Sky Meadow, Ashby Gap, Virginia

Returning Home
On our return trip from Florida, we like to take the more rural routes sometimes, especially ones that get us off 95, the main highway that runs the entire coast. A few trips ago, we found a route along Highway 17 that goes from Fredericksburg, Virginia up to Winchester VA and so we cross from 95 to 81. The drive up 17 is very pretty, and is a much more serene drive than trying to navigate Washington and Baltimore – even before the bridge issues.
Along this route this time it was pouring rain on us, but the rain let up just before we got to Winchester, and so we stopped to look around in a beautiful State Park – Sky Meadows. A designated Dark Sky Reserve area, just like the one I helped establish here in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, the park is a gorgeous place located on the gap that runs through the Blue Ridge mountains. This route would have been used by both my indigenous and non-indigenous ancestors travelling to the interior and up to Pennsylvania, and so has quite a powerful connection for me. As well, the views are spectacular from the ridge top looking down toward the Shenandoah Valley, a place my grandmother used to love to talk about, she having been born a couple of hours down the road in Lexington, VA.
People who just drive the big highways miss so much. It’s wonderful to have the time and the ability to simply slow down and take in the surroundings. The only issue was the pouring rain meant I could not go that extra mileage and meet up with a friend who is a flyfishing guide and who lives only an hour or so from Winchester.
Next time…and perhaps a scheduled Virginia fly fishing adventure!