During the night I’d been awakened by rain pouring down the gutter drainpipe outside. It sounded like a steam train was chugging by our bedroom window with big whooshes of wind tearing through the trees. Of COURSE there was a monsoon in the wee hours of the morning we were heading out on the road.
True to form, when Kenny and I pulled away from our driveway a wet mist hung on the air. It wasn’t until we got moving at highway speeds that the rain started to fall.
Thankfully our time in the wet was short lived. By the time we’d made it into Pennsylvania the sun had already begun to elbow it’s way through the clouds. Make way, coming through, people on a road trip here!
At our first gas stop I smiled at Kenny and said, ‘Well, I’d rather get the rain out of the way now rather than on the good stuff later.’
We jettisoned our rain gear and enjoyed sweet sunshine for the rest of the day.
The goal for Saturday was nothing more than to get us within striking distance of the roof of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Waynesboro, Virginia for the following day. That meant there was time to dilly-dally and look at ridiculous things along the way – things like shoe houses, Mail Pouch tobacco barns, elephants, dinosaurs and a little love thrown in for good measure.
Our first stop of the day was at the Haines’ Shoe House. After wishing and hoping for years to see it, it would have been criminal not to stop at the boot on Shoe House Road. Yes, that’s right. Shoe. House. Road. I find it’s best not to dwell too hard on the fabulosity of those three words strung together. Your head could explode from greatness.
While we were milling around in the heel, Kenny bought me a ceramic shoe house Christmas ornament (which survived the entire trip), a postcard and a sticker. He’s really a keeper.
Painted barn advertising has a special place in my heart. I can’t say for sure why, but I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside whenever I see something like the Totem Pole Theater – Mail Pouch Tobacco barn. It’s so… so… Americana. This particular barn actually has a Mail Pouch ad on the other end as well, but it’s mostly obscured by the overgrown trees.
For an extra bonus, the barn is just across the street from Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum. As the name implies it is a museum full of elephants and well maybe not so expected, CANDY! They’d suffered a devastating fire in 2011 but have risen from the ashes and are back in business showcasing their elephantine goodness.
You know, there is no shortage of weirdos in the world. Nowhere is that more apparent than when you get out into the more rural parts of the States. The backroads offer a special place for kooks to showcase their wares, to express their kookiness and kitschy eccentricities. You just never know what you might find out there.
With about 500 miles on the clock for the day we packed it in at Staunton, Va. The first hotel we pulled in to was kind enough to warn us that a coal train passed behind it 4 times a night so we opted to move along to a quieter spot.
With a windburned face and sun-tired eyes after dinner and a beer, I collapse into a heap and slept the sleep of the righteous. Sweet dreams of the Blue Ridge Parkway danced in my head.
More Posts from his Trip:
- Southern Trip Stats - Y'all Come Back Now, Hear?
- Day 1: Dipping Below the Mason-Dixon Line
- Day 2: Smooth Sailing on the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Day 2: Detour to the Roanoke Muffler Man
- Day 2: The Mile High Club at Grandfather Mountain
- Day 3: Riding Through Blue Ridge Parkway Tunnels
- Day 3: Blue Ridge Parkway Pit Stop - Breakfast at Mount Mitchell
- Day 3: The Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road
- Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum - Photo Gallery
- Sights from the Road: The Cherokee Muffler Man
- Sights From the Road: Greatest Car in the Universe v4.0 - Mufflermobile
- Day 4: We Had Georgia on Our Minds
- Day 4: NC 209 With a Little Luck
- Sights From the Road: Goats on the Roof
- Snapshot: My Navigation System
- MotoPhoto: Don't You Just Love it When the Road Does That?
- Day 5: TN421 - Grabbing the Snake by the Tail
- Roadside Sights: Pal's Sudden Service
- Check One Off The To Do List: Backbone Rock
- Day 5: Stung on the Back of the Dragon
- Roadside Snapshot: The Big Little Apple of Thaxton, Virginia
- Day 6: The Motorcycle Adventures of the Bearded Lady
- Snapshot: Southern Trip Souvenirs
- Day 7: Mixed Nuts and a Reformed Jackass on the Loose in West Virginia
- Beware - It's The Devils Road!
- Space, The Final Frontier - These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise