Saw these today on the road:
-Amish buggy on flatbed;
-propane bbq pit along side of highway (standing up, ready to go);
-a mini-airplane stabile (the opposite of mobile) Airplane-ettes were approx. 1-3 feet in wingspan, and there were approx. 8 different models; Picture about 7-8 “miniaturized” World War II airplanes standing on big straws that are mounted in the ground.

Favorite signs:
-“Blasting zone ahead—turn off 2 way __ <missed it> and cellular telephones”
-“Robert _ Byrd Center for __ __ <missed it>”; I racked my brains to figure out what this could’ve been, but all I could think of was “Robert _ Byrd Center for Allegedly-Recovering Racists.”

Today’s game: “Count the road kill”*
9 (mostly in Indiana for some reason)

(*only remains of single animals, not total number of parts seen…)

Indiana was still beautiful, as was Kentucky. I didn’t remember KY very well from previous trips, so I’d forgotten about the miles and miles of brown wood fences, and how they contrast so beautifully with the (yes I’m going to say it) Kentucky bluegrass. And all the horses! I have never seen so many in one day. If it were a little warmer…

Then I hit Louisville. Ick (from the highway anyway). Also the entire eastern 2/3’ish of the state—double ick—scary industrial stuff along the water. The same could be said for West Virginia, where I could find no merit whatsoever, outside of good coffee at McDonalds.

What an ugly, torn up, gloomy, scary industrial, strip-mined state (can you hear me Sister Conaghan from 5th grade science? I remembered.) I could not wait to get out of there, but unfortunately I was in both for most of the day.

Driving by all those piles of coal and the impact of their mining makes me all the more conscious of my impact on the environment (‘cause I need to be more conscious about something, right?!). And you thought I was bad before…

It was like (the proverbial) night into day crossing into Virginia. You literally drive through a tunnel, and voila! Beautiful green grass, farms, horses, meadows. God I loved it! I felt like it was my reward for time served in eastern KY and WV.

Unfortunately, that was where I hit the “gotta-get-home-before-dark-from-Easter/Spring-break” crowd. Lord. Literally, I rounded a corner and had to jam on my brakes.

Truckers tip: Turn on your emergency flashers when you see a line of traffic ahead. It makes people take pause and look ahead to figure out why you’re slamming on your brakes. You’re welcome.

Anyhoo: After 10 hours of driving and starting to lose it, I crossed into NC and a forested, flowered restful-looking “Welcome Center” (rest stop). Rested a moment (used the bathroom) then stopped in the nearest town I could, which is also one I was interested in seeing, if only for one reason: It’s Andy Griffith’s home town, which they based “Mayberry” on.

It’s called “Mount Airy” and it’s an odd juxtaposition of new construction strip malls and wide highways and a classic “old-timey” town interior downtown. It actually reminds me of Washington, MO and vicinity. Except Wash., MO doesn’t have the “Old City Jail” that was modeled after the TV show, which is a little bass-ackwards if you think about it.

The town is cute but seems very white, and very conservative. I can find only 2 radio stations on the FM channel, and one is Jesus and the other is Jesus-related country music! I just don’t think I could live somewhere like that. ‘Nuff said (but you know I want to say more…).

Place I wish I’d stopped at: Tudor’s Biscuit World

Names of places that have the same name as other places I’ve been: Oak Hill, Ghent, Fish Hatchery Road, Paris, Ashland (they’re both HOLES), Mt. Vernon, Charleston