favorite hobbies into her job. She enjoys gardening and has flowers around the yard including a healthy patch of Russian Sage along the walkway. She likes to hike and there are plenty of places to roam. She also enjoys meeting people and learning new things. A perfect recipe for a bed and breakfast host.
She and her husband live in a green house on the way into the bed and breakfast. She thinks this was probably a wise choice on their part because they have their own space and don’t actually have to live in the house with the guests. “That works well for us and the guests, I think,” she said.
The Griffins pay a lot of attention to activities in the county and the Shenandoah Valley at large so that they can advise guests on where to visit. Many come to do the Skyline Drive and visit local caverns. “Some want to go to vineyards. There are hot air balloon rides and even tandem sky diving at the New Market Airport,” she said, adding that she also sends her guests to historic sites in the Valley. “But most of them arrive with a trip already planned out.”
River Bluff Farm has seen its share of events. There have been several small weddings and at least three engagements that have happened at the farm during visits there. “One man wanted to make his proposal romantic, so he proposed in a hot air balloon. When they got back, he told us all about it while she was shivering in front of the fireplace. It was February!”
If you want to find out more about River Bluff Farm Bed & Breakfast, you can visit their Facebook page or their website riverbluffbnb.com. If you want to ask questions or book a room, call 540-454-9751.
Cindy Earehart Rinker is a writer and storyteller with Write Words of Shenandoah County.
Rinker is a writer and storyteller with Write Words of Shenandoah County.