Virginia’s road signage is a strange beast.Â When crossing through more rural areas there seem to be a lot of reminder signs like “two way traffic on this road” and a secondary set of “No Passing Zone” signs in areas without dashed center lines.Â Additionally, there seemed to be a lot of signs warning about upcoming traffic control devices like warning signs for stop signs as well as signs for traffic lights even when the sign and the control device were both say on the downward side of hill.Â This may be an attempt to keep the department of Public Works busy, but I hear that’s done by planting poppies in the median and then tilling and replanting them each year.
Entering West Virginia proved much more aesthetically pleasing than I thought.Â Having seen Pennsylvania’s coal regions, I thought West Virginia’s would be the same but there was a marked lack of windblast hellscape.Â Turns out that West Virginia merely does a better job of hiding it.Â My host in WV was Chris Dodds/LiquidChicken and I got to meet his wife who sadly was not the chosen subject of the only well-lit, reasonably composed picture I got of her.
Chris was the first person I met that I didn’t really know much about except for rough information about his past.
I’d never heard him talk and the combination of intelligence and an Oklahoma accent was new to me.Â But, as I learned in college, class is a far bigger determiner of mannerisms than region or ethnicity.Â Proof:
We ate dinner at O’Charlies, a presentable chain that was the first of many locations I found to have Diet Mountain Dew on tap.Â I’ve almost never encountered this in a restaurant setting and failed to pace myself for the fact that I’d eventually need to use a bathroom that wasn’t mine.Â Chris’s has three entrances so I felt like I was going into lockdown in a panic room.Â The urgency was exacerbated by him initially giving me directions to his bathroom that ended in a coat closet.Â He nearly became the owner of a brown coat.
My next stop was in Florida which was a bit more than I could safely drive in a night and since few of the hotel billboards in the Carolina’s seem to list price, I had to do the safest thing I could: Drive past a sign for an upcoming hotel complex, go to the mobile version of hotels.com to check prices and stop at the first one under 50 dollars that offered free wifi.Â I went through this cycle three times before stopping at 1 AM at a Rodeway Inn which was staffed entirely by Indian Americans and a slightly more presentable version of the Simpson’s crazy cat lady.Â The web access was insufferable; 300kbps should not qualify as “High Speed”.