Monday, November 17, 2008

The road less traveled

We are at the Wal-Mart in Salem, Virginia (map), just west of Roanoke.

We had set Roanoke as our goal yesterday, and were heading for the Elks lodge there, which our guide indicted as having RV space in the parking lot. However, as we rolled into Salem we passed Mama Maria's Italian restaurant, which caught our interest, and then spotted this Wal-Mart just two doors down. Being only eight miles shy of our target, we decided to stay here and give Mama Maria's a try (it was quite good). Plentiful independent, family-run Italian joints are some of the few things that we like about the east.

We've come only 130 miles or so since our stop at the Wal-Mart in Bristol. That would have been just over two hours on I-81, but it was nearly twice that on the old highway, US-11. The last few times we've been through this way, we've been in too much of a hurry to take the blue highways (and haste makes waste -- we knocked part of the satellite dish off the roof on a low overpass on I-81 our last time through). So we were happy to finally take the slow road, and pass through the quaint downtowns of a dozen or so communities, including some that the freeway bypasses altogether, such as Pulaski, Dublin, and New River.

We've gotten word this morning that the Red Cross is opening three national relief operations in California for the wildfires there. We've reported our position to the Disaster Operations Center, informing them that there is really no way we could be in California in time to help open the operations -- we're a good 4-5 days out. Also, this distance is outside the range of what they will reimburse. The fires are a long way from contained, and it's not clear whether these will be three-week operations, or something much longer.

Until we hear otherwise, we are continuing our slow roll towards the scooter awaiting me in Maryland. If the weather (and the Red Cross) cooperates, we will try to push north from there and get in some family time for Thanksgiving.


  1. I love the idea of slow travel on the back highways. I love passing through (rather than around) the towns, and moving slowly enough to stop when something catches my interest.

    I have not yet had the time and money to travel like that very much, but it is a lifestyle (full or part time) that draws me.

    Soon, hopefully. Even if I can just get on the road part of the time. I love the little highways and byways.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure, for those times I cannot follow the road less traveled.


  2. Thanks for the comment, Michael, and we look forward to seeing you out here on the road.


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