I come from hill country. Here we have hills and hollers and far more trees than people. There’s not much flat land and the farms are pretty small.
That may be why I’m so fascinated with flat places. The western part of Ohio is very flat and fertile. Here you find large farms and expansive lawns. Everywhere you look it seems people have landing strips for their small aircraft.
One thing that always amazes me about flat places is how big the sky seems.
I live high on a ridge but tall trees block the view so the sky I see doesn’t appear that expansive. In places like Highland County, Ohio and in the western states, the sky goes on forever.
The other great thing about this kind of farmland is the abundance of barns and silos. I saw many on Saturday’s journey and stopped to admire more than a few.
The barn pictured above was among my favorites because of its simplicity. It’s nothing fancy but has been around a long time and looks sturdy. It gets the job done and proves that utility can be beautiful. As big as this barn is, it seems dwarfed by the sky as well.
I offer all of this as a reminder that we all live under the same sky but it doesn’t look the same for everyone. Mull that over as you go about your business today. It can be an eye opening exercise to think about the world from someone else’s perspective.
The farmers were busy Saturday. I saw multiple tractors, trucks packed with hay, and other assorted equipment I recognized but couldn’t name. They work hard and our roads often cut through their fields.
This guy hauling hay had a whole string of traffic behind him and they all passed safely on this straight stretch. It was like watching a parade go by as I was waiting to photograph a barn.
Unfortunately, unsafe passing is all too common.
Be patient if you find yourself behind a slow moving farmer. They’re just doing their job.
On Sunday morning of this road trip adventure, the road took me south to visit the battlefield at Mannassess, Virginia and to watch in wonder the fun, acrobatic flying at a 49 year old flying circus. These are things we will talk about soon.
I headed out early, catching the end of the sunrise from the road and got to really soak in the beauty of this countryside. It was delightful how the terrain opened up to reveal this farm which looked quite small against the mountains and sky. A nearby lane offered a closer look so I turned down that road for a different view then ventured another mile or two in search of what was attached to a bell tower that I saw from afar.
This is what I found.
It was worth the drive around the next bend.
I do that a lot, driving just a little further to see what’s around the next curve and often regret if I don’t go chasing the next bend in the road. In fact, when I think back on my road trips, the best memories are rarely the organized stuff I do – the tours and nice meals out. The best memories are always things like finding a pretty barn, a lovely sunrise or a field full of cows. It seems that a full tank of gas is really all I need for a good time.
Although, I did have a fantastic time at the flying circus so that’s where we’ll go tomorrow. Check back to hear all about it!