Last weekend we discovered an alternative to the truck-clogged I-81 corridor between Harrisonburg, Va., and the D. C. Metro area.  I’ve driven I-81 about 200 times, give or take a couple of trips.  It’s more stressful than the D. C. Beltway, in my not-so-humble opinon.  Between the hordes of tourists and herds of big rigs, I-81 can be a very dangerous place.  Oh, and there are deer.  And speed traps.

Then there’s Route 340, which takes you from Massanutten, outside of Harrisonburg, up through Luray to Front Royal and parts north.  No trucks to speak of.  Tiny towns, winding roads, the occasional RV campground.  Best of all, it connects to Route 211.

 If you’re heading toward D. C. from the Shenandoah Valley, Route 211 is probably the least stressful choice, except during wintry weather events.  This well-maintained highway takes you over the Blue Ridge Mountains and past some tempting antique shops to Warrenton.  Once there, you can head north on Route 17 to I-66 or hang on and catch Route 29 north toward Manassas.

 We plan to go back this way and allow time for some stops.  My husband really enjoyed the woodsy scenery near Skyline Drive, and I am sure I’ll find something intriguing in the antique stores.