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» Saturday, November 07, 2009Finally Off The Road...
...and are we pooped. In fact, I'm downright woozy right now.
Despite the bed at the Quality Inn being really comfy and it being nice and quiet, I don't think either of us slept well. We didn't get to sleep until about one and got up at seven. They had a small breakfast bar, but pretty heavy on the carbs. James had a waffle and some raisin bran with orange juice, I had a bowl of oatmeal, a bowl of cereal and a glass of milk.
Most of the day we were cruising up Interstate 81, which is like the spinal cord between the bones of the Appalachians. It goes through the Shenandoah Valley, which does have areas of business, but which is mostly livestock farms, some corn seen. Most of the trees were past peak, and we even passed some miles where the trees were already bare. In the distance on either side sit the rounded tops of the mountains, some in the distance and purply-soft.
James drove the first two hours, then I took over until we got to Christiansburg and had lunch at the Cracker Barrel, their chicken and rice. I had carrots and applesauce with it. Yum!
James drove as far as Harrisonburg. We ought to adopt this town; we keep stopping here! We needed gas, so we got it there, and also stopped at the Books-a-Million to use the bathroom and peruse the magazine stand. We bought the newest version of The Next Exit, which has been our road bible. I picked up our old one at the Cobb County Library book sale in 2004, when it was already three years out of date.
I drove until the Pennsylvania welcome center, where the sun was just slipping under the horizon. I'm terrible driving in the twilight, so James took over and was stuck there until eight o'clock, when we finally arrived at our hotel, after skirting Harrisburg and Reading. We hadn't had supper and were getting punchy. We headed for a restaurant, which the GPS said was there, but it wasn't, and we finally gave up, went into the Giant Foods, and bought a bunch of frozen dinners (the room has a pocket-sized kitchen, with a fridge, stovetop, microwave, sink, dishes, dishwasher). So I had one of the Lean Cuisines I like, the bow-tie pasta, and now I'm sick to my stomach and woozy. I think it's just from the late meal and the sunI've practically got sunburn on one side of my face from the strong sun all day. (Yes, my right cheek is sunburned...in November! Yeesh!)
Speaking of evenings, I forgot to mention what happened last night when we swapped off drivers, before the orange moonrise. We were between small towns at that point and the only place to stop was in front of a small church with a lit sign. We did so, and happened to look up at the sky. With only the church sign and our headlights providing illumination, the night sky was brilliant with stars. Not only could we see the constellations, but also the faint mist of the milky way. Haven't been anywhere that dark in a long time.