Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rte 119

Thursday I needed to go to Clendenin for work, so I took the long way home. Not longer in miles, but longer in time because I never want to hurry when I'm driving 119 from Clendenin to Spencer.
Once a busy road, 119 became a quiet country two-lane when Interstates 77 and 79 were built, relieving the road of carrying the heavy traffic from Charleston to Morgantown and other points north. Those new highways almost tolled the death knell for Clendenin, and the town still struggles to survive since it is now off the beaten path. For me, Clendenin hold a special place because it was where I first began work as a library branch manager. I still have friends there and visiting the town is a reminder of those happy days of hard work and discovery.
The mighty Elk River flows through Clendenin, and although peaceful in this photo, I well remember how the river, fed by multiple creeks, spewed out of its banks in 1997 and left the small town under four feet or more of water.

A barn stands testament to days gone by, as nearby redbuds blazed their herald of spring.

A flash of blue in a dark, north-facing hollow along the road caused me turn around and come back, hoping to see something I'd seen years ago on this road at this time of year.

Nestled into the moist hillside was a lavish expanse of Virginia bluebells, a flower I haven't seen growing wild in many places in my area. And mixed with the bluebells were white trilliums and Dutchmen's breeches.

Although I tried several times for a good photo, I did not end up with a satisfactory one. My problem was the same as when I'd seen the flowers before--the road takes a deep curve here and there is no place to get off the road. It's really not a safe place for taking pictures. I watched behind me to be sure no one was coming, but even so the curving road doesn't give much visibility so I had to snap-and-go. Next time, I will try to find a place to park and walk to the site, if possible, although the narrow shoulders give me pause.

I eventually arrived in Spencer just as the sun was dropping low in the sky. The pretty houses on the hill called out for one more photo, which I snapped just as my camera batter died.
Time to quit messing around and get to the house.


Mary said...

I love the light and shadow on these houses.
Thanks for sharing the journey!

Nance said...

I have gloried in great patches of Virginia Blue Bells, gone wild (in Missouri!)

I have been smitten with smaller patches of the delicate Dutchmen's britches.

I am fortunate for the wild, white trillium in my flower garden.

The redbuds are in full glory this week in Iowa . . . All is right with the World.

Jaime said...

Michaela just picked me a few white trillium tonight. It reminded me that I need to transplant some into my side yard as a tribute to my grand dad. They are his favorite and I remember when he transplanted some into his yard several years ago. They have done really well. And he reminds me everytime I see him, "Did you put any trillium in your garden yet?" Maybe that's what I'll do before work tomorrow.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I know the library, the road and that Mailpouch barn looks pretty familiar too.
You were traveling in my neck of the woods from days gone by. I wonder if we ever crossed paths in that little town of Clendenin?

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