West Virginia

Days 9-11
Miles to date 1,429

I have to admit, West Virginia has been arduous for me. First is the weather. I’ve been getting drenched. The drying out part is time consuming and a little less effective as the days drag on. A saving grace is warmer night air below the Mason Dixon Line. Second are the oil and gas company trucks dominating back roads. They are bigger and far more numerous than backroads can support. Third are the narrow roads themselves. Most have no shoulder. Many are washed out with precipitous drop-offs.

On a positive note, drivers have been courteous and safe, even the good old (young) boys in pickup trucks. Folks along the way have been engaging and open. This is a rural trip and rural people are under assault. I’ll have more to say about that in a longer entry, but the economy, despite the oil boom, is failing rural people.

I’ve camped at a state park, in a family’s back yard, next to the New River, and tonight in a motel. During the day I’ve traveled on truly rural roads in a rural state. West Virginia is mountainous and forested. The wildlife, from hawks to white tailed deer to black snakes is plentiful.

Ruby is doing yeoman’s service. That’s all I can ask. She’s running inefficiently. It’s clear she needs her valves adjusted. The tire repair is holding.

Tonight I dried out my gear, soaked in the tub and shaved. A necessary respite.

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