Rappahannock Days

Today we headed south down Rte 17 ( the “Historyland Highway”) to our family farm in rural Middlesex County, where my mother’s family gathered for our annual reunion. Our farm is located on a 500-acre parcel on the Rappahannock River, about 3 miles from the bridge connecting Middlesex with the Northern Neck.

My great-grandfather hailed from the Town of Saluda (the County seat), before moving to the Town of Fairfax in the 1920′s and marrying into the Moore family. Ever since, we have kept close ties with Middlesex. Two of my mother’s cousins have residences about a mile from the farm.

To add some urban sophistication, my first cousin (a writer in Brooklyn NY) arrived with his wife and another cousin (a video game designer) flew in from LA. Add in the usual northern Virginia contingent and it’s a legitimate reunion.

The weather was perfect. Mid-80′s and sunny. The water was clear and warm. Perfect for swimming, kayaking or doing nothing. The kids spent all day in the River.

On the way back, we stopped at “The Virginia Raceway” just outside Saluda to watch a couple heats of the “Budweiser modified” stock car series. The Raceway is a dirt oval right off Rte 17 which features short track races in the minor league racing circuit.

It’s a long way from NASCAR but the racers are there chasing the dream. Even better, the stands are right on top of the action and you can walk right in. It’s loud as @#$! The kids loved it.

The dirt track cars are sponsored by local businesses, which paint their logos on the side just like NASCAR. Some sponsors were the usual suspects — auto body shops or homebuilders. My favorite was the #6 car sponsored by “Unicorn Books.”

There’s something cool about an independent book store which sponsors a racecar. Only in Virginia.


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