|Sunday we travelled from Asheville to Covington. The trip was good. Traffic on I-40 was light, I-77 was very heavy from Statesville, NC to Wytheville, VA and terrible on I-81 from Wytheville to Roanoke. I was worried about the mountain at Fancy Gap, VA. Our truck and trailer did a magnificent job on the mountain. Engine coolant and exhaust gas temperatures stayed well within the normal zone and I belive the truck would have pulled the hill in 5th gear had we not been slowed by traffic. The fog got heavier as we climbed and the visibility was under 100 feet at times near the top of the mountain.
We arrived home to find my mother in good spirits in spite of a number of recent health challenges. My sister is here from SD and my brother was here from NC when we arrived. It's been a long time since ths much of the family has been together.
Today(MON) Raymond and I took the scenic route, US 43 from Covington, VA to Bedford to see the D-Day Memorial. I'm a big student of WWII. My father was with the 3rd Marine Division and spent the war in the Pacific. The D-Day Memorial is in Bedford because of the 116th Infantry Regiment that was nearly anilated on Omaha Beach in the first hours of D-Day. Many of the members of this unit were from Bedford and no community in the country experienced such a heavy loss or paid a price comparable to the citizens of Bedford, VA. The Memoria is well done and very moving. It does a good job of documenting all of the forces involved in the invasion, their roles and how they accomplished their many missions. The scale of the operation and its geographical size are hard to comprehend. These men were truly the greatest generation of men that ever lived.
On the way to Bedford, we had lunch at the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We've been on and off the Parkway in NC and VA over the past couple of days and it makes me want to come back and travel the entire parkway again in the future.
From Bedford, we went to Roanoke and Mill Mountain, the location of the Roanoke star. The star is important to me because I took Jo Ann there on our first date many moons ago.
We returned home and will spend tomorrow with my mother celebrating her 80th birthday. Then it will be on to WVA & OH.