Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Road Trip: Hinton, West Virginia

This weekend I knew I needed to finish my taxes. I've put it off this long just because I hate it. But this is crunch time and it needed to be done. I also wanted to go to Hinton again to the open mic evening at Chestnut Revival Coffeehouse. I figured if I was a good girl and kept my nose to the grindstone I could get the taxes done and we could go to Hinton in the evening.

So that's what I did. Got all the figuring done, didn't do the final copy but I figured that was a piece of cake. About the time we decided to leave for Hinton (about 2 1/2hours downstate) the heavens decided to open up. We were undeterred, even by the dire warnings on the radio. Drive slower, we reasoned, take our time and it will be okay. Driving through Charleston we passed this van, plastered with petals. I wonder if the driver knew how beautiful his van looked?

The rain really came down in earnest as we entered the turnpike. Anyone familiar with the WV turnpike knows it's a treacherous road. But it is also beautiful:

Along the way we saw this little waterfall, a result of the heavy rains:

If you click to make this larger you can see the redbuds in bloom in the lower front of the photo. They're ahead of us; no redbuds here yet. This was just one of many pretty falls we saw along the way.

It got a little trickier when we got off the turnpike and on to Rte 20 South. This is one of West Virginia's most beautiful and trickiest roads. It travels the length of the state and there are only a few sections I have not driven. This part, from the interstate into Hinton, follows the Sandstone River. The fog was intense, but oh so pretty:

And then there are the views:

No photos of the parts of the drive where there were rocks and debris and water across the road, and none of the open mic session--sometimes the doing gets in the way of the watching. But here's what really struck me: after driving through such weather and scenery, we arrive at a place many miles from home, walk in and see...20 people in a room, the smell of good coffee filling the air, music and voices...and 4 people we know! That's West Virginia for you: no matter where you go, there is someone you know waiting to say hello.

It was a great evening. We heard country, we heard poetry, we heard original music, we heard blues and even medieval. We hugged friends, made new friends, reconnected with old friends. I hated to leave. But those tax forms were waiting and the deadline is getting close, so by 10pm we were on the road to home.

Next time though, we'll have time to be there longer. We'll leave earlier, explore the town and the abandoned railroad buildings and the rivers (there are three mighty Appalachian rivers that converge here--the Sandstone, the New and the Bluestone). We'll stay for the entire evening at the coffeehouse. Maybe we'll camp out at a friend's place. Then we'll meander home up Route 20, exploring byways as we go. That's all for next time. This time? It was just as much as we needed to get us to that next time.



Granny Sue -- you are brave souls to drive in such weather. but you were rewarded immensely. -- barbara

Nance said...

what beautiful sights you saw today and what great photos you shared. I do hope that next time you can stay for the entire evening & camp out in a friend's driveway. Wish I was there! : )

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

I'm glad you had a good time dispite the weather being so nasty..

Granny Sue said...

When I see the fog hanging in the hills like that, it's easy to understand why ghost stories abound here. It was a beautiful drive, if a bit tricky. We saw not even one wreck, a testament to everyone paying attention and slowing down.

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