When you are traveling over a thousand miles on just one-half of your trip you tend to see some of the oddest things and some of the most beautiful things. The next stop on my journey was in the Carolina’s first being North Carolina and then South. North Carolina sadly I missed what I fear was some very cool shit since it got dark as I was getting ready to drive through. I was looking forward to driving through a small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway something I have not done since I was a little kid. That however was hampered by the 3-hour delay in leaving Grand Rapids, which no matter how fast I drove I was not able to make up the lost time….trust me I did try though. Sadly, just as the sun set deep behind the mountains, with lingering bits of light left I saw the sign for the Parkway. I hope that on the return trip back I will, monetarily providing make that little drive. Road trips are a funny thing and always seem to cost more than what you planned on such is life I guess. So we will see if that side trip on the way home happens.
One funny thing that I saw about an hour before dark on this leg of the journey south was at a gas station. When I pulled off the highway before I left West Virginia, I saw a sign that said Travel and Tourist info on the exit. I had to get more coffee (of course) and I thought cool I can see what is around here since at this point it was still day light. When I pulled into the gas station, which was very small and very country I saw 3 old men sitting on the back of an old pickup truck. In front of them was a sign with the words Torist Nfo painted in big black letter on a piece of particleboard. Yes, it was spelled Torist Nfo, it cracked me up since I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. I stopped and chatted up these old guys for a few before going in and getting my coffee.
Apparently, there used to be a stand with brochures, it burnt down, and the state had not replaced it yet. So they (the old men) having “nutin” better to do since they, according to one were “all dried up and old and their wives won’t have sex withem anymore” felt they would sit in the back of the pickup all day and help Torists and answer questions. Hell why not right? They are old.
They gave me some nice little hints such as where the best bars were around the area as well as a set of caves not too far away and directions that made no damn sense. One of them asked me if I was going to go to the strip joint up the highway. I said no and he said with his unique West Virginian drawl “good the women there have the devil between their legs and the booze is watered down”. I had not laughed that hard in a bit.
I loved this part of the drive with the 70 mph speed limit and the constantly curving highway. I felt like a racecar drive in my little Oldsmobile zipping down the road. It was hard however since I kept craning my neck to get could look at the mountains as I drove by them and damn near smacked a guardrail. I think it was about this point of the drive south where my sanity became slightly questionable because it was about this point that I began talking to myself… A LOT MORE THAN NORMAL LOL.