DAY 4: Man, West Virginia
Miles traveled so far: 680
States visited so far: 3
Weather: 45, rainy
That’s me feeding a deer. Impossible, you say! Nope, it is indeed real.
Yesterday morning I went through a couple of backwards little towns in West Virginia, but I need to jump ahead to the afternoon. I visited my friend Donn, a former Pittsburgher now living way back in the hills of West Virginia near the Kentucky border. It’s so far out there that his street doesn’t even have a name – you couldn’t Mapquest it if you tried.
I pulled into his driveway and saw his dad petting a deer. I thought I was seeing things. Turns out it’s a 1-year old deer whose mom died on the freeway last summer when it was a baby. It almost starved to death when this family took it in and began raising it. It’s mostly blind and it stays in their yard. It has become domesticated. Her name is Beeper and she likes grapes. Fascinating!
Donn took me to this old time curbside diner which boasts the world’s oldest barhop, who’s apparently in her 80s and has worked there more than 50 years. Unfortunately for us she was off on this day. But I enjoyed the place’s old school charm. Donn wanted to order the chicken gizzards, but they were out, which sucks because I wanted to witness someone actually eating gizzards. I got a cheeseburger and a pineapple milkshake.
They have a sign on their marquee: “Chicken in the Box To Go in the Fingers Here.” Can anyone make sense of this?
We also went to a nearby park, which had a museum, which for some reason contained 19th century looking dolls.
I got to sleep in an actual bed for a night. It was a great visit and it was nice to have some social interaction since the first couple of days were largely solo endeavors. Thank you Donn!
Now, back the morning’s events. I passed through a few small towns in West Virginia nestled in between the mountains. Oceana was a town surrounded on all sides by hills. They have a few restaurants, one drug store and one thrift store. This is the kind of place where people really do need to stock up on milk and bread before snowstorms, because there’s no way any trucks are getting into this town if the roads are bad. I had high hopes for the thrift store, because small town rural thrift stores tend to have great stuff, but all I found was one cool pair of old man pants – and they were stained. Strikeout.
Driving through the mountains was an experience. The roads were incredibly windy and foggy, and it seemed like there were wreaths left in honor of accident victims at almost every turn. I found it inappropriately hilarious.
I also passed through the town of Man. Despite its awesome name, there wasn’t much to the town but a small strip mall in the mountains and lots of houses near creeks.