B IS FOR BACK ROADS
I love Virginia. Virginia is home. I've lived many places in my life but none quite so lovely, so peaceful, so downright BREATHTAKING as "my" Virginia. I live in a magical, rural area between the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, there are thousands of back roads. We don't have freeways, expressways, turnpikes or toll roads. We have "the Interstate" and "all the other roads". Don't get me wrong, we do have pavement, but life here is slower, friendlier, and gentler. Reminiscent of days gone by.
(I've included a lot of links in this blog. Please feel free to click on them if something interests you. Each link opens in a separate page so you won't lose your place here. If a link is broken or malfunctions, please let me know! I've done my best to test them all out. They aren't wiki pages either, I've tried to find things of real interest to link to.)
Back roads have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There is something magical about cresting a hill, winding around a turn, and seeing things like this:
Rolling Hills of Albemarle County, Virginia
Farmland and Hay, Albemarle County, Virginia
Farmland and Mountains, Albemarle County, Virginia
Albemarle County is the setting for the old TV show, "The Waltons". Earl Hamner, Jr. wrote the book that was eventually turned into the series. Earl would have been John-Boy in the show, the one to whom everyone said, "Goodnight". He is the child that grew up on the show and became the famous author, writing about life on Walton's Mountain (published in real life as "Spencer's Mountain"). If you come here to visit, you can go to the original Walton's Mountain and walk through the Hamner's home. It's so nice to watch that show and hear them talking about "going down into Charlottesville" and so forth. Most of the series, sadly, was NOT filmed here on location. Hollywood may try to copy Virginia, but us locals know our mountains! Still a wonderful show.
On one recent drive, I was able to snap a picture of this very cool art studio/gallery by the side of the road.
Unique Art Studio, Albemarle County
I had to pull off the road to grab this amazing twilight photo showing the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains near my home.
Twilight in Crozet Virginia
Coming down my long and winding gravel driveway, I caught a breathtaking sight of evening fog rolling into the nearby woods. I snapped this pic and just put a sepia filter on it for added effect. This is one of my all time favorite photos.
Evening Fog, Crozet Virginia
This gorgeous lake is not far from my house either. My friend and I take her dogs out to run and play a lot in the evenings, so I am lucky to capture sunsets and twilight shots like this one, another on my personal favorites:
Twilight by the Lake, Albemarle County Virginia
Sometimes, you see things that make you get out of the car and walk down the road just to grab a photo, like this historic home that was on the market for sale. I've forgotten the name of it but it dates back to the 1700s. I love the stone wall!
Historic Home for Sale, Crozet Virginia
If you can't tell already, I'm a huge history buff! (Nerd Girl Alert!) Living here in Virginia, I am blessed to be surrounded, literally, by history. This marker honors the birthplace of Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark fame, who was a personal friend of President Thomas Jefferson. (Jefferson is a native Virginian and his home of Monticello is a MUST SEE when you come to the area.)
Birthplace of Meriwether Lewis, Explorer of the West
Art abounds in Albemarle County and you'll see plenty of unique pieces if you take the back roads. Things like this:
Folk Art outside of Artist Cottage, near Crozet Virginia
That piece of folk art was in the yard of this very interesting home near Crozet:
Unique Artist Cottage, near Crozet Virginia
More Civil War history here in the mountains of Virginia. Commemorative sign regarding Stonewall Jackson's war campaign in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning home on a snowy day in March, this is the beauty to which I am greeted:
My Snowy Road, March 2013
I never get tired of these views...and I hope I never will.
So there you have it...the beauty of taking a back road. Go out and find your own back roads. Don't forget to take your camera. You'll be glad you did!
All photos taken by Tammy Petry.
Dog photographed by permission of owner.