(Is the Weekend Roady in your area this week? Where could he be? Heck, he could be anywhere… The Roady Roadside Update tracks his latest…um…tracks)
I figured I’d chime in with a little update on my whereabouts this past weekend. I shuffled off to Boone, North Carolina in the far northwestern corner of the Carolinas, buried in the heart of bluegrass music scene, the mountains of Appalachia and the windiest roads this side of the Blue Ridge Parkway (oh wait, the Blue Ridge Parkway ain’t all that far from here – stress on the “ain’t” for faux localization).
The reasoning behind driving seven hours down from the D.C. area and then back on Sunday? Well, that would be the Saturday night clash between traditional FCS powers Appalachian State (noted by many for its historical upset of Michigan in 2007) and the Montana Grizzlies (a team I blogged about while working the sports desk at the Billings Gazette for a number of years). If you’ve been following my blog, you might remember that just over a year ago I made the trek to Knoxville, Tennesee to visit one of the largest stadiums in the U.S., Neyland Stadium and witnessed my Montana boys get whipped pretty badly. I was on the sidelines for this one, helping to cover the game for my friends back at the Gazette. Check out this video on ESPN where you can clearly see me in the blue sweatshirt with my little camera.
I wish I could have stayed in Boone (and the general area) a little longer. Heck, I didn’t even have time to check out the Parkway (I drove right underneath one of the historic stone overpasses as I wound my way down one of the mountains). I made sure to tally a few new Virginia locales as I march toward checking off a visit to every notable town or city in the Commonwealth. I finally made it to Danville, where some say the southernmost point of the state’s slightly curved southern border exists just to the right of the on-ramp onto the Danville Expressway (I’m still trying to find an answer to this). From there I caught a quick lunch at the South Boston Sheetz station (man, I love Sheetz, talk about good road trippin’ food). After that I visited the real Farmville, a quaint village smack dab in Central VA.
Here’s a link to my post on the Billings Gazette‘s Cat-Griz Insider blog regarding the Appalachian State-Montana game. Apparently I’m bad luck for the Griz, who are now 0-2 when I travel down to see them.
I only took a few photos while passing through Southcentral Virginia (is that a proper descriptor?). Here’s a shot from each stop…What’s left of Virginia for me now? Well, as much as I’ve driven by the Blacksburg exit (three times now), I really need to go through there. Roanoke too, as I’ve only hit up a gas station or two off of the interstate. I’ve also never been to Lynchburg. I’ve been through the Hampton Roads area, but never got to the beaches of Virginia Beach. A few more remote locales: while I’ve visited the furthest spit of Virginia territory to the west, the northern area of that tract of land (consisting of towns like Tazewell, Richlands, Grundy, Wise, etc… have been elusive and I’m not sure I’m going to get there anytime soon). I also haven’t done well with the coastal side, be it on the rather remote peninsulas on the Chesapeake (I’m missing those with Maryland as well) or the “va” in the Delmarva peninsula. I do plan to cross off that last one soon as I’m planning a day trip to at least Chincoteague Island in two weeks.
One of my closest friends lives in Roanoke now, so that’s on my list, too. Like you, I’ve driven through the area, but was on my way to Harrisonburg and Charlottesville from where I was living in Baton Rouge at the time. She came out for her first visit to Montana last year and we had a great time seeing the sights around here.
Charlottesville is an area I’d like to get back too. We actually made it out to Monticello but only so far as the visitor center – though I LOVED Michie Tavern! Roanoke and Blacksburg are supposed to be quite stunning from what I here, but the interstate drive through there shows no hints of it really…so I hope people aren’t just pulling my leg.