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Photo-Americana: On the Fourth of July in South Central Virginia: Part 2, A Step Back in Time

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Here is the second, somewhat belated part of my photo series from the 4th of July as I trekked through south central Virginia down to Lake Rawlings and back. Check out Part 1 here to bring yourself up to speed.


It was hot, very hot at Lake Rawlings as I packed up my dive gear and headed back to the front office of this really wonderful SCUBA and camping park. The lake had cooled me off, but it still felt like the 90s as I peeled out of my gear and began breaking down everything.

I had to hand in my rental dive compass to the office and while I was there I bought an ice-cold Coke, something I hardly ever do, another indication of how hot it was. Finally I was retracing my footsteps up raggedy Quarry Lane, then Rawlings Road, and soon onto as-countryside-as-can-be U.S. Route One, looking for the turnoff to get back on I-85 heading north. It was then and there that I made a command decision to follow through on what had been percolating in the back of my mind since I got to Lake Rawlings, which was to go ahead and shoot some of the pastoral, rustic and nostalgic images I had seen on the way down to Rawlings.

And so began a long, slow drive of shoot and stop, meaning either stopping in the middle of the road, feasible mainly on sparse and isolated VA 40, or just pulling over to the side and getting out. I only had my little Kodak, but that was OK; it is good enough for sunny day shots of landscapes and such.

Returning to Norfolk this way is the scenic route, as opposed to just hightailing it over to Highway 58, and it took me through an idyllic America I don't think some of us realize still exists, a step back in time to images and icons of yesteryear that we still hold dear, and actually wish to hold onto before the plastic-fantastic mendacity of our artless and soulless pseudo-culture swallows them too, like an oil spill devouring a treasured coastline.

Here then is Part 2 of "On the Fourth of July in South Central Virginia":
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Right near the conjunction of Route 1, which is named Boydton Plank Rd along this stretch, and Old Stage Rd in what I think was Brunswick, I found this big 4th of July retail fireworks tent right next to a large gas station.

Right off Route 1

I had made it onto VA 40 by now, the most rustic of the highways I drove
along en route back to Norfolk.
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A swamp below a bridge overpass

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)

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