2011 Presidents, Patriots, & Caverns travel blog

Today's trip route from Winnie Spot

Smallest Church in Ohio

Inside small church

Back to West Virginia

Indian muffler man


Max is resting again

US Route 50 - Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System

Giraffe on a lawn

Original Dairy Queen

Which way should we go?

Grafton Drive-In

1950's Mercury?

Winnie at Sand Springs

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 23.44 MB)

Ellenboro, WV

The day started off on the wrong foot. We had a pull thru site at the campground so we wouldn’t have to unhook the Fit. When we pulled out, I was following the campground map to the exit. Sue suggested that I stop and ask somebody if we were going toward the exit. I deferred and said the map clearly show the exit road, so I turned down the “exit” lane and it became immediately obvious that this was not the way to the exit. Sue asked one of the people looking on and wondering what in the hell theses people were trying to do. They confirmed that it was “no longer” an exit. Since there was no room to turn around, I was going to have to unhook the Fit, back up Winnie to turn around and then hook up the fit again. So much for the pull thru! I’m sure this is another one of the stories that Sue will tell “real story” when she gets home.

Our first stop today was at another small church. This one is called the “Smallest Church in Ohio”. It looks a lot like the one we saw in Virginia. I said a small prayer when I went inside that the rest of the day wouldn’t be like this morning.

We headed back into West Virginia to Parkersburg to catch a muffler man. This one was an Indian at a car repair shop. By the time we got to the giant Indian, it was lunch time so we stopped at the Big K to replenish Max’s food supply. He seems to be eating about twice as much as he does at home. I guess he’s bored since he doesn’t get outside to run around. While we were stopped we grabbed burgers and fries at McDonalds.

We pulled off the highway to get gas at Ellenboro, WV. One our friends on our e-mail list for this journal has a “palatial” hunting cabin somewhere around here so we though we would drive through town to see what’s happening. Not much of a town as you may be able to see from the video I attached, but I’m sure the hunting is good. The town is one of those places that if you blink, you’ll miss it.

US Route 50, also know as the Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System, is a wide, divided, 4-lane highway until you get to Bridgeport, WV. There seem to be a lot of things named after this guy. Who was this guy? Must have been somebody important in WV. After passing by Bridgeport, Route 50 turned into a narrow, 2-lane highway out of the 50’s. The next roadside attraction we found was a life-size giraffe on a lawn just outside of Bridgeport. I couldn’t get a picture because there was no place to pull over along Rt. 50 so I posted one from RoadsideAmerica.com.

Not much else along this stretch of the highway until you get to Grafton, WV. We saw an old fashioned Dairy Queen, so we pulled off to get a cone. The vanilla and chocolate twist hit the spot before getting back on the road. We missed the Mother’s Day Shrine in town. It commemorates the first celebration of Mother's Day, which took place here in May of 1908 (President Wilson made it a national holiday in 1914, probably to whip up "Let's defend our mothers from the Hun" sentiments, before WWI). The holiday was started by Anna Jarvis, who historians say never enjoyed motherhood herself.

While leaving Grafton, we passed the Grafton Drive-In that looked like it was still in operation as the movies on the marquee were reasonably current. This was one of at least a half-dozen we saw on this trip that were still operating along with a couple that were closed. We had no idea that there were so many Drive-In’s still out there. Brings back memories of a ’61 Pontiac Bonneville.

We ended the day sort of the same way that we started. We finally got on an Interstate highway to Sue’s delight. We were headed east on I68 trying to get to Sand Springs Camping Area just outside of Morgantown, WV. We had to climb a long ass hill that really strained Winnie. Once we got to the top we passed an exit, that as soon as we went by, Sue said that we just missed the exit to the campground. Next exit 8-miles down the mountain which means we had to make that climb back up the mountain again. Poor Winnie. She seems to be none the worse for the wear, but I probably ought to have the tranny fluid tested when I get back to make sure it didn’t get overheated. We finally pulled into Sand Springs at dinner time.

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