Goodbye, Holly Haven! We had a lovely stay, but it was time to head for home.
We did not go back to the festival on Sunday. Our plan was to sleep in, eat a leisurely breakfast, then drive home by a different route.
We wanted to try Route 23, up through Virginia and into Kentucky and then home via Route 119. Larry's twin sister lives in Pikeville, and this route would take us right by her house. And it looked like it might be shorter.
Boy. I should know better than to think that any route through the mountains will be fast. We found out where the road to the Carter Fold was, that we were very near Natural Tunnel State Park and the Cumberland Gap. All reasons for a return trip. But not a fast road by any stretch.
The beginning of the trip was promising but we were soon mired down by 55mph speeds. We got off the main road to drive through Big Stone Gap, setting for one of my favorite books, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox, and also for Adriana Trigiani's series that began with her book Big Stone Gap.
There honestly wasn't much to see. This is a struggling part of Virginia, seems like it's almost forgotten in comparison to the rest of the state. The little town of Appalachia is just north of Big Stone Gap, and it's almost like stepping back in time to drive through there. A quick lunch and we got back on the four-lane, trying to make up lost time.
Welcome to Kentucky--strip mines greet us at the border. A beautiful state, this section is being mined heavily and much of its beauty will be lost.
We made a short stop at Mary and Bob's in Pikeville, and headed home. I convinced Larry to stop in Williamson so I could take a picture of the Coal House, a little building constructed entirely of coal.
After 8 hours on the road, we pulled into our own driveway. Ah, the luxury of being home again!