We left Baltimore this morning at about 9.15am. There was torrential rain and driving was tiring. We did not make good time at all in the beginning. I was tired, aching and the idea of being in the car for 8 hours was not making me feel good. 2 hours into the journey we'd made it onto 81 and were heading South West. I was lagging and decided to pull over for a snickers bar (purely medicinal) and a diet coke. This made me feel better. When we saw signs for West Virgina I decided to play a bit of John Denver. A good sing along to country roads made me feel much better. We made it to Roanoke for lunch which was just over 1/2 was there. Luckily after lunch i got a new burst of energy. The road was clear and we made good headway. I listened to some Spanish learning tapes (this sent Dad to sleep!). We had a sing along to my Doris Day CD and then by 5ish we started to find ourselves in the middle of the Blue ridge Mountains. Very majestic - and yes kind of Blue. Rolling off into the distance, like big waves. We eventually reached the Ashville area at around 6.30 under the shadow of the Smokey Mountains. Apparently 6000ft tall - pretty impressive. I believe that they are called the Smokey Mountains because the mist raising off the trees looks like smoke. The car labored up some of the inclines and on the declines there were runaway truck stops - which were gravelled off ramps, which looked like ski jumps designed to stop trucks with break failure. My car liked these down hills much better than the climbs. After a grueling drive under the awesome gaze of the Smokey mountains, my Dad said 'now wasn't this worth the extra drive', EXTRA DRIVE - I hadn't known I was partaking in any type of sight seeing detour. Still with the end in sight I conceded that the views were spectacular and decided not to ask what this jaunt had cost us in terms of time. I remember as a child being driven round the English countryside for hours in search of druid standing stones at my dad's behest and made a mental note to take more care to check his proposed route tomorrow. Here are some pictures we took from a scenic view which are nowhere as spectacular as some of the views we saw:
I'm now lying on my bed in the Mountain View Inn in Asheville. It is almost 9pm and I intend to have a hot shower and go to sleep. Asheville's music scene is an experience my life is going to have to do without. My dad has said that the drives after today will be 6 hours tops. This is welcome news and I believe that the drive tomorrow will be around 4-5 hours. Well 300 miles which I can probably do in about 3 1/2.
States Driven Through Today: