Scenic Virginia Travels
April, 12-14, 2019 . I was a vendor at the Southwestern Early Childhood Development Conference in Wise, Virginia. I took this opportunity to make a Virginia Scenic drive. I left Smithfield, Virginia, Friday morning around 7:30 a.m. I drove mostly on US 460 W. with a few side trips when I felt like it. I had breakfast in Farmville at Walker’s diner. They have yummy food, good prices and friendly service.
I got onto US 81 S. near Roanoke and the rain was crazy so I got off. I drove around on a few back roads and when the weather cleared a bit I returned to US 81 S. When the rain started and visibility was so poor, I decided to get off again. I found so many interesting things to photograph when I took these back roads. At one point, I missed the turn onto US 11 S. and ended up going on Riverside Drive in the Marion, VA area. What a wonderful road that is. It has a bunch of old barns and abandoned houses.
The day was dwindling so I got onto US Alt 58 W. which took me to Wise. I arrived around 6:00 p.m. I set up my table, took some photos of the area around my hotel and ate a light dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Saturday morning arrived promising to be a beautiful day. I met a lot of wonderful people at the convention and sold a few books.
After the convention at UVA Wise, I left on US Alt 58 E. which took me directly to US 81 N. After one little detour to visit the Whitebarrel Winery and Sinkland Brewery in Christiansburg, VA, I arrived in Roanoke around 8:00.
Sunday I left Roanoke at around 8:45 a.m. I Kept better track of my roads this time and I learned something; Google maps will always take you back to the fastest route. Even if that means it takes you on a state route in a circle back to your original US route. Grr… I kept going in circles until I started searching for directions to intermittent cities which required getting on rural routes.
My navigation took me on back roads out of Roanoke to US 24 East after Vinton, VA. At VA 619, around Stewartsville, I was prompted with a note about a slower route. I took it since I figured it would be back roads. Sure enough, it took me on extremely back, back roads, some only had gravel stones, but oh how beautiful. I saw VA State Rte 759,VA State Rte 635, VA State Rte 603 & VA State Rte 607.
I exited onto US 19 North or something like that, it was a 4 lane highway. I tried getting of once and I ended up on a road that had a menacing sign: PRIVATE PROPERTY, DO NOT ENTER. Needless to say, I turned around.
VA State Rte 698, VA State Rte 726 , Saunders Rd. Saunders road didn’t have a number, that I could see, but it was a glorious drive past farms and more abandoned buildings.
US 24 (Colonial Highway) East – Evington VA, through Rustburg,
460 East in Appomattox, VA
Tired of the highway, I took a right on 1006 - 11 Oaks Road in Crew VA. It ran parallel to train tracks and I was in time to watch the gates go down, a train come by, and go back up again. I parked my car and got out to take photos. It was the same company train that I raced on 460 on the way out. (Perhaps a different engine, but the same line.) This road took me right back to 460 East so I continued for a few more miles. It didn’t take long to tire of the highway again so I decided to get off.
I took VA State Rte 642 to Blackstone and got on US 40 East. I passed Fort Pickett and a lot of signs declaring Tank Crossings. In Darvils, an unincorporated community in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, I stopped to photograph three crosses by a church cemetery and some abandoned buildings.
Continuing on US 40 E. I passed an abandoned grocery/gas station. M. W. Dunn Gro. In Sussex County, I tried to look up information on it but only found another photographer’s photo from 2005
My navigation was taking back to US 460 E. and I didn’t want to go there so I took a right onto 735 into Sussex then followed a bunch of rural routes with one 10 foot drive on US 460 E in Ivor.
634, Back to 40 W, 35, 622, 740, 729, 628, 600, 616, US 460 E., 620, 683, 682, 680, 620, 258
Home, I arrived home around 7:06 p.m.
This is about what my travel looked like. I had a wonderful time.