Country Roads

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Traveling down old country roads is magical. It has been a favorite past time of mine for as long as I can recall. I have discovered some of the most beautiful, fun and wacky things down those country roads, most of which I have returned to time and time again.

Being a “wheat girl,” few things say home like the wheat fields. Driving up the Rosa I can’t help but think about all the splendor the everyday traveler doesn’t get to see. On the back roads, deer peek their heads over the tips of wheat, just to see who could be this far out. Sometimes I want to build a big sign pointing the travelers off the main roads and into farm country. It seems that every view is a painting.
 
Thirty-five miles north of Prosser, WA, past the vineyards and orchards, into dry land wheat country where the scenery is breathtaking, you will find “start” spray painted on the road. This marks the starting line of Gravity Hill. Local legend holds that if you park your car on that line and put it into neutral, you will coast uphill.
I don’t know what is more thrilling—the experience itself, or the trip to get there. Here in the Yakima Valley, the main roads offer the traveler the chance to experience beautiful wineries and vineyards, orchards and fruit stands. In the fall I have been known to drive out amidst the vineyards just to breathe in the fragrant air. It is amazing! But on this day, it is the adventure of Gravity Hill that I sought.
 
As I sat there, front tires on “start,” dusk was setting in. The orange glow of the sun cast its last bit of amber onto the road. I sat there, wanting to release the car to gravity yet not wanting to leave this spectacular view. Then, with one last deep breath, I put the car into neutral and began to coast uphill, headed back to town and my evening adventure coming to a close.

There are places in the world that I would love to see—the pyramids in Egypt, the leaning tower of Pisa, and other such wonders. But to this farmgirl I don’t know that any of those sights could ever replace what I can find down a country road.

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  1. Gary says:

    Brings back memories Rene’…
    I remember a spot on the unlined, partly gravel road to my Ganny’s Home in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains.
    We would urge my Mom to ‘Go Faster’ over that raised spot, and squeal with delight at the sensation of butterflies in our tummies.
    Thanks for the Memory jog, and…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

    Gary,

    A farmboy after my own heart. We had a stretch of road outside my hometown that was "wavy" and my uncles would "punch it" and we felt airborn. To this day I cant travel that road and not hear the devil in my ear telling me to "punch it" although the affect isnt the same in a mini van :)

  2. Grace~katmom says:

    hey rene’
    luv ur photos….the one w/the pink & blue sky looks like a water color…awesome!
    >^..^<

    Thanks so much. I love to take pictures, they are such a great way to tell the complete story!

  3. Florence says:

    I love the country roads too. I will go off the beaten path to get some where just to follow the country road. Thanks for sharing your story

    Florence~

    Yah! a fellow traveler! Thanks for taking the time to read them.

  4. Brandy says:

    Yes, yes, memories! My Uncle was a long haul truck driver & we never went the freeways or turnpikes when traveling w/ him. It was always those beautiful backroads, the fresh fruitstands, homemade honey & ice cream, Mom & Pop diners….Americana at it’s best!
    Prayers & Blessings,
    Brandy

    MMMM! Sounds delightful! There is just something so magical about them.We have found some of the best pies down those roads and old diners…

  5. Sandra says:

    Good times, good places, good memories. As to "replacing what you find on a country road" [sic], it’s like love…we never divide our love, we multiply it, thus ensuring there’s enough, more than enough, to go ’round.
    I’ve been to some of those fabulous sights – worked with farmers in Romania, Russia, Armenia and other far flung places. Farmers are farmers all over the world. We love the land and grow roots deep enough to give us wings.

  6. Reba says:

    Rene, Great comments today. They especially reminded me of the trip several years ago when we came out to the Northwest (I live in Georgia-thanks to Ray Charles, now some know where that is). My husband and I traveled on all backroads, camping all the way out. It was sooo beautiful, and the nights were cool in July. And the smells are awesome!! On one trip, we came by a farmer plowing with a mule! You could smell the Earth. I hate Interstates! They make us live life too fast and miss the deer, sunsets, and the like. We are heading that way in another week. Can’t wait. And we are coming on backroads. We hope to stop by MaryJane’s store, but can’t stay for the Farm Fair. So-o-o excited.

    Reba, Make sure to tell the girls at the store who you are…I will be up in Coeur d alene June 4th for our Laid back Applique class at the store – if you are still around then, pop in!  Travel safe and take some deep breath of fresh air for me :)

  7. Brenda says:

    We also have a gravity hill in Michigan. My husband and I like to go to the Upper Peninsula and drive the backroads and visit the sites also. We have found our favorite diners and stops along the way. Thanks for your blog, really enjoy reading it weekly.

    WOW Brenda, how great is that? Thank you for being a faithful reader and letting me know that you are "out there".

  8. Diana says:

    Rene,

    Thank you for sharing! The pictures are beautiful and I know what I will be doing the next time I go thru Prosser.

    Diana

    Ha, Make sure to let me know when you are in town! And if you need a map…..

  9. carol branum says:

    Hi Rene,this is bueatiful I would love to see in person. I would love to come to the farm fair,but I just don’t know yet if I can aford it,us single girls are on a budjet,so I am trying to work as hard as I can,will there be any last min places to stay i wonder?blessed be carol branum,the mo farmers daughter,lamar mo.

    Hi Carol,

    Single moms are no doubt the hardest working people that I know. Bless you!  I hope that you will be able to come, email me if you decide you can, I know there are farmgirls camping out and what not, we can send you some ideas on inexpensive places to stay!  It is going to be a great weekend, for sure.

  10. Kim D says:

    I live out in the county of Michigan and we grow wheat around here and I love the wheat field before harvest and the wind ripples threw it, I think is most lovely. And I love the country sunsets also with the lovely colors only God could paint.

    Kim,

    I am with you on that… Love those wheat fields…..

  11. Charlotte says:

    I live in Upstate NY and my company is based out of NYC. Whenever I go to the office in the city folks ask me why I still live in Upstate and wouldn’t I love to be in the city? The truth is, I love my Upstate NY area, and all of the country back roads that go along with it. I very rarely have to take a major highway to get somewhere, I face very little congestion and there is an adventure around every turn. Travel these country back roads in the summer and oh the adventure you will have. Thanks for reminding everyone how lucky we truly are to still have those uncluttered, unhurried areas that remain close to all of our hearts!

    Charlotte,

    I am so with you! I wil take the adventures on the back road to the hustle and bustle anyday!

  12. Johanna says:

    Hi, Rene! We just returned from exploring the beautiful back roads of Columbia County, Washington. Had a great visit with your dear hubby and youngest son. Missed YOU! Tom clued me in to your blog, and I just read every entry and every comment. What a gifted writer you are! I will definitely be a regular visitor to your site. Much love to you and your precious family. ~ Jo

    Jo~ Thank you so much for your kind words, it means so much! I was sorry that I missed the weekend, but I was having so much fun traveling down the back roads of Ohio meeting and visiting with farmgirls along the way. It was beautiful!

  13. Zoloft says:

    hey that was a great read . Thanks for the great post .Loved every part of it.

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