August 15th: Driving to West Virginia

West Virginia: Getting There is Half the Plan 1. East River Mountain Tunnel, 2. Tunnel. I know. Thrilling., 3. Welcome to West Virginia!, 4. Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, 5. Clouds playing on treetops, 6. Nothing but sky and hills, 7. Sky. Hills. Beauty., 8. Far off hills, 9. That dawg, 10. What’s that up ahead?, 11. Light and shadow, 12. And away we go!

On Thursday, August 15th, I showed up with my Winnie the Pooh duffle bag and my bag of knitting at 6:ugly o’clock to Sharon’s house. We promptly put the dog in the car and got on our way.

When the sun was coming up, I got what is probably now my favorite picture of Sharon; sun in her face, pink hair in braids, happy dog behind her. I can’t believe I get to go on this trip!

The drive was much like any other road trip drive. We stopped about every two hours or so to stretch, let Schroeder out to pee on ALL THE THINGS, and we listened to an audio book (Faithful Place, by Tana French, read perfectly by Tim Gerard Reynolds).

We also stopped in South Carolina for lunch, and to meet an Internet friend that we’ve both known online for a while. She and her partner live there with their daughter, and although her partner couldn’t get away for lunch, we had a lovely time with her and her daughter. She had found a place for us to eat that allowed dogs outside on the porch, and Schroeder was a huge hit. Meeting people you’ve known for years online can be weird. Mostly fun-weird. You feel a little like, “I don’t know anything about this person. I should ask what they do/about their pets/if they have hobbies.” On the other hand, you’ve also spent the last few years watching their kid grow up in photos, watching them landscape their beautiful back yard, and complain when they’re stuck in traffic. So you really already kind of know a lot about them, and can ask things like “oh, whatever happened with….” or “did you ever finish that….”. You want to hug them hello and goodbye, and hope that doesn’t come off as creepy, since you’ve never met in person. Fortunately that was not the case with us, and it was more like four people meeting who hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years, and were glad to spend a couple hours chatting over pizza and fish&chips. And by “fish and chips” I mean literally “fish with a side of potato chips,” and really, what the fuck? Who does that?! This place with the kick-ass pizza, that’s who. What they lack in cultural phraseology they make up for with artichoke hearts and fresh ricotta.

Oh! It looks like I took photos of both the amazing pizza I had, and Schroeder being adorable, but didn’t add them to Flickr (yet). I’ll put them after the cut.

The rest of the drive was happily mind-numbing. A little rain, and not much traffic whatsoever. Sharon was a trooper, doing all that driving! She didn’t know if she could (and I would totally have stepped in if she couldn’t), but like I’ve always suspected, she’s a complete bad-ass who can do everything she puts her mind to.

Late, late, late Thursday night we pulled into Kingwood, West Virginia, and began our whirlwind weekend of exciting and lazy fun.

Being shy

Awww, who’s a shy boy?!

Deeeeee-licious!

I can’t even tell you how delicious this was. I want to lick my screen now.

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