Canted kick roads so we coast and strain, exhale and taut, pay no attention to stutter cassette clicketing and try to pay less than we do to our standing press. West, cozy to the Shenandoahs, sparse spare wavy earthed farmland then into trees then along Oxford hedges then plucked out again under bright blue air, smooth just shy of cold like marble. Standing at a Civil War historical marker, it ahas that I’ve read about this very hilltop, look around superpositioning landscape and events, scrutinize the plaque curious of any sign of a Southern lean but none in the cool accessible historian’s prose, funny how the blues reds whites and the stars and the stripes in deft application of noncommittal, none linked together coherently enough to suggest the Union or Confederate standard, just general cheerful grave Americanness. Robert E. Lee evidently asked a boy for water at that farmhouse right, pivot to it, there.
Smooth dark jet pavement perpendiculared to washboard gravely dirt we sometimes turn on, one lane bridges, long spans of wooden rail fence, grain silos some with the tops missing so looking as if an out of place modernist cylindrical monument. Scarce cars, are drivers afraid of the slow of these lovely roads? We ride until we can’t feel our toes and orange light on the low sticks.