Shenandoah Valley: Lexington to Staunton (and back) 9/21-22/2013

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Virginia trips

The Blue Ridge Parkway was practically empty on this Saturday; have Americans stopped going outside anymore?

I had driven up to Virginia from Carrboro, before cycling along the Parkway.  I then descending into the Shenandoah Valley and Lexington.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

This cycling trip of about 36 hours was up and back between the towns of Lexington and Staunton, seeing as much as possible in between.

Everything in life now seems political.  With the universities Washington & Lee, and Virginia Military Institute, Lexington is clearly a conservative place.   It is the older of the two towns, and it has a more colonial appeal.

Downtown Lexington

Downtown Lexington

At W & L, not just the University is named after Robert E Lee, all sorts of other buildings are named after him as well.

Chapel at W & L

Chapel at W & L

I had always wanted to see VMI and I finally had the chance.   A long time ago I had secretly wished I had gone to VMI,  I had thought that the discipline would have been good for me.   Or maybe not.

VMI parade ground

VMI parade ground

The Shenandoah Valley is horse country, and now, increasingly, is the place where people, frequently quite wealthy, want to establish their own plantation, and have horses.  The views are stunning, with mountain ranges on both sides.

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

Entrance to someone's private plantation

Entrance to someone’s private plantation

Shenandoah lexington Staunton 9 13 056

Shenandoah lexington Staunton 9 13 053

Staunton feels quite different from Lexington.    For a town of less than 29,000, it feels urban.   Because of the tight terrain, the town seems dense, squeezed in between the hills.    I had a great meal Saturday night at the restaurant Zynodoa, and had a pleasant conversation at the bar with a lawyer visiting Staunton from Richmond.   While not a native, he has lived in Richmond for forty years.  He regretted making Richmond the place of his life’s work, saying the social environment there is stifling.

Downtown Staunton

Downtown Staunton

Nicely designed parking garage in Staunton

Nicely designed parking garage in Staunton

Comments
  1. ydnic1 says:

    Really beautiful scenery. I love that you go to some of these out-of-the way places. I would really love to see the Shenendoah Valley.

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