How nice it is to arrive after a two-week road trip in lovely Shenandoah farmland to find friends and secular goddaughters far up a gravel road on a hill overlooking the valley. Youthful high-jinks, biscuit making, cooking, easy local touring, and plenty of high-energy hilarity with the children. One of us painted the scenery. I watched two kid movies. Over the five days I spent there, we attended an annual ice cream social attended by the entire county (it seemed), visited tiny local museums, bought delicious tomatoes at a farmer’s market, got lost in a huge antique store, and bought freshly ground flour at a still-functioning 18th-century mill. Not much flopping, as we call long, lazy afternoons sprawled in chairs and sofas with books. But we had fun. My eldest secular goddaughter and I savored our one night of sleeping al fresco. I watched the day dawn. She slept through it.

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We visited nearby Polyface Farms, which figures prominently in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Boring. As it should be. A well-run farm with animals leading boring but seemingly comfortable lives is boring. Industrial farms are more interesting for the wrong reasons.

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2 thoughts on “The Hanging Out in the Shenandoah Valley Road Trip, Days 14-19: Raphine, VA

  1. How can you say Polyface farm is boring!!!!!! Just watching the way they move the fences and animals around would be amazing!

    1. It’s boring. They do not give tours. They do not answer questions unless you pay a whole lot of money and arrange it in advance. We saw only one person the entire visit. We looked at the pigs, the chickens, saw the mobile chicken houses from a distance. Peeked inside the hoop houses. That was it. Believe me, it was like watching grass grow.

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