After we see Natalie off in Richmond, Virginia, we have a long drive ahead of us to Cumberland, Maryland, where Dick has scheduled a unique photo shoot experience for us tomorrow.
We don’t have time to do the whole drive on two lane back roads, as is our preference, but we do a goodly portion off the interstate grid, and are rewarded with rolling rural vistas, lots of contented cows a-grazing, country churches with inspiring message boards out front (“If God is your copilot, exchange seats”), and other noteworthy sights. As we pass through Rockingham County--self-proclaimed “turkey capital of Virginia” and the state’s top poultry production county--a semi-truck passes us piled high with small wire cages loaded with big white chickens. The cages are so tiny and the chickens so large, it seems there is scarcely any room for the chickens to move. Try not to think about this too much, or you may lose your appetite for chicken.
Our favorite find of the drive is this barn in West Virginia:
Although Mail Pouch barns are a rare sight today, back in the peak of the company’s barn painting program in the 1960s about 20,000 barns bore their advertising message. Mail Pouch retired the barn painting program when their most prolific barn painter, Harley Warrick, retired in 1992. Harley estimated that he painted 20,000 barns during his career.
Perhaps this barn was one of his creations.