A Brief Visit to VMI

Helping out Brother Rat PHP’89, I transported his son, JDP’18, down to the “I” yesterday for the return of the cadre and its various support staff. And picked up his roommate along 81 too. The Hyundai Santa Fe I rented for the purpose was stuffed to the gills but caused only mild discomfort to the passengers. It was good to be around cadets again– I had JDP’18 living with me for almost a week– and it’s *always* good to get back to VMI and Lexington. Plus, I saw a BR whom I hadn’t seen in ages, there for the same reason.

Some observations:

  • The new athletic facility being built across Rte 11 and next to Cameron Hall is a monstrosity. I am not certain that it fills a true requirement. It overwhelms the scale of the neighborhood, and if I remember correctly the real estate deal caused some controversy. Furthermore, from what I understand it adds to the mounting debt that can only be passed on to future cadets and their parents, and possibly the taxpayers of Virginia. Altogether I think it an ill-advised venture.
  • It was hellishly hot all over the Commonwealth, with a few exceptions (see below), but two or three degrees cooler in LexVa than in Mosby’s Confederacy.
  • Having exactly nothing else to do that day (by design, I might add), I whiled away the remainder of the afternoon in a series of excursions that kept me headed in the general direction of home but could in no way be called the shortest or easiest way.
    • From LexVa I headed north on 81, but got off at the Raphine exit, went east to pick up Va 56 and head over the mountain past Vesuvius, Montebello, the spectacular Crabtree Falls and points beyond. I hadn’t done that drive in 20 years, and what an experience it is. Not necessarily for the faint of heart, but it’s memorable! And at the top of the climb, right by the Blue Ridge Parkway, the outside temp read “83 degrees”! Yet more reason to spend time in the mountains as often as possible.
    • From the other side of the mountain in Nelson County, I wound around and hooked up with US 29, and followed that north to Charlottesville and just beyond, where I swung east on US 33, then north on Va 20 past James Madison’s Montpelier and on to Orange. And from Orange, all the way home on US 15.

A day at large and unfettered in Old Virginia is never a day wasted.

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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7 Responses to A Brief Visit to VMI

  1. vmi16 says:

    I agree with your thoughts on the monstrosity that is the new athletic facility…It was an overpriced venture that peay wanted so that he could try and recruit better atheletes. This is while barracks and other parts of the school are falling apart. Also, did you see how VMI plummeted in the rankings in Forbes magazine?

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  2. slater says:

    Barracks had just been renovated fully 6 years ago. So if it’s falling apart I would say that’s due to the hard life charged to Keydets.

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  3. burkemblog says:

    I had no idea this was being built–it appears to be a state-funded capital project, though I am not 100% sure (that’s what the master plan says). It certainly seems ugly. Here’s a recent TV new video about the project: http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/VMI-working-to-complete-multimillion-dollar-training-facility-373966911.html

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  4. slater says:

    All of our capital improvements were fully funded when they began, now the cost over-runs which were large when it came to the hooch and the North Post Drill Fields (it was supposed to be a bi-level parking structure with field on top) would be the debt. But VMI is an institution of the State so the State truly is responsible for the debt in the end.

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