Mileage: 340 miles
Route taken: Route 50 west to Highway 522 north to Interstate 68 to Highway 219 south to Highway 33 west to Interstate 79 south exit at
It was the first wrong turn I have made on this trip and I was surprised it didn’t come sooner.
Not that it mattered, it was only a momentary delay and actually proved to provide some interesting scenery.
Instead of continuing west, I was unintentionally headed north and realized it until I was nearly at the West Virginia/Maryland border.
No problem, I stopped for gas at
It skirted to the west of the
When I reached
The town of
Of the three people working at the station, no one had even heard of the town, much less knew where it was. They were as helpful as possible, one guy even called a friend who worked for the post office, but to no avail. I thanked them and went on down the street.
A West Virginia State Police Office was on my right, so I pulled in figuring someone there could help.
Two troopers and a dispatcher later, the town was found, but getting me there took a bit of work. The one trooper, who had lived there his whole life found the vicinity after two attempts and gave me directions.
Off I went and the second set of directions were correct, but
with no sign for the town of
I don’t blame the officers, it was not exactly a bustling town, but it did point to a disturbing trend I have seen as I go across the country.
No one seems to know anything about outside of their town. This wasn’t the first time I have asked for directions, but getting people to tell me even basic information, has proven difficult.
When I was in
It isn’t just directions, but basic travel questions. If
someone asked me how far it was to
When I query about distances between towns, the reply is usually one of uncertainty.
I don’t want exact mileage, and have said as much, but even giving me rough estimates proves to be a challenge.
It puzzles me and makes wonder why I am getting so many blank stares when I ask these questions. If I was getting erroneous information, I wouldn’t care, but it is the ignorance that is frustrating.
Do people not care about the area they live in? Are they not able to travel around where the live? Has their world not expanded beyond their town? Am I asking the wrong people?
It gave me something to ponder as I headed towards
He told me he thought it was about an hour. It was getting close to dark, but if I only had sixty miles, especially on an interstate, I could make it with some daylight remaining.
I could have gone north to
But I wanted to head south, so that is the direction I pointed Libertad.
The first mileage sign I came across was about five miles
down the highway and knew I was in trouble. I was 92 miles from
Here is where retreating would have been the prudent, not to mention, intelligent decision to make.
Of course my stubbornness overruled logic and I pressed on southward.
The light disappeared quickly, even though I was speeding to try and keep it in the sky as long as possible. The sunglasses were starting to become a problem, but taking them off meant no eye protection and the wind at 80 mph makes riding without them impossible.
I rode for another 20 miles in semi darkness and when I saw a rest stop, pulled in to switch eyewear. I have amber colored glasses that are used for night, so I put those on. It is the first time I have needed them in a month of riding.
I don’t like riding at dark. There are way too many variables I can’t control. Objects in the road I can’t see, a pothole that I can fall into, drivers can’t see me even more at night, and then there is the deer.
Deer is the ultimate danger at night. They come out and jump in front of cars for no logical reason. The terrify me.
So for the remaining 53 miles I drove with my head on a swivel and gripping the handlebars with clenched fists. The woods were on both sides, the possibility of deer was there.
The later you stay out on the road the better the chance of seeing them. I had a sliver of light, and I wanted to take advantage of it as long as I could.
Traffic was light and I straddled the center line, giving me better chance of avoiding animals and potholes. The road was relatively smooth and speeding wasn’t as dangerous as it could have been.
I knew if I could get to about 20 miles from the city the woods would disappear and my anxiety level would drop substantially.
Nothing jumped out at me and I saw the exit for