Our trip home was on Thursday……… The trip down was hampered by rainstorms, accidents (not mine) and fog enshrouded mountains. Knowing that there was a better way to go home I studied the maps and decided to go north on NC State Route 18, it was wonderful, winding two lane country roads and it took about 30 minutes, then another 20 minutes on SR NC 421 which attached to I77. This saved about 1 1/2 to 2 hours off my trip. The weather was perfect and roads were dry, we actually drove with the sun roof open during the morning.
While heading north we saw a sign for a Farmers Market so we stopped to stretch our legs and do a little shopping. We bought spices and fresh fruit and veggies. I like to stop about every 2 hours just to stir up the circulation and prevent blood clots.
Mountains on the drive up RT 18.
The rest of the trip was up I 77 thru Virginia, West Virginia, and then in Beckley we stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel and then on to the infamous Rt 19 in WV. A few towns along that road have a main income provided by speeding tickets. SOOOOOOOO, if you EVER go on that road, set your cruise control and WATCH the speed limit signs.
The main attraction is the New River, which ironically is one of the oldest rivers in the world. It flow north and the New River Gorge National Park is a wonder to behold. The first introduction is the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette WV.
New River Gorge below, popular with white rafters.
To get an idea of it size and length of the span, you will have to check out the links and it is awesome. The pictures on the links must have been taken from the gorge below, I could not get anything close to what has already been taken.
If you are into thrills and perhaps having a death wish Bridge Day October 17, 2009 may be of interest. This is where dare devils will bungee and base diving will jump off the bridge. Personally, I would not do it even if someone paid me a million dollars.
Near the upper end of Rt 19 is a scenic overlook.
You can see how the mountains were moved to make the road 4 lane about 15 years ago.
We then got on I 79 and saw an interesting sign near Weston WV Weston Asylum Tours. Thought we would come back and make it a day trip. This Mental Hospital just closed in 1994. It is a two hour drive from Pittsburgh, I think the kid and I will go.
Addendum: I found out that there is no longer bungee jumping from the New River Bridge since someone got killed a few years ago.