We started off the day bright and early leaving Morgantown at 7am on our route south toward Bluefield, WV. We loaded down our car with lots of good treats, some spare undies, and lots of VerySpatial swag to hand out along the way. We gave our cats some last minute pats on the head, made sure the sitter had enough cat toys for the time we’d be gone, and we were off on A VerySpatial Road Trip across the US!
Stop 1 – The New River Gorge, WV
We stopped for a nice lunch in beautiful and historic New River Gorge national park. The New River Gorge bridge was completed in 1977. It links the two sides of the gorge by a 3,000 foot bridge with a 1,700 foot arch, the fourth largest in the world. The bridge sits over 870 feet over the New River… and what a river it is! The view from the park look outs are amazing! We can see the river snake through the valley for miles in either direction. The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world and the oldest in North America. Although the bridge makes driving across the New River a breeze, it’s worth the 30 minutes or so to drive down the gorge and back up the other side. The drive is a lot of fun, especially in a sporty car!
Stop 2 – Bluefield, WV
Bluefield is a nice little town shrinking by the day. Like many small towns it has suffered a loss of industry and young people. Mostly this was a personal stop as both Frank’s parent’s live there and it is his hometown. Known as America’s “Naturally Air Conditioned City” , the place sure has changed a lot since he lived there a couple decades ago. On the bright side, we got to see Frank’s parent’s new house.
Stop 3 – Charleston, WV
Charleston, WV is the state capital of WV and it’s nestled in the hills where two rivers, the Kanawha and the Elk, meet. To be honest, we didn’t spend much time in Charleston as our day jobs get us there often. One interesting feature of Charleston is its gold dome capital building, seen from the Interstate.
Stop 4 – Louisville, KY
Kentucky is a beautiful state to drive through. Obviously with its close spatial connection to West Virginia, the landscape is similar, but…. different. It’s a lot more restrained. The hills are less hilly. There’s a reason Kentucky is known for its horses – they’re everywhere! You can see them all over the place, even from the Interstate. Daniel Boone National Forest is along this route and if you’re even remotely outdoorsy, this is one place to come visit. The greens are lush and utterly inviting. A co-worker (mad props to Lucian!) turned me onto a local delicacy in the form of Ale 8-1 soda. It’s like a ginger soda and it’s fabulous. He told me you’ll pick one up on the way, then you’ll pick up a case on the way back. He’s right (except it might be 2 cases:) )
License plates seen today: WV, VA, MD, TN, NY, FL, OH, NC, SC, GA, IN, MI, PA, KY, MO, KS, NJ, IW and Ontario.