By Lynn R. Mitchell
Apple Country was calling this afternoon so after whittling away the morning, we decided to hit the road to Paugh’s Orchard in Shenandoah County. I’m not even sure how long it takes … maybe an hour? … but it was a sparkling sunny drive. We left Staunton and headed north on I-81, then off at the Mauzy exit and up Rt. 11 through New Market to our turn toward Forestville where we picked up Rt. 42 for another 2.5 miles to the fruit stand. Along the way, autumn was on display including this show-off maple along Rt. 11 on the outskirts of New Market.
Pumpkins … orange and white. We bought apples, mini pumpkins, gourds, and a jar of chow-chow, loaded everything in the trunk of the car, and started our return journey down Rt. 42. We strayed off course at Timberville, heading west and then south on some back roads to avoid Harrisonburg.
Everywhere we drove, farmers were busy cutting and transporting silage in the dry fields since we need rain in the Valley. It was hot today with temps around 80 degrees with the sun broiling down on fields and farmers.
Driving past Silver Lake took us back to Rt. 42 just in time to stop at the Dayton Farmers Market for a big pretzel. This fella was hitched beside us, the definition of patience as we ate our pretzels under the shade of a nearby tree. Hitting the road again, we drove through Bridgewater and along the foot of the Appalachians to Churchville and then home with our load of apples and other goodies. Now, with my bale of hay, mini pumpkins, gourds, and purple and yellow mums, we’re looking like fall in our corner of the world.
It’s autumn in the Shenandoah Valley….
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Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 26, 2014