Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shades Of Death Road

Occasionally for work I have to leave the office to take photos or get a signature. I especially like it when it takes me out in the boondocks around our house.
I also had to take Sam to a doctors appointment so I picked him up from home on my way to the photo. The girls decided they needed to tag along as well, and I'm glad they did.
One, because it was funny to listen to them giddily chatter in the back seat in their excitement over riding with Mom in the middle of a work day. Two, because it was a spectacular drive in the country.
My only disappointment is that I did not get a photo or video of the 2 peacocks calling back and forth to each other on top of someone's shed. Now that's a funny sight and sound.

The bonus part of the journey was getting to show the kids Shades Of Death Road. Apparently there is more than one Shades Of Death Rd if you google it. Ours isn't particularly famous (Washington County) and I still haven't been able to find a definitive history as to how it got its name. Mark's story (since this is more his old stomping grounds than mine) had to do with an escaped slave being hung from a tree overhanging the road, because most of the road is a glorious tunnel of trees, and his ghost roaming there forevermore, possibly causing auto accidents.
In reality, it is incredibly beautiful. Again my pictures will not do it any justice, but there are craggy boulder walls alongside the road, steep drops, valleys where rocky streams flow with waterfalls into peaceful pools lit by sunbeams :) (and butterflies singing lullabies while squirrels dance fanciful jigs,) and wonderful wildlife surprises! (Sorry it's blurry, I was so excited!)So Lily's theory is that the road was given a sinister name by the owner of the surrounding land in order to keep folks from travelling it, thereby hogging all that beauty for themselves.
"But it didn't trick us did it Mommy?"
Nope, Lil. It didn't trick us. We travelled Shades Of Death Rd. and lived to tell the tale. Spoooky!

14 comments:

Emily said...

I'm bringing the kids out to stomp those grounds. I'll have to ask for a tick check after. I'm sure if I asked Hoss about the name of that road he might say something different. It would make me laugh.

Michelle Johnson said...

Hello Sara~ These are some great pictures. I love that one of the deer. I get excited too when I see deer alongside the road or in a field. If the story of this road is true it's a bit sad. Great that you got to share this moment with your kids. Now you'll have a fond memory when driving that road again. Have a nice day.

Becky said...

Ha ha, I love it! Next time get a picture of the fanciful jiggs, plz.

David said...

Erica G. and I once got lost on that road, while looking for Micah N's parents' house. We'd smoked a little of the wacky first, so it seemed especially ominous. Takes me back...

Jenuine said...

Beautiful photos Sara! My husband and I went to Pennsylvania a couple of years ago and drove all over the place. This area looks so familiar to me. We LOVED Pennsylvania and hope to return one day with our daughter. We toured the Penn Caves which were unbelievable.

honeypiehorse said...

Really pretty. Somehow I missed the fact that you also work, in addition to farming and mothering. Wow.

Annette said...

Is this down around Avella? It looks like the terrain around Meadowcroft.

I'm puzzled over how I've lived here all my life and missed that road. Hmm.

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Em, I probably should have called that Mark's tramping grounds.

Michelle, I was so happy they were as into it as I was. There have been occasions when they were, shall we say, less than enthused about being trapped in the back seat with each other.

Becky, I didn't include that pic? ;)

ah, memories, D. And we thought we were driving around aimlessly all those teenage years bc there was nothing to do. Driving around aimlessly *is* something to do. I can only imagine the drama of that ride. And did Micah's parents even live anywhere near there?

Jenuine, we finally made it to the Laurel Caverns last year. We totally have to check out Penn's Cave. My son will be ecstatic!

HPH, you'd be surprised how many things I can half-ass all at once.

Annette, sounds like you need to take a drive! Inspiration you know! It's kinda sorta out that way.

KB said...

My husband worked a job here today and came home to tell me "I surveyed at Shades of Death Road today!" Thinking it couldn't be true, I Googled it and voila. I saw that it shares its name with several other "Shades of Death" roads and they were given this name in colonial times. They used this to describe unfarmable, inhabitable conditions like swamps, rocky surfaces and dark, dense forest. Interesting!

Sara said...

KB, how could I not find the reasoning for the name?! Pretty neat history.

I am glad you found your way here via Shades of Death Rd. :)

And if you ever get a chance to travel this particular real road it's actually quite pretty! Meadowcroft's not far, too.

Jake D said...

i live less than 10 minutes away from here and it creeps me out, a good amount of people died here n crashes also

tybobeatz said...

i live about 5 minuts from this road its is a spooky place the cops around here do not travel that roadd at night iv had alot of experiences on that road if u go down that road and park ur car on the part of the road were the streem goes under the road turn ur car off and roll down all the windows and honk 3 times oo yea make sure ur lights r off and u can hear drums and foot stepps also ur car will not start u have to put it in nutral and coast alil to start it its really a creappy road oo and the reason it got named that is because our township called it thatbecause off the trees that make it shady

Naturelivesinmysoul said...

I live right down the road from here. It's close to Eldersville off of bethel ridge rd