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Roanoke, VA
Miles Today: 244.8
Total Miles: 1574.3
Days on the Road: 74

Campgrounds Attempted: 2
Campgrounds Gated: 2
Rest Stops: 4
Smells Like: Burning Oil

Yet Another Closed Campground
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Surrender Dorothy
N 37°15.938 W 79°56.191
Monday, April 14, 2003 - Day 74

They're going to be coming fast and furious from now on, so pay attention. If you haven't been here in a while, click the yesterday link; it might actually be yesterday and not a week ago. Time to form new habits, for us and for you. It begins, again, and again. And again.

Our longest mileage day so far, as far as we can recall, and no major catastrophes. When the temperature gauge hits 260°, it's time for a little break. It's good for us. We're in no hurry.

Setting out from Free Union, we headed right for the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway and turned left. Our intention is to drive the whole thing, though we've already missed about 20 miles due to a detour to Appomattox Courthouse, site of Lee's surrender to Grant. It was worth the miles to see one of those places that wouldn't even be a dot on a map if it hadn't just happened to be where the Confederates ran out of steam. Did you know: The house where the surrender was signed belonged to Wilmer McLean, who had moved from Manassas, Virginia a couple years earlier to escape the war, one of the first battles of which had been fought on his front lawn.

Enough history, we got back on the road, city folk in a country world. Case in point: Running on fumes, we pulled up to one gas pump at a small store but it turned out they were just for show, no gas. Convenient. Down the road was a real gas station and it was there that we met, well let's call him Jethro, sidling into the store gripping the little legs of a giant dead turkey. After walking into the store, he did think better and decide to leave the bird outside. As Liz snapped a photo, she asked what it was. He laughed and told her it was a turkey. "Where are you folks from?" "New York City" "Hey, we got some city folks out here! Asked me if this was a turkey!" What can we say, we didn't recognize it without the cranberry sauce. Here's Jethro now. Say hi Jethro.

We had planned to camp tonight, and most every night, but alas nearly all the campgrounds around here are still closed. Seems we're a bit early for summer, and the parks service doesn't see fit to oblige slightly-off-season campers. Damn. Another hotel. We're quickly making up for all of those free nights at Anthony's relatives.

Tomorrow: more of the same.

Lonely Road

The room where The Civil War ended

It gets nutty waiting for the car to cool down
more photos in the archives »

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yesterday tomorrow