No Escape From Sprawl
It had been more than a few years since our last getaway to Smith Mountain Lake. I’ve always enjoyed the simple peace and beauty of the area.
When Smith Mountain Lake was first developed its shores were spotted with trailers, fishing shacks, and modest lakeside homes. The home where we stayed on this last visit, pictured above, is typical of the homes built along the shores as the waters filled in behind the new dam in the 1970s. Although Smith Mountain Lake is located between the mountain cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg, it is accessible only by twisting mountain roads, as no major highways pass through the hills and hollows that surround the lake. For years this lack of interstate access helped to keep the area around the lake mostly rural farmland.
On our first morning there, we paddled our kayaks past the docks and boathouses and out of the cove. As we rounded the bend into the next cove, we were saddened to see that the shoreline was lined with rows of ostentatious new structures. We have seen whole developments of these pretentious McMansions sprouting from newly subdivided farms throughout the county back home, but here in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains they seemed especially grandiose and, to our thinking, out of place. I suppose I was more disappointed than surprised. These garish public displays of over-consumption and inflated self worth seem to be popping up everywhere, why not a serene mountain lake?
I’m not the only one who has noticed the encroachment of McMansions on once rural areas.
Artist Website: www.chuckbrodsky.com.
I have featured the poignant songs of Chuck Brodsky many times in past posts. His CDs can be ordered directly from Chuck Brodsky or from Amazon.com.
Artist Website: www.susantrump.com
This cut is from Susan’s wonderful CD of mountain songs, ”What the Hill People Say”.
Check out all of Susan Trump’s CDs here.
A recent Smith Mountain Lake home renovation by Noonkester Construction