Climb Afton Mountain, ‘Til You Find Your Dream


Douthat State Park, Bath County, Virginia

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
Psalm 65:5-7

I just returned from a work-related trip to Bath County, Virginia. To get there, I had to drive west in I-64 beyond Charlottesville and over Afton Mountain.

I realized that this was my third round trip over Afton Mountain in the last month.

Once to travel to Waynesboro for the Red Eye 10s Coast-to-Coast Play Festival. Once for a trip to our Alma Mater in Kentucky to see our son. And once for this business trip.

If you don’t know the drive across Afton Mountain, it’s one of the most beautiful drives in Virginia. It’s the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the (now reopened) Skyline Drive. From the Interstate heading east you can stop at two scenic view locations and view Rockfish Valley.

But travel across Afton Mountain can be tricky in inclement weather. Road reflectors in the center lane and on the sides help to navigate the mountain in foggy or rainy weather, a common occurrence.

I missed most of that, but enjoyed my trips across the mountain.

I grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, and while I love being closer to the coast, I sometimes forget how special the mountains can be. These trips were a good reminder.

And the mountains are a reminder that this beauty of creation didn’t just…happen.

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1864


    • Frank on October 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for this encomium to Afton Mountain. It marks a special place in my remembrances of my father. We crossed it many times to head to the Blue Ridge Bear and Coon Club (a little west and south of Stuarts Draft) to hunt, and encountered that beastly fog more than once. Crossing it now is like a gateway to a special place in the past, but it’s still beautiful enough in the present to stop at those overlooks almost every time to take a photo or two.

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