AAA Home and Away | Down a Sacred Path
07/02/2012 10:03 am
By Eric Lucas
Lovely green fields roll across the gentle ridgelines outside Manassas, Va. Songbirds and swallows perch on split-rail fences and old cannons, greeting the sun and visitors alike. Mist hovers in low pockets and drifts into the beech, oak and maple forests along the hollows. Only if one listens very closely can the echoes of strife be heard; only on thoughtful glance do spirits prowl the shadows.
These piedmont hills west of Washington are among the most appealing and loveliest landscapes on North American soil. It is undulating, pastoral countryside worthy of an Andrew Wyeth painting. The geographic province known as the Piedmont stretches along the Appalachian front from southeastern New York to Alabama, and in any year, almost any season, it offers an ideal driving itinerary that melds beautiful countryside, historical attractions, quiet small towns and good food. It’s also where much of the U.S. political system was born—and where it was torn asunder during the Civil War.