Tag Archives: Alleghany County

“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.


Heading north.








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





Creepy solitary abandoned mountain shack is creepy.



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.)




“Meet Virginia.”






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