For the 4th of July week, I took a trip to explore the back roads of West Virginia that turned into a trip to the Outer Banks, because why not?
Things I learned:
- West Virginia is beautiful. Not that I doubted that, but it’s good to see it first-hand. Thanks to Chuckles for the suggestion when I asked for ideas, and for the great tips about visiting the Outer Banks. Chuckles was my travel whisperer last week.
- Logging trucks are hella scary. Also not a surprise, but this was my first exposure to them.
- Inspections work. It was so nice while in North Carolina to not have to spend as much mental energy on people with broken brake lights. By the time I was passing through Kentucky on the way back the difference between inspection states and non- was glaringly obvious.
- Inspections don’t work. I have a story that I may or may not tell about a mad genius in flagrant violation of federal and state laws.
- North Carolina is long. Like, really long. Crazy really frustratingly long. I thought driving through Georgia from north to south was bad (and, to be clear, it is, especially if you do go through Atlanta and fight traffic, and especially if you don’t go through Atlanta and spend the extra mileage avoiding it). NC is twice as long as Georgia is “tall”.
- By virtue of avoiding interstate highways entirely the first 6 days of my trip, I developed what seemed like a real phobia of being on them with the top and doors off as I started my return leg to Indiana. I’ve always had an exaggerated fear of something flying out when I’m traveling with lots of gear (it was particularly bad when driving with my dog, even on a secure harness) but I think something broke in me this time.
- Tudor’s Biscuit World is really good. I like cars suggested them when I praised Bojangles, and indeed their ham and egg biscuit was just as good, and a bit larger too.
- Apple restricts iPhones from charging above 80% when they’re too warm (possibly only wirelessly, but I think universally). And trust me, it was hot this week. Driving 2000+ miles topless and doorless in hot, sunny weather is a recipe for sunburn, and I have quite a bit of that, including a Jeeper’s tan where my left knee/leg are browner than my right one.
- Virginia has just two natural lakes, and both are a bit unusual.
The trip by the numbers:
- About 9 days in total, Saturday through Sunday.
- 2150 miles recorded, and my tires are about 5% larger than stock, so around 2250 miles, at least 2000 of which were not on the interstate, so I spent a lot of time driving.
- 162 gallons of fuel, or just a hair under 14 mpg. (My average since I started tracking is 12.6.) $416 spent on gas.
- 2 vehicles I hoped to, and failed to, inspect along the way (an XJ in Ohio, and an M715 in Kentucky). The XJ was sold as I was leaving, and the M715’s owner never responded to my proposal for a time to visit. This was quite sad, but also likely led to two fortuitous discoveries on Saturday as I’ll discuss in a moment.
- 18 Oppo posts about my trip, 19 if you count the first one when I asked for ideas where to travel, 20 if you count this one, 21 when I post my favorite photos from the trip as a whole, and 22 if I ever publish the story about the guy who likes to have fun with his cars. Can you tell this is my primary social network? Are you sick of this trip yet?
- 4 different Jeep trucks spotted, each a different model.
That last number is the most surprising to me. As I discussed Saturday, while I’m fairly conversant in the history of Jeep trucks (if not their technical details because I’m not really a Jalop) I never actually see them other than at Jeep gatherings (and even then, only the Toledo Jeep Fest).
This trip, over the span of two days, I saw four. Four!
Friday morning: a Comanche and a new Gladiator. Both were on the road, didn’t have time to get a photo of either.
Saturday: a CJ-10 and, right at sunset in southern Indiana, a J-series truck I haven’t identified. I didn’t feel like trespassing to go ask about it, but I probably should have. It’s only the 2nd I’ve ever seen in the wild (and the CJ-10, well, go read about my reaction despite the naysayers).
Thanks to all who’ve followed along. Unfortunately I think that’ll be my only significant trip for the year, so you’ll have to wait until 2020 for another big dump o’ spam from me.