America the Beautiful

What is the real America?  Is it the big cities we see on television or in the movies, or is it the simpler America of Norman Rockwell?  One reason Betsy and I enjoy living on the Cumberland Plateau is that life here is a little slower and a little simpler than it would be in a larger city.

This weekend we travelled to a portion of the country that is almost as beautiful as our plateau — southwestern Virginia.  We were able to stay off interstate and other major highways most of the time and got to see the America that exists away from the interstate highways.

Betsy’s hometown is Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  BSG is a small city nestled in the mountains.  It used to be a center for coal mining, but most of the mines in the area have now closed.

But the mountains are still there and they are grand to behold.  Between the mountains are many wide valleys which contain rolling hills and many farms and small towns.  Every hill and every curve seemed to present a picture postcard view.

It’s hard to put into words the way we felt about the countryside through which we travelled.  Perhaps the best way to put it is to say the Norman Rockwell’s America still exists.

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