Monday, October 8, 2012

Mist in the Mountains

It was a pretty day, although a rainy one.  A light rain, nothing like a gully washer.  Just a sweet slow drizzle.  I'm sure the landowners loved every drop.  We drove through Kentucky and ended in the mountains of Virginia.  I mean way way away from the city Virginia.  So far out that they didn't see the need to post a sign welcoming the drivers to Virginia. 

We drove through coal mining areas for miles on end.  Saw where the black ore is mined and chopped and stored to be ready to dump into coal cars of waiting trains.  I would imagine most of the people in these mountains are in some way associated with the coal mining industry.  There was a stream that flowed adjacent to the road and we zipped along at a good speed on the surprisingly straight road.  There are houses and businesses all along the highway, even a Wal-Mart, drug stores, medical offices, restaurants, etc. so these people have quite an access to most of anything they could want.  There are homes nearly filling every available foot of land between the stream, railroad tracks, roadway, and businesses which doesn't leave much of the natural look for photographers.  Of course Sweetz wasn't going to stop to let me take any pictures either.  I volunteered to drive today but he wasn't about to give up the steering wheel.  He did finally stop a couple of times -- like once in a parking lot with a hundred wires and power poles!  Sigh.

In Winchester we stopped to visit in a local museum which was quite interesting although they have twice as much memorabilia than they have room to present it.  But we still enjoyed the Hatfield/McCoy feud memorabilia, civil war mementos, and coal mining objects.  After lunch we even looked through a couple of gift/craft shops but nothing struck us enough to want to let loose of our money. 

We tried to check out Natural Bridge in Kentucky (yes Kentucky - not the one in Virginia), but it began raining relatively hard just as we drove in the parking lot, so we decided we would skip that stop on this trip.  Perhaps we can return sometime to see this natural phenomenon. 

Supper was a delicious chicken parmesan dinner at a local restaurant.  Great food, nice waitress, convenient location.  Couldn't eat it all either.  HUGE servings.  And now we're settled in our motel room on what is expected to be the last night of our trip.  Our driveway should be in our sights tomorrow.  Will be a bitter/sweet moment.  Nice trip, but nice to be home too.  We are already talking about another trip...maybe Texas this time. 

Our good friend had a stress test before we left on our trip a couple of weeks ago and it was reported to be abnormal.  Then he had another one and it was also reported abnormal/inconclusive.  A surgical procedure was scheduled for stent placement but it didn't go well, so he had bypass surgery today.  Had a call from another friend to find out that the surgery was successful and he is resting in ICU.  So thankful for this answer to prayer and hoping he continues to do well for many many years. 

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