kissing a painted sky and paint bank

©2011 gary garbett.com

Following an early morning lead, yesterday sent me on a road trip to Paint Bank,Virginia located in the southwestern region of Virginia on Potts Mountain, just five miles from the WestVirginia border. The day was beautiful and my roadtrip equaled that along the stunning scenic two lane Virginia route 311. I can’t recall ever having driven more S turns than I did through theJefferson National Forest. The vistas were gorgeous and I seemed close enoughat times to reach out and kiss the few clouds that painted the sky.

The day was a path of basics – core places, people, and moments of real lifeof real America. I received a genuine hello with sincere waves as I drove past two young mothers at a rural bus stop, waiting for their children to arrive homefrom school. I passed a field lit up from the sun. Sitting behind the harvestwas a pale yellow barn in the distance with an American flag covering theentire façade. The aromas of freshly cut grass filled the air along severalmiles, and the few General Stores I did pass were tidy, welcoming, andunlittered from excessive commercialism.

Nearly an hour after exiting I-81, I found myself approaching a 35 MPHzone. The square green sign with white letters read PAINT BANK. Less than halfa mile ahead, just past the Volunteer Fire Department, was the crossroads at route 608 were the Paint Bank General Store and the Depot Lodge share theintersection and all of downtown Paint Bank. I was greeted by hospitality in person, listened to authentic local music, snapped more than a few pictures, and made a new friend named Jeremy.

There are days when life is just beyond rich. I’m thankful for those kind of days.

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