Tag Archives: Route 11

Sights Along Western Virginia’s U.S. Route 11

dscn5543-2For a scenic drive while traveling north-south in western Virginia, historic U.S. Route 11 runs from Winchester at the northern border of the Commonwealth to Bristol in the south. Built in the early 1900s, it runs parallel to I-81 and provides a slower pace that showcases life away from the fast lane. Traffic is light and tractor-trailers are rare. It has become my preferred route between Staunton and Roanoke so this week I once again found myself on this back road while leisurely driving to the Star City for lunch with friends. Leftover snow from a few days earlier covered fields and mountain ridges, and along river and creek banks.

dscn5548-2With the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and Appalachians to the west, the views are breathtaking any time of year. In Botetourt the James River meanders along Rt. 11 for a short distance. In Lexington I crossed over the Maury River. Along the way I passed historic and quirky sights such as the Pink Cadillac Caf√©, Natural Bridge, vineyards, Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company in Lexington, Virginia Gold pear orchard, 30-acre sunflower field in Botetourt, Virginia Safari Park, and many more.

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dscn5553-2As Rt. 11 heads north, the tiny village of Buchanan in Botetourt County marks the entrance to the Shenandoah Valley.

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Back roads

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2Rockbridge County, Virginia.

3House Mountain, Rockbridge County, Virginia.

4Our roadside picnic spot. There are still some of these left on the back roads of America.

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8James River near Springwood, Virginia.

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Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 15, 2015

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Traveling the back roads from Staunton to Blacksburg offers a slice of America

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Thursday road trip! With SWAC Daughter and her husband now living less than two hours from Staunton, it was time for a day trip to meander the back roads and take the kids to lunch. With maps and a cooler in the car (the places we go aren’t GPS-friendly), we headed out to begin our trip to the land of Virginia Tech and expansive mountain vistas. It was time for a road trip to Blacksburg. Following Rt. 11, we traveled from Augusta County into Rockbridge where we passed through Natural Bridge and its scenic Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop.

2On the back roads it’s easy to pull over and read historical signs with information about those who settled the area, nearby landmarks, and other events from the past. This sign is a reminder that the Shenandoah Valley was once the western frontier of the New World with outlying forts that protected settlers in this once-wild land.

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