Day 5: Tazewell, Virginia
Miles traveled: 863
States visited: 4 (just added: Kentucky)
Weather: 64, sunny
If you ever drive through West Virginia, set your GPS to “avoid highways.” You’ll find some of the most interesting towns. Yesterday I went through Williamson, West Virginia, home of The Coal House, one of 3 houses in the world made of coal. Why would someone make a house out of coal? I have no idea.
I crossed the bridge to briefly enter Kentucky. I was literally in the state for 5 minutes. I just wanted to pass through so I could add it to my list. Hey, it’s not cheating – if I’m going to see 45 states, I have to take some shortcuts somewhere!
I re-entered WVA and followed route 52. When I saw this little dump called Angie’s Diner, I knew I had to stop for lunch. I’m going to visit a lot of small-town diners on my trip. I imagine that the waitresses will be friendly and I’ll be able to ask them about their town and have some good conversations. This particular experience did not go that way.
I walked in and the woman on duty was a scary old lady with no teeth who looked at me like I was from Mars. They had the Appalachian Radio Network playing on the speakers. One of the commercials was for Hillbilly Days 2009. Not the most sophisticated place in the world…
At least the food was acceptable – I got a grilled cheese and fries for $4 including tip. If I keep finding deals like this, I’m going to have no trouble sticking to my food budget.
From there I went through towns like Gilbert and Iaeger. I passed something called the Happy Days diner, which had statues of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe out front. Too bad I had just eaten, or I would’ve checked out the place.
I found the most remarkable radio station along the Kentucky/Wva border. They played 80s and early 90s stuff, and pulled out rare gems like “Things That Make You Go Hmmm” by C&C Music Factory and “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters. Props to the Flashback 106.7!
The weather was beautiful all day, but it was another very cold night in the van. I’m not sure how many more nights like this my laptop can survive. Today I’m headed to Charlotte for my first taste of urban life on the adventure.