Fairmont, West Virginia. Mile 600

I’ll say this for the Super 8, it had super soundproofing. We both slept hard after a cracking meal at the Cracker Barrel, complete with young waitress who was extremely suspicious of the word “ta” and questioned us closely about what it meant. I don’t think she entirely believed us.

We slept so well that we completely missed the fact that the clocks went forward an hour overnight. Ours didn’t. We arrived for a lobby breakfast on Sunday morning to find that it had mostly been put away. Drawing in all my reserves of English righteousness, I approached the front desk to point out that the sign said it was SUPPOSED to be available until nine. Yes it was she said, but now it is ten to ten. Ah. Well there was coffee and orange juice and so we loaded up and headed out.

The road was damp but the sky was clearing as we eased back onto 250. It was still twisty but in somewhat better condition and we knew that at Belgium (Belgium, WV) we would turn left onto Route 50 which would take us the rest of the way. Somehow we never really noticed Belgium  (seems unfair to make the obvious point there…) but 50 soon became a rollercoaster of a road, taking us deep into the mountains, hugging the sides of the valley, hairpinning up to the high ridges and then twisting back down the other side. There was quite a lot of snow, and we passed between banks almost as high as the GMC.

We clipped a bit of Southern Maryland and the road instantly improved…a smooth salmon tarmac replacing  West Virginia’s rutted concrete. The houses were smarter too, it was like crossing a border in Europe where all of a sudden things are the same, but different.

Back into West Virginia and we stopped in Romney for lunch at one of their two Italian restaurants. Mario’s was lined with pictures and bits and pieces of Italiana; gaudy vases and knick knacks. Sherry, our server today, was skinny as a rake with deep set dark eyes. She was as dedicated to her craft as any upscale DC waitress, and the food was hearty and tasty. We both had meatballs; mine on spaghetti, his in a crusty baguette.  The waitresses had their lunch at the other end of the restaurant and we thought we would be the last, but other groups came in. An older gentleman who everyone referred to deferentially “Hello Mr Peters”, and a lady in her sixties with a younger man and a woman perhaps in their forties, both of whom were blind. Mr Peters came over to say hello and they all chatted a bit. He went back to his table and as he did so, the blind man said “who was that?”.

It was spotting with rain as we left, but the clouds lifted as we headed East and soon we were rolling through prosperous farm country; white fences and well tended yards. All of a sudden we were at Holly Acres RV and Boat store in Woodbridge. PT and Tom were stuck in traffic on the way from home so we had time to nip out to a 7-11 and get the wherewithall for cups of tea and biscuits when they arrived. Soon enough Philippa was pulling in and the two of them were checking out our new addition to the fleet. Tom was all set for us to embark on a roadtrip immediately and was somewhat indignant to find we were all going back to DC together.

Traverse City to Woodbridge: 820 miles. What a great experience and all the nicer for having been able to share it with my Dad – thank you so much for coming!

Author: Richard Lister

Chasing horizons...

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