Monday, July 4, 2016

Charleston WV to Charlottesville VA

Marianne has known her friend Jean for almost 49 years. Since Jean lives in Charlottesville VA and it was not too far out of the way, we detoured a little through the wilds of West Virginia.


For the first half of the journey, we planned to stay off the freeway and travel on a two lane road.


The West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston. It's a very confusing city to get around with two rivers, freeways, train lines, bridges, mountains and valleys making a real jumble. It is also an industrial city with lots of factories.


Not all photos taken from a speeding car are successful.


One of the bridges.


Many of the factories are shut. West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the USA and has the highest level of unemployment.



The backbone of the economy is coal and logging which does not bode well for the future of the economy. The average level of education is low.


Many houses are run down.



Still, there are many nice buildings and plenty of homes we would all be proud to live in.




Rapids on the Kanawha River which we were following on route 60.









It was a very nice drive with not too much traffic and the overcast weather and lower temperatures made driving easy.



Now this is a gem.


We stopped to look at the view at Hawks Nest.


Mountain Laurel in bloom. In our area it usually blooms in May.




Marianne was gung-ho to get on another gondola but it was not in operation.




When you are out west, you barely notice what is happening on the other side of the country. While we were driving across Nevada, 8 to 10 inches of rain fell on parts of West Virginia causing massive flooding, a 1000 year event. By chance, we happened to drive through some of the affected areas.


All the buildings in the main street of this town were flooded and the ruined items from inside the buildings were piled outside waiting to be hauled away.





We came across one little town where the traffic was blocked. We waited and waited and gradually inched forward as cars ahead of us turned around.


ook at the left side of the house and you can see how high the water came with the brown mark on the wall.


At the best of times, this building would not have been a gem, but now presumably it will be demolished.


The bottom of the trailer house had collapsed. We had noticed many houses with a big X painted on which presumably meant the house would have to be demolished.


The Virginia National Guard was deployed helping with the cleanup. We eventually turned around and out GPS found us another route that took us on narrow roads over some mountains until we hit a freeway.



By chance we got off at White Sulphur Springs so that we could take a look at the famous Greenbriar Resort. We noticed immediately that this area had been hard hit by flooding as well.

Marianne went into the gas station where we stopped so that she could use a bathroom. There was no running water and she had to use a porta potty out the back.


The McDonalds was closed and clearly had been flooded.



Still, the community was working together to provide essential services.


We did not linger since we would only be getting in the way, so we got back on the freeway and soon we came to Virginia.


Petrol was cheap in Virginia.

I must admit that I was quite tired at the end of the day and looking forward to getting home the following day. However it was good to see our friends Jean and Mary Beth again and to have a good home cooked dinner.



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