After John and I had breakfast, John went for his morning run. When we were ready to head out on the road around 11am, we stopped off on an old country road where John wanted to show me a really cool-looking pond. I took some photos of the pond as well as a worn-down barn in the middle of a field with rolls of hay. The drive went really well to Raleigh. West Virginia is beautiful country with the high mountains and lush landscape. We were glad to have passed Charleston (old and industrial) without having to find a room there the night prior, but we stop at an Exxon with a Subway for sandwiches. Before we left the gas station, John bought 2 little plastic containers of my favorite wine Pinot Grigio as a memento of West Virginia.
As we crossed into Virginia, we stopped at the visitor center to get information on scenic Highway 52 which is 16 miles up and around Big Walker mountain, bypassing the 4,200 foot long Big Walker Mountain Tunnel on Interstate 77. As we winded our way along the highway, we eventually landed at the top of the mountain at 3400 feet where we found a country store and lookout tower which has beautiful views of the Appalachian mountains. John and I decided to pay $6 each to climb the 100 foot tower but made it about 3/4 of the way before we decided to turn around and head down again.
We continued on our road trip to North Carolina and landed in Raleigh about 7:15pm that night with enough time to greet Ang and Doc and meet all their “kids”: stressed out parrot George and a few parakeets, a big Great Dane mix Toby (aka Moose), a little Shih Tzu mix Mattie (adopted with a bunch of hair mats) and some fish. I’m hoping Ang fully disclosed all of their animals, and that there weren’t any others hiding in the house, ie pet alligator or tarantula. One never knows with my little sister who loves all creatures great and small.