One day last week I got up early and was in Dayton, Virginia at 6 am, taking pictures of Bowman’s Mill at Silver Lake. I was a beautiful day, lower temperatures in the 70’s with low humidity, what started out to be a couple hours of photography, ended up being nearly 11 hours!
From Silver Lake I drove back West of Dayton to Pleasant View Old Order Mennonite Church, the area in all directions is just plain beautiful, as you can get an idea of the expanse of the valley from various point west of Dayton. The Allegheny Mountains to the west, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the East.
Above: Picture Left- Looking S. West from Pleasant View Church to the Allegheny Mountains
Picture Right- Front of Pleasant View Church looking east towards the Blue Ridge Mountains
Along the backroads of Dayton, some gravel and unpaved, other paved, some roads will interconnect with others, and you will end up back where you started if you are not sure where you are going. That does not bother me though, while traveling these back roads, especially when you are doing photography, you see everything differently coming from the opposite direction anyway.
This is the problem with todays super highways built for speed of getting from one place to another quickly, you miss the rural beauty that is tucked away in between these super highways. I refer to my trips like these as “Off the Beaten Path” It is just not in Dayton that these exisit, but all over Virginia. Just get off interstate, take a drive in the country.
With that being said, though Dayton, VA and Western Rockingham County offers something that other counties do not, Old Order Mennonites, horse travel is the method of transportation here., I am sure there some in Western Augusta county as well, not quite sure how far spread Old Orders are these days, but it is surprising.
Standing in the front of Pleasant View Church, looking eastward, you see the Blue Ridge Mountains across the valley, walk to side and back of the church and cemetery and you see the Allegheny Mountains to the west, which is one place that gives you are real sense of the valley east to west.
I will have to add here that the pictures of the horse and buggies in motion are not as clear as I would like, this is due to my being used to shooting flowers, buildings and places (all thing that are not moving) I will have to try to get better at setting the camera to “freeze” the motion. all in time.