Day 1 - Richmond to Princeton, WV
As I departing for Humpback Covered Bridge, a local resident directed me to one of the few remaining suspension bridges located off 640. I braved a short trip out on it, but it is a VERY unique feeling to have the bridge move under your feet. Onward to Humpback Bridge and the Love sign there. Very cool, a couple of trees there formed the letter 'V'. I met a couple there who were out seeing the sights as well and directed them over to the suspension bridge.
Heading into West Virginia I took 219 to Princeton to spend the night. It was a long day, but full of adventure.
Day 2 - Princeton, WV to Norton, VA (with a little back tracking).It had been my intention to head off first thing for Norton, but as I was exploring online I found that I had passed by two covered bridges on my way into Princeton. AND since I didn't need to be anywhere until later in the day I backtracked up 219.
The second, Laurel Creek Covered Bridge was a little trickier, since I didn't have a good handle on it's location I was relying on the directions printed out at the hotel. I proceeded cautiously to the designated turn, hoping to be able to make it that far. With no sign of an accident in sight, I made my left hand turn and then immediately thought to myself, "This might not have been a good idea."
I was on a narrow roadway, with just enough room for one car. There were post in the side of the mountain with a rope between them (heaven help if the car ventured off the roadway). There were plenty of blind curves and curves that where you could have shaken hands with someone in the backseat as you went through them. Luckily I met no other vehicles...come to think of it there just weren't any at all.
I kept on my course and beginning to feel a bit lost came upon a restaurant!! Out there on a back road, within nothing else around. It was nice to find someone around - the wonderful couple there graciously directed me back to the turn I had missed. I loved the directions - go back to the barn by the road, with the trailer behind it, and the church on the hill above it. Then make a left. The directions were perfect! and I made it to the next covered bridge, which was even functional. It was a neat experience driving across the bridge. Turns out that the road I was 'lost' actually came out just a road down from the second bridge. Too funny.
Back to Princeton and on to Bluefield. As I came through Tazewell I discovered the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park. Wonderful little pioneer museum and park, with reconstructed homes and buildings of the early 1800's. I had a real treat of seeing early surveying equipment. I had fun strolling through the buildings and taking pictures.
I caught up with Mom & Dad in Norton, VA. After getting settled in to the hotel it was down to the lobby to meet up with other reunion attendees that had arrived as well.
Day 4 - Lee County
Mom & I rode up into Virginia Lee (where she had lived when she was in school). Things had changed so much. It was a ride down memory lane trying to remember who had lived where, but the forest has really taken over everything. You can't even see the foundations of the houses any more.
I stopped several times along 460 on the way home to get some landscapes and a few oddities that were on the roadside.
Day 6/7 - Richmond to Durham, NC & Home Again
It was delightful meeting the staff of the Durham Smiles Center and photographing the office, staff and doctors. Wish I had been able to get a photo of the office chipmunk, but he was just a bit too swift for me. He was darling sitting on the rocks outside the office. Maybe next time. I returned the next day to complete the photo shoot with a couple of additional staff members.
The trip home was quite leisurely. The few of places that I did stop were along the back roads of North Carolina and just over the Virginia state line. I ran across an abandon railroad track - it is truly strange to see trees growing up between the rails.
I got back in plenty of time to get prepared for my return to work.