Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pennsylvania To West Virginia!!

Hmmm ... what can I say ... I guess it all can't be good!!  We are in Charleston West Virginia, and it was a day of tests and challenges, to say the least!!  Dead batteries, road construction, steepest hills I've ever driven, broken car light connection, damaged tow bar, BEARS ... you name it, it happened today!!

First thing in the morning, Tom's engine battery was dead and needed to be jumped.  As soon as we get to "someplace", he'll pick up a couple new ones.  The roads today were narrow ... and funny thing about  Pennsylvania to West Virginia ... all the roads are either going uphill or downhill.  There's no in-between!!  When I saw the sign before this one, saying "Notice to Truckers"  ... "Dangerous Road Ahead", I almost turned around.  This was the second sign ... Dangerous Mountain!!  Holy Cow!!!
This was the sign of no return.  I was trying to keep my cool since there was a big tanker truck behind me.  "Steep grade" doesn't do it justice, more like Suicide Hill!!  I had to go down in second gear (I don't think I have a LOWER one) with my foot on the brake every 15 seconds or so.  This was definitely a brake killer!!
As we crested the top, you couldn't even see the road.  Check out all the black marks and we haven't even gone 500 feet!!!  Sorry there aren't more pictures, but I really had to concentrate on this one!!
We made it to the bottom of that hill, but literally for 5 hours we drove DOWNHILL!!  Maybe a few minor ups, but mostly DOWN!!
Right across the West Virginia border we hit the toll booth.  This one was crazy!!  I never did see anything that gave you the amount ... Barbara told me over the radio that it was $4.50 and they only accept fives and ones.  How could THAT be??  I've got my $20 bill, they can give me change.  Not in West Virginia!!  At THIS toll booth, you have to pull close enough to the machine to put your money in a slot.  Of course I clipped my mirror on the plastic container for change (no damage), and the machine wouldn't take my bills, after I had scrambled for my wallet and grabbed all the ones I could find.  I finally had to push the button for the attendant, who was running back and forth between three booths, trying to help people.  I'd sure hate to have HER job!!  She finally got it to take my money in the lower "car" slot and tried to fix my mirror, but I still had to stop and adjust it.
More downhill until we finally turned off towards the Elks Lodge.  EXCEPT, it's a 180 degree turn up a VERY steep incline.  We both drug our tow bars for about 10 feet, before trying to make the next hairpin turn on a too-steep incline.  Tom didn't make it.  I didn't dare get out of my rig for fear it would roll off down the mountain!!  
They finally got their jeep unhooked and Tom was able to back up and make the corner.  I didn't make it either, so Barbara had me back up a little, both of us missing the building by inches before climbing to the top of the hill.  When I unhooked my jeep, I discovered the hitch had cut the light connection to the jeep plugin ... sliced it right in half and damaged one of the big tow bar bolts.  An hour later, between the three of us, we got a repair made that isn't exactly like new, but when we hooked it up, it worked.  Hopefully it will still work this morning when we try to get out of here!!!  Not to mention the Elks Lodge member who said don't let your dogs loose under any circumstances, because we have a lot of bears here!!  Gee ... more to stress out about!!!

We drove to Charleston for dinner and ended up at a Sushi House with great food.  I was a little concerned when we paid our bill, and saw their concealed weapons permit was hanging on the wall.  My, what a nice neighborhood ... and Barbara wants to get a geocache while we're here.  We found one a couple of blocks away, that was the only redeeming factor of the day.  It was in the middle of a townhouse complex with ten units, each an amazing 2200 square feet, probably the highest priced one was $80,000.  Can you believe it???  As you walk the center concrete path, this is what you see ... a great little piece of paradise!!
People sitting on their porches welcomed us in.  Turns out Sean and his wife were the ones who set the geocache.  The entire one block length is chock full of flowers and trees with market lights and nice folks.  John took it upon himself to give us the grand tour and introduce everyone from radio personalities to authors to oil painting artists.  Built in 1912 as rentals for the working class, they are just beautiful, some with stained glass windows.  Most, if not all of the residents have either cats or dogs, all of which were outside too!!   Everyone gathered around as we explained what geocaching was and why we were here from California.  By the time we left, it was a party!!!
Sean had these growing in his little front yard ... oak leaf hydrangea.  I've never seen anything like it! So thanks to Sean, John and the two kitties for making our day!!  
I'm hoping somewhere down the road to get my tow bar checked out and a new light cord installed ... maybe when Tom gets his new batteries!!  Yes, I know ... it's an adventure!!  Barbara says this is the part she likes best!  Personally, I'd rather have the adventure WITHOUT all the repairs!!  That's possible, right?????  Thank you Tom for teaching me another new skill!!  Now where's the nearest hardware store ... I need some more repair supplies and bear repellant!!

No comments:

Post a Comment