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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How green was my valley

Foamhenge. Yes, it's a foam version of Stonehenge, near Natural Bridge, Va.

It felt like it took an eternity to get out of the area that I know, to get off the roads I've traveled so many times before. The trip down I-84 seemed to last a lifetime. The trip past Wilkes-Barre felt yawningly familiar.

Even then, I was on a route we'd often driven when we lived in Maryland.

But then, I was in West Virginia, and a blessedly unfamiliar world. And it was warm!

West Virginia sped quickly into Virginia, and I soon found myself in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The Shenandoah Valley, near Woodstock and Edinburg, caught my eye and my imagination. To the east, the mountains rise in a sharp, purple ridge. The valley - incredibly lush and green, spreads out beneath them, in rich, rolling hills. Here and there are houses. Mostly, you see cows, big, black cows, looking as happy as cows can be.

It was too late in the day, and raining too hard, to paint. So I stopped early, hoping to wake up early and paint - but it was not to be. It was raining and cold, and so I set off, with a promise to myself to stop in this green, green valley and paint on the way back.

I did get off the highway to see the so-called natural bridge. If it was there, it was going to cost me to see it, and I didn't feel like paying, so I chalked this up to a detour and headed back to the highway.

But on the way, I saw Foamhenge. How could I not stop? It wasn't open, but I did get this photo - and if it had been open, I'd have gone. I'd have loved to see this up close!

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