“Where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

These are a few (poorly taken) shots of rural central Virginia between Alleghany County in the southwest and Fauquier County.  It’s a beautiful journey.  F. Scott Fitzgerald described the American Midwest as “that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”  I myself have always thought his description it fits the Commonwealth just fine.

Most of these aren’t great photos.  For one, they were taken from a moving car, as you can tell from the reflections in the window.  For another, I am a terrible photographer, as you can tell from the unintentional shot of my giant white nerd face.  (My phone is new.)

The best shots were those I didn’t get.  Lord knows I scrambled to get a picture of that bear on Skyline Drive, but it was a blink-and-you-miss-it opportunity.

There were other things that I saw, too, of which I’d love to have gotten pictures.  The first was the thin, immaculate strip of white headstones in a family cemetery, lying adjacent to their farm’s vast, green square of a cornfield.  The juxtaposition of life and death in that image was perfect.  Another was a sullen-looking cow, lying in the exact center of a fenced front yard, regarding passing cars like an apathetic despot.

As you can see, what I captured are really just your standard road trip pics, but they still manage to show some of the beauty of the Commonwealth.

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Heading north.

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Imbecile.

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Skyline Drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.  [In best Stephen Colbert voice:] “Watch out for bears!”

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Creepy solitary abandoned mountain shack is creepy.

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New Yorkers, these are dormitories for Chicken University, where poultry prepare earnestly to graduate someday to a culinary position with your household.  (These flat, low buildings are often visible from the road in the valleys — I remember thinking that they resembled dog kennels, except that they are entirely enclosed and look quite neatly maintained.)

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“Meet Virginia.”

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I think this is the southern fork of the Shenandoah River, but I’m not sure …

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