Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THREE STATES IN FIVE HOURS

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Before leaving Tygart Lake State Park yesterday morning, I went for a short walk. Met a pair of ducks.DSC06400 (Copy)

Couldn't get them in the same photo without missing the head or half the body of one bird.
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West Virginia might not spend much on their road maintenance in the mountains, but they are working to protect their wilderness.
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Not only the emerald borer that attacks ash trees, but the Asian Long Horned Beetle attacks all hardwood trees. It is very sad. The area we are driving through on Highway 50 is said to be the most remote area left in the East.
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Perhaps the bad roads are deliberate, to keep traffic down. You may laugh but I actually encountered that philosophy in a nature area of Costa Rica where the last bastion of certain hummingbirds and butterflies  survive. They don't want the roads to be welcoming.
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Here is an identifier for the Emerald Ash Borer. A metallic green sheen to its wings.
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We drove back through Grafton with its hilly, narrow roads. This is how you build a garage or car port when you live on the down-hill side of the road. We tried to find the memorial that states that Grafton West Virginia was the first place that celebrated Mother's Day. But we must have whizzed right by it.
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Highway 50 down and up through this part of the Appalachian Mountains was a rough drive. We saw many of these signs, counting down how many more miles you have of 9% grade. DSC06434 (Copy)

There was good signage here to help you identify pull outs. From West Virginia, we drove through eight miles of Maryland, then back into West Virginia. Then on to Winchester, Virginia. The road knows the way to carry our sleigh...
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I like adventurous roads like this one, but in my car, not with a motor home. The scenery is beautiful. The driver doesn't get much of a chance to enjoy it.
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At one point the speed limit was down to 15 miles per hour. For a comparison, this was like driving the California Grapevine out of Bakersfield before it got "fixed", only longer and with less traffic.
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The road only rises to 3,095 feet, but it gets down to 1600 and then takes you back up again. If you decide to travel Highway 50, you need to know what you are in for.
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We planned to spend the night in Romney where there was two choices, a Moose and an American Legion. The parking lot at the Legion was miniscule, on a narrow one-way street. They sent us to the Moose with a bigger lot. It was small, steep and uneven.  They directed us to a truck stop on a hilltop on the edge of town. We ate lunch there and debated the suitability of the lot.  About two hours later, feeling rested, Jim said, " let's go to Winchester."
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By four o'clock, we were sitting in the shade of a lovely copse of trees at a huge Moose Club in Winchester, Virginia.

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