A Sunday drive through Ashby's Gap (continued)

October 23, 2017

We've all heard the adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words." We're visual creatures. We absorb the world around us first by sight. With taste and touch, we need to be up close and personal. We may be able to hear or smell something at a bit of a distance, but we can see for miles. 

Yesterday, my little family group - me, the spousal unit, and the dog, went for a drive through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to take in the autumn color. We were probably a week early, but I had a few vacation days to use or lose and am in the middle of a long weekend, so we went. Our main destination was a little place called Ashby's Gap. 

Ashby's Gap is a mere blip on the map. Traveling east on Route 50, you rise to the top of a hill and there you are. What's so incredible about going through Ashby's Gap is the view to the right. Laid out before you is one of the most beautiful, bucolic, and picturesque places on earth. 

The first time I saw this valley was at daybreak on an autumn day as I was on the way to Williamsburg, Virginia. We'd left home in the dark and had not yet seen the sun. As we crested the hill at Ashby's Gap, the sun was over the mountain just enough to light the valley below. Mist floated over the small farm ponds. The grass was vivid green. The fall leaves were at peak color. It made quite an impression. I've been drawn back to the gap time after time but lovely as it is, that first time has an indelible spot in my memory. 

A downside is the Commonwealth of Virginia hasn't put an overlook along Route 50. It's difficult to safely pull over and get a photo, reducing one to "acquire" such photos from the Internet. It's a shame.

Once definitely horse country, now the valley to the east of the gap sports vineyards. Being Sunday, and we had Deuce with us, we didn't visit any of them. Perhaps next time we decide to drive through the gap to take in the view, we will do that. 

Or perhaps we'll take a side ride to the top of the ridge and take our own photos of the valley. Maybe I'll take a picture worth fifty-thousand words. 

KC Kendricks

No comments: