By Lynn R. Mitchell
While my parents visited last week, Mom and I slipped away, driving the 30 minutes from my house to the Dayton Farmers Market in the Old Order Mennonite town of Dayton. It was Thursday and a horse and buggy were at hitching post when we arrived. The owners soon climbed in and clopped-clopped away down Route 42 toward “downtown” Dayton in rural Rockingham County.
The two of us had a wonderful day looking at the remaining fall foliage as we drove back roads through the Shenandoah Valley. The best big, soft pretzels in the world are at the Dayton Farmers Market so Mom and I indulged while sitting at a table near the entrance and people-watching on a busy October afternoon. I believe October must be the busiest time of year for the market since everyone comes to the mountains to see the autumn colors. After we finished our pretzels and lemonade, a stroll around the market was in order to check out all the unique shops that offer that special something for Christmas gifts (see Dayton Farmers Market begins holiday hours).
We were amazed at visitors from around the country who filled the market as they shopped and lunched. License plates on vehicles in the parking lot were from as far away as Ontario and Colorado in addition to NC, SC, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and Texas. We wrote them down while making a second loop to be sure we had seen them all.
After spending a couple of hours at the market, we roamed around the adjacent picturesque, historic town of Dayton looking at the renovated homes and autumn color (see The doors and windows of Dayton, Virginia).
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 30, 2014