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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trying To Find Our Way Around This Storm!!!

Wednesday Feb 20, 2013  8am still in Lavale Md

Well, Q has us running in circles--went farther south yesterday than planned and then turned west--planning to cross Ky. Snowing this am in Md so we are heading back east to the coast and farther south before heading westward again. Now they are talking tornadoes. So far, the worst Feb we've had in five trips---well, except for the year we went through Canada and the UP to Montana. That was awful all the way to Nevada--I'll keep that trip in mind today--it can't be any worse.

Comfort Inn  Room 220 Wytheville, Va

Not much to say about today's trip. As I said this morning, we returned to Hagerstown, Md and picked up I81 south. It is a road we've traveled many, many times in both directions--headed home in April--headed out in February. Lots of snow on the car as we left LaVale--well, an inch anyway. Bill makes me laugh--my Dad insisted that all snow be swept off the car before embarking on the road. The roof so the snow wouldn't come down on the back window and obscure the view, off the hood so it wouldn't blow up onto the windshield as you drove and off the bumpers and trunk so as not to blow into the windshield of someone traveling behind. Bill uses the wipers and his hand to take snow off his window and the passenger window.  Drives me batty and makes me feel claustrophobic. So when we stopped for gas before leaving town I got out and at least wiped my side of the windshield off. While he was pumping gas a guy asked where we were from--Bill always says White River--the guy said oh, White River Junction!  I lived in Brattleboro and in Newport for 8 years. He had long curly hair in a pony tail--I looked but he wasn't wearing Birkenstocks with heavy wool socks, though I thought he might. LOL

Off we headed under leaden skies spitting snow and 25 degrees. I was sure that Polish Mountain and Sideling Hill would be blizzard-like but in actuality there was snow but it was fine and cold so it didn't stick but blew off the road like dust. The gap at Sideling Hill isn't as noticeable coming from the West--all the folded mountains obscure it til one is almost there. But, the road climbing to it is impressive looking from a distance. Bill and I got talking about the gap and decided it was man-made or certainly is Nature enhanced my man. The National Turnpike--route 144, I think, runs alongside I68 so this is definitely a historic crossing in the mountains. Some time I'd like to stop in Hancock and see the exhibit on Sideling. In the meantime, I'm going to google it and may have a link for you tomorrow. We also got talking about the Mason-Dixon Line and how weird the thin line of Md running along north of WV is . I laughed and said maybe there is a museum about the Line somewhere. Bill said he sure hopes so--they drilled the history of it into us enough in middle and high school. We wonder if it is even mentioned in history classes now.  Need to research it, too, since the details escape us now--middle school having been a few years back--LOL

 In about an hour we were back in Hagerstown and headed south on 81.  Virginia is a long State and also wide but by 3:30 we were almost to North Carolina.

As we approached the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive, which we did not take, the clouds finally parted and blue sky appeared. About 150 miles north of Roanoke the grass was incredibly green and that shot is particularly for my friend, Joyce, who said she would be happy when we saw that. One last clump of snow hung on all that way--pieces had been spitting up out of the wiper bay on and off. When we stopped around 1230 at a rest area south of Roanoke the temps had reached 45 and all snow was gone.

We played our CD's once more and are getting to know the words to several of the songs. I'm particularly fond of Doug Kershaw's song about how it snows in Colorado--there's a verse--keep your eyes on the road, Billy, remember you're carrying a precious load. He also sings about how he is looking everywhere else to keep his mind off the road. It is perfect for days when we have conditions like yesterday.

We got out the cooler once more at the rest area and again ate cheese and crackers and pepperoni and shared a Gus' lemon soda. A couple of pieces of Australian strawberry licorice and we were set until dinner. Most of the day, we gloried in the sun and the warmth of the car. It reminded me of ice fishing in a Plexiglas shanty on Lake Champlain with the St Francis'--it reminded Bill of working in a greenhouse in March. Both memories are wonderful and fully describe our contentment and our hopes for the remainder of the trip.

We did discuss our next leg and have decided to head into North Carolina, and on into South Carolina--cutting over into Georgia on roads that will help us avoid Athens and Atlanta. Then heading south into the Florida panhandle. I wanted to see the beautiful beaches last year but it rained the whole time. It looks as though that may be the case again this year but we're going to give it a shot. It is a different route than we've taken before and we really want that. It wasn't our plan to be in the South at this point--we were aiming for Missouri. But Q looks as though it is packing lots of snow all the way up into Nebraska and ice and sleet in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. So, flexible as we are, we'll catch Bill's friend on the way home rather than the way West. I may be able to catch up with one of my former students in Georgia this way--if only for coffee or dinner. This is surely the long way round and is taking us longer to get to Az and NM but weather wise, we think it is the safer, less stressful route. We shall see.

When we arrived at Wytheville we checked in and once more were able to be upgraded to a suite--no hot tub tonight but a nice three room space with windows opened to the lovely Southern breezes. Heaven!  We decided to eat in Judy's Homestyle Diner next door. Oh, my God, one of the worst meals I've ever had! We both ordered meatloaf--that's home cooking, right?  Mush with huge hunks of potato and onion all smothered in ketchup ( with the bottle of ketchup on the side, in case there wasn't enough on it already!). I had green beans--they were BLACK and obviously right out of a can--and tater tots, which they deep fried instead of oven browning. Bill had cole slaw, which he said was the best part of his meal, and fried okra.  We love eating in local places but sometimes Applebee's really is the better choice. At least, it didn't cost us a fortune--in that regard it was a local diner.

Always read the historical blurbs in the motel directory. The one on Wytheville is hysterical. I hope Mr Wythe SIGNED the Declaration of Independence and DIDN"T sing it. It must have been a traumatic hostage situation in the PO in 2009. Not sure I'd include that in a tourist publication--but I guess any claim to fame is better than none!

And so we come to the end of another day--the sun has set and it is time to wash my face and curl up with USA Today until something good comes on TV.  There are two here so we can watch different things tonight--Bill is watching something with Denzel Washington--I like him--so perhaps I'll watch it, too.

Have a great evening all--until tomorrow  KandB

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