GOING TO EXTREMES: VIRGINIA

It’s been a little while since I voyaged outside of the D.C. metro area (well, at least as much as this blog is concerned – I actually went out to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware last weekend, so there).

In planning the next random weekendroady voyage, I’ve set out to include a rather “do-able” day trip itinerary that can knock a few interesting things off my list.

Remember when I traversed to the sparsely populated Lee County, VA earlier this month? In doing so I entered the extreme western territory of the state of Virginia and positioned my trusty and steadfast 2001 red Ford Focus in the Iron Furnace parking lot that would appear to be apart of the town of Cumberland Gap, TN – except its not – it’s in Virginia, and it’s the last slab of asphalt in the Old Dominion. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to stop and take the trail to the tri-point marker between Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia – so while my car reached the most extreme point of driving goodness in VA, my feet didn’t.

That won’t stop me from going north. Where? Well, the plan would be to head to this spot (see below) in Cacapon State Park.

You see, that little jut is the northernmost spot in Virginia. From what I gather, there is a lookout tower and, well, a satellite tower, and that might be it. Google Maps also shows the border of the Cacapon park going into Virginia territory. I can’t imagine a West Virginia “state park” is still that case on the Virginia side…but perhaps the park’s road access there is leased upon agreement. I e-mailed someone with Cacapon to find out (UPDATE – The access to the radio towers in Virginia proper is easiest down through the state park road. The territory is understandably misconstrued as state park territory since the access road belongs to Cacapon).

Now, I’m all about strange boundaries, extreme points and other geo-randomness but this isn’t the only reason for such a trip!

1) I’d likely plot a pass through Shockeysville, VA – the northernmost community in the state (to go with Gibson Station, VA – the westernmost).

2) I might try for a record (within the restraints of legal speed limits) for the fastest trip consisting of four states (not counting walking around the four corners border monument). From Virginia Rt. 522 out of Reynolds Store (another strange name for a community) one can drive through the “necks” of West Virginia and Maryland and make it to Pennsylvania in 22 minutes or so (according to our friend, Google). This is a ridiculous thought and I just might try it.

3) A trip to Berkeley Springs, WV. A quirky, historic town with a castle and George Washington’s bathtub.

4) This may have to wait for my other “planned” idea – a trip to the westernmost part of Maryland (and the southwesternmost) and on to the Fairfax Stone State Park in West Virginia – which shares the title of  smallest state park in the state.

I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be heading out – maybe this weekend, maybe next.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Yahoo! Sports reported on a man trying to play hockey in all 50 states (and 10 provinces). I immediately thought how the heck could he be leaving out the eight combined territories between the two countries!?! In all seriousness, Jeff Keacher has embarked on a very ambitious road trip (which he’s a little less than halfway through) which I’ll be keeping my eye on (you can follow his blog here). His Montana stop was at the Centennial Ice Arena in Billings, Montana – the home ice for the Billings Bulls junior hockey team and where I used to sit perched above the ice freezing and covering games for the Billings Gazette.

I’m shocked the only state he couldn’t find a hockey game was North Dakota – WOW. He needs to get to Grand Forks, pronto…

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