On my 1200 mile road trip to Virginia across highway’s, county roads, and a few interstates, the most memorable was West Virginia. I did not realize the scenic beauty of West Virginia, and even though most of my trip through the state was in the pouring rain, the views were stunning. With the mountains, forests, rivers, and interesting architecture (especially the bridges), I would have to say it rivals Colorado for scenic beauty.
I took the highway through the mountains of West Virginia rather than the interstate. To call it a highway is an insult to highways everywhere as I am sure I averaged less than 30 mph across the 80 mile stretch through the most mountainous areas. The hard left and hard right switchback driving which was posted at 20 mph made me realize why driving instructors used to tell students to use both hands on the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. No pinky finger driving on this road! In Minnesota when roads are posted with 20 mph yellow warning signs, it means you are usually safe to take them a little faster than that. In the mountains of West Virginia, 20 mph warning signs means 10 mph, except for the locals who take it at 50 mph in pickup trucks with bald tires. But hey, they have to beat the other locals to the fresh road kill. It did surprise me that I saw no fresh road kill on this entire stretch of road, even though I saw at least a dozen signs warning of various critter crossings. After about 30 miles of this driving, not more than 100 feet from the road was a thriving business called “Wreck-A-Mended” that I hoped I would not need.
After I finally came down off the mountains, I came to a small town and the first thing I saw was the Golden Arches. I don’t often think “mana from heaven” when I see the Golden Arches, but I did that day. I was bone tired after that drive and even the one-eyed lady who ran the cash register could not diminish the pure joy of the Golden Arches.
And yes, some people still do live in shacks in West Virginia. I saw many of them driving through the mountains that day in the state with the tag line “Wild and Wonderful.” Very fitting!
A Boomer In Transition