The rest of the journey was pretty mundane by comparison. The drive down the final 200 or so miles of U.S. 50 was as expected, and made for a lovely drive on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. There were significant power outages all the way through West Virginia, but by the time we got closer to the eastern end of the state things started looking more normal. We managed to get our first real meal in 24 hours in Clarksburg (a Panera Bread with functional lights never looked so good), and neurotically topped off the tank again in Romney, WV. The town was very acommodating to whatever we believed in at the moment...ba-dahmp-bump.
A couple of things I'd like to illustrate about the trip along 50 into Virginia:
1.) None of the civil engineers working that job took a college course with the word "linear" in the title:
|The speedometer plus the faint green line on the GPS (old "Maybe You'll Get There" Magellan) should tell the story here.|
2.) Maryland--which our path took us into for about ten miles--has pink roads. I don't understand why, but there it is. If anyone out there knows, I'm all ears, but that is decidedly rosy.
Not much more needs to be said about the trek in...I think I've covered that pretty well. Wait, here's a quick parting view of the Blennerhassett...much creepier at night, but she's an elegant old pile in the daylight.
At last, right around dinner time on June 30th, we reached our home base for the trip, the charming Inn at Narrow Passage, in "the other Woodstock." The oldest parts of the place were built in 1740, at the "narrow passage" point on the Great Wagon Road, now Route 11, and Stonewall Jackson used it as his headquarters during the 1862 Valley campaign. Ed, the innkeeper, is the easiest man in the world to talk to, and is a valuable source of information about the area...but his iphone photography skills could use some work. Those shots of us near the fireplace will not be appearing here, but I won't hold that against him. Some nice mood-setters of the Inn.
Of course, one of the primary destinations for this trip is Shenandoah National Park, one of the largest in the East. The centerpiece of the park is Skyline Drive, which, Cincinnati folks, contains not a SINGLE instance of the thing you're thinking of...what the hell, right? You can't make that marketing connection? The road is 105 miles long and bisects the park, while running along the tops of the mountains. Something like 75 scenic overlooks are dotted along the route, and our first full day here, we stopped at something like 25 of them...
|MAKE PICTURE, MAGIC BOX! MAKE PICTURE OR JON SMASH!|
|OK, so the picture doesn't necessarily capture the "big" nature in question...|
|This much, we hiked just about this much of the Appalachian Trail. So no, dear, we can't get one of those "AT" stickers for the car.|
We took one fairly challenging trail down to Dark Hollow Falls (sounds either sinister or gross, depending on what type of person you are), which helped us feel more like we'd "experienced" the park a little more.
|Sorry, these photos are mine...the wife's are better.|
Anyway, that's enough for a day, yes? Tomorrow, Shane Who Speaks Truth, Buddy the Tailgater, and the greatest fried chicken...and pie...and cinnamon bun...you've ever had.