Ripshin Road, Troutdale, VA
Last weekend, I drove up to Hungry Mother State Park to support/photograph the Carroll County Cross-Country team, who I've been running with for several weeks. Rather than drive back down I-81 after the meet, I decided to take the backroads through Sugar Grove, Troutdale, and Independence. Sherwood Anderson lived in Troutdale for several years, and his farm supposedly still stands somewhere on Ripshin Road. I drove 10 miles or so down Ripshin--until it turned to gravel and started to twist down a hollow through the mountains--with no sight of Anderson's farm. I did, however, find a peaceful vacant lot where I snapped the above photo before leaning back in the seat of my car, turning Lou Reed's "Coney Island Baby" on low, then closing my eyes and attempting to allow the stillness of the place settle into me for a few moments.