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Sunday eve found Son#1, Grandson#1, and me motoring back to Northern Virginia.  The original plan had been to work on the scaffolding and sharpen knives on Saturday, deal with the meat chickens on Sunday, and have some hiking or other recreation on Monday, Columbus Day, and then I was going to take them home.  Friday as Son#1 was preparing to leave work for home and then the bus trip here, he realized that he wasn’t off on Monday, but Grandson#1 didn’t have school.  Plans changed, we accomplished the Saturday and Sunday plan and took off on Sunday eve for their house.  I spent two nights there to provide care for Grandson#1.  Leaving for home early this morning and encountering much semi traffic and intermittent rain, I decided to take a non interstate route home, at least most of the way.

The route was a beautiful drive, though it took about 90 minutes longer and I drove through a few very severe storms.  The route took me through a good portion of the poultry raising parts of Shenandoah.  This is why I humanely raise and kill my own chickens and buy our turkey from a local free range farmer.


This is one of hundreds of poultry “houses” along the route. The sign that I tried to capture said, “Absolute no trespassing, no visitors.”

This is what the inside of a “free range” building looks like. Photo from the internet, source unknown.


A poultry processing factory, it covered about 2 blocks. The entire town smelled like death and stench.


One of half a dozen trucks I passed going to the factory, each with 120 of these cages so low the turkeys can’t stand in them and each cage holding about a dozen turkeys.

The birds beaks were clipped so they couldn’t harm each other.  This is grocery store poultry.

On a more pleasant note, though the rain was intense at times, part of the route paralleled the Maury River.


The leaves were beautiful, the river sometimes well below the road like the picture above and at other times it was only feet from the edge of the road.  It was a certainly a prettier trip than the interstate, but the trip expanded to 6 hours instead of the usual 4 1/2.  Was it worth avoiding the semis?  I guess it was, but I’m glad to be home again.