Saturday, October 8, 2016

Road Trip out West Day 1: West Virginia

Catching the sunrise
Day one of our westward journey started at 4am on the premise that I just wanted to get far, far away from the busy East Coast. Some nervousness was felt due to our transportation method, the reliable old RX7. It has never really let me down, but had been having some disagreements with traffic congestion, hence the early start to remove any chance of morning traffic in the tristate area, especially through NYC. The car was fueled up, packed up and smooth sailing it was from the get go. The long morning drive in overcast weather led us right out of Connecticut, across the Hudson into New York, over the top of New Jersey, through Pennsylvania, even nipping over Maryland and into Virginia all without making a stop, turn or barely changing gear. A quite exhausting morning of driving, but we were achieving what we set out to. 

Now, by the afternoon, I was about sick of driving in a straight line and not seeing anything of value. Although a time through the rolling hills of Pennsylvania was more scenic than the rest, with lush green hills and mountainous clouds wisping over the tops and thick fog as we dropped down into valleys. With this inspiration that maybe we should aim to see something along the route, Amy navigated us on a more scenic route via the Seneca Rocks State Park in West Virginia. A beautiful series of local roads sent us climbing up and over the Appalachian Mountains, that we had been sidelining, and barreled us into the back woods of Blue Grass Country. Right at this time, the heavens opened up, and the rain came down. It felt as if it matched the mood of where we had just entered, as the area was green, lush with a tropical feel. We passed very little on the back roads, just beautiful winding roads following valley rivers. The only glimpse of life was ramshackle houses and cabins that darted by in the woods. 

Walking to view the Seneca Rocks
At the State Park, a beautiful view waited for us hidden behind low clouds. The visitors centre was great with displays of the rugged area and with a break in weather, we made a short walk in the forest. Im not sure if it was that I felt like I had just escaped the crippling wretches of the cluster of Connecticut or if it truly was but that forest felt as wild of a place I had ever been, with the freshest air I had ever breathed. At that very moment I felt so relaxed, so fresh, so free and relieved. Breaking from the clouds for a moment, the Seneca Rocks appeared. Large, buttressing rocks poking from the forest, a haven for climbers and bird watchers. A quick photo shoot in the car park and we continued on some more local roads then back to the conveyor belt of the US Interstate System. 

Seneca Rocks
Picking out a KOA or 'Kampground of America' on the map, we made it most the way across West Virginia and just before sunset made it to our destination. Unfortunately, a local pumpkin festival ensured that the campsite was completely full, but the ladies there pointed us 45 mins further into our eighth state of the day, Kentucky and the next available KOA. Setting up the tent in the dark, after being on the go for 15+ hours, I was happy to lie in the tent with my head poking out, looking out at the vast night sky, something I had missed for so long. 

The RX7 in West Virginia (Seneca Rocks are behind some clouds)

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