Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back at our home park: Wal-Mart

Well, we finished up another week at the Red Cross, bringing our total since we started last October to just over 18 weeks (not counting another three weeks of training).  We still have a full month before our service anniversary, so to speak, and the bulk of hurricane season is still ahead of us, so we may yet rack up some more time in the saddle.

We enjoyed our time at the Disaster Operations Center.  It was an easy shift, since Chris fizzled out, and we ended up supporting the floods in El Paso and some additional preparedness work in Baton Rouge.  And we are very glad to now be able to put faces to some of the names and voices we've heard while out in the field, and to get a good overview of how National Headquarters supports the relief operations.

We wrapped up yesterday evening, dropped off our rental car at Reagan airport, and took the Metro back out to Merrifield.  The shuttle to JP had already quit running, so we ended up on a Fairfax County bus for the final leg back to the coach.  This morning we finished packing up, and rolled out of our gravel digs (courtesy of the county school system) around 9:30.

Our route today brought us down US-29, variously known as the Seminole Trail, the James Madison highway, and the 29th Infantry Highway.   This route passes near quite a few important Civil War battlefields, including Manassas/Bull Run, Antietam, and Appomatox, and we were sorry we did not have time to stop.  We also passed through Danville, Virginia site of the famous 1903 train wreck immortalized in the song Wreck of the Old 97, and the furniture capital of America, High Point/Thomasville, North Carolina.  Again we were sorry time did not permit any stops.

US-29 becomes co-linear with I-85 in Greensboro, and the two roads drift together and apart on and off from there south.  We thought Greensboro too early to stop, so we looked at Wal-Marts in High Point, Lexington, and Salisbury.  High Point does not permit overnights, according to our guide, so we set our sights on Lexington.  We scoped out the store (which we had to track down, since it had moved from our mapped location), but our gut told us it was not a good place for a stop, so we continued south to where we are now, the brand new super-center in Salisbury (map).  Several decent restaurants are an easy walk from here, and we ended up having dinner at O'Charleys, a new experience for us which we judged to be surprisingly good.

After dinner we loaded up on groceries for the week, and we'll be on our way first thing in the morning to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, about 30 miles south of here, to make our check-in time for the FMCA rally.

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