Thursday, September 20, 2007

West Virginia

The goal of today was to make it from Cherokee, NC to Summersville, WV by way of some scenic roads and the New River Gorge (and the eponymous bridge perched loftily above its namesake). The first challenge was to find Hwy 41-N in Beckley, WV. Clearly visible on the map, the road was not mentioned once during my drive through town - though nearly all other roads around it were (these were also plainly visible on the map, excepting 16-N; we'll get to that) and I got to experience 2nd helpings of them all (I believe I got enough of Highway 19 last through to Thanksgiving).

Part of the difficulty was in the existence/non-existence of Highway 16. It had one magic trick; it disappeared (presuming you count reappearance as part of the same trick). Fortunately, I was eventually able to deceive the highway system and without making any wrong turns (as the joke goes, I made only right turns) found the elusive Highway 41-N. I half expected to land upon a thriving colony of Appalachian Mountain Field Mice as some sort of bonus for finding the road, but alas, did not. Once I hit the road, it was as if I had been let in on a little secret. It was just me and the West Virginians and it was grand. They, of course, know that their back yards are beautiful; now I'm a member of the club as well. As I passed the few WV'ers on the road, they each gave me a knowing nod as if to say "You have succeeded, my son".

So, that was today in a nutshell. Presently, I am dissecting a waffle bowl something-or-other from the Dairy Queen next to the hotel. In the picture it looked like much more waffle bowl and a lot less everything else, though, as I watched them prepare it for me, the exact location of the waffled portion became less and less noticeable. So I left with a 1/10th scale replica of Mt. Everest in ice cream (3/4 of which was fed to the indiscriminate hotel sink). I am half tempted to go back and see if the Eiffel Tower could be achieved with any accuracy...

The Stats:

Hours Driven: 6
Miles Driven: 350+

What was Heard:
M. Ward's Post-War
Caribou's Andorra
More Bluegrass Junction on XM
Neil Young's Harvest, After the Goldrush, and Live at Massey Hall

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