On the back roads of Virginia

Apparently, the state of Virginia does not know the common practice of paving public roads. I am shocked. I’ve also crossed potential houses off our list. I need pavement.


The other day I drove all over Northern Virginia (NoVA) looking at houses. I plotted a Google map after identifying potential properties, and yes, of course, checked the aerial maps. I also thought to check the terrain maps, see above. Bob said I’d be driving into mountains. Hah! I said. No problem. They just seem so puny, gentile really, just hills with trees on top. I really really wasn’t nervous about driving to see the 7 properties spread all over NoVa. My Google map guide said it would take me 3 hours and 24 minutes to do my route. I set out confidently. Google maps do not tell you the line they call a road is gravel, or mud, or dizzyingly high.

I followed directions North and anticipated driving on “county” roads. I went for miles and miles on a single gravel lane, what we would call logging road in Wisconsin, at no speed higher than 15, and that felt out of control. Melting snow made mud and pits and at times I weaved my car the best I could between the pits. No telling how deep they might be. My only option I figured was to go forward, because it would have been impossible to get turned around. I confess I was a little scared. I prayed as I drove. I was also scared for anyone who lives out there. These aren’t shacks or dilapidated houses. These are middle income houses, some even McMansion-like. How on earth do these people get to work?

I got a little angry. Texas has no income tax yet manages to have fairly decent roads. Even the gravel roads have a thick layer of packed gravel that make driving on them dusty, but driveable. Texas is a young state compared to Viriginia one of the original 13 colonies, for heaven’s sake, the home of presidents! California has great roads too, so does Wisconsin. I’m obviously road spoiled.

I clearly have expectations for a different reality in our new home state, for roads, for seasons, for jobs, for people. I’m in a new place and it should be no surprise you can’t or shouldn’t transplant old expectations or assumptions. A new start is a new start, in all things, which is best I think. I have a lot to learn.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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3 Responses to On the back roads of Virginia

  1. nAncY says:

    the state ice cream must be rocky road.ugh..that was bad.

  2. Maureen says:

    I never use Google for directions. The one time I did was to find a place in Springfield. We ended up on the wrong side of the highway at a dead end. Try mapquest. It works a little better in Virginia.Have you thought of coming to Arlington? Whatever you do, do not go farther south than you are now or west. Northern Virginia seceded from the rest of the state quite some time ago. They're making up pay for it in places like Tyson's Corner in which I no longer step foot, or drive.

  3. Robin Arnold says:

    Thanks Nancy. I wonder if there is a state ice cream or dessert? Peanuts maybe? Maureen I might have to pick your brain. We are looking in the Gainesville/Manassas area. I'll take a look at Arlington. I noticed the President goes to Arlington a lot.

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