So we went to get my son who serves at Fort Lee in Virginia on the 17th. Had a nice ride down to VA from here in Kentucky, left at 3:30 am and got to Fort Lee about 1 pm or so. The ride was mostly mountains until we cleared Kentucky ( had to take two lanes over the mountains, but did get to go through the tunnel, which was cool.)
After having a nice late lunch of Chinese food in Petersburg, VA we again lit out to travel back to Kentucky. The highways in Virginia are awesome, straight and if the highway patrol are not present; fast travel. Well, when looking at the map, I decided ( due to my husband not wanting to go “mountain roads” again) that we could make more time by going to I77 and then entering Kentucky via West Virginia from Princeton WV. *Mistake number 1 for the navigator, me*
We stopped , gassed up ( thank god) and we left I77 and began the trek on SR19 to highway 52 which was to take us directly into Kentucky. At least on paper it did.
By the time we made it the 15 miles or so to Bluefield WV, where 52 connects ; it was good and dark. The kind of dark that makes grown men ( and women) reconsider driving. Off we went, making the right onto 52 and entering into a self made trip to a hell-like dimension.
I have not been car sick since I was 10, and I have never ever not loved driving in the mountains. Heck, I live in the Kentucky mountains for crying out loud. But this road , this drive cost me about 10 years of an already half spent life.
We went up, we went down. We peered into the darkness and wondered where the people were, where the sign for 52 was. My husband was to say the least upset. He fired me from the position of navigator ( which was at the time, fine for me) It seemed that the portion of road from Bluefield to Welch took an eon to traverse.
At one point, there was a section of road ( term used loosely here) that made at least 7 switchbacks, and it was at that point I began thinking I was a dead woman. My husband could have thrown me out of the van and no one would ever have missed me.
It took almost two hours to go from Bluefield WV to Williamson WV. That is a drive that I would never ever suggest to anyone unless they happen to be Daniel Boone, and I think even he would say NOT at that road.
I am still having a hard time figuring out how the trains made it to one city along the roadway, what do they do shoot straight up?
If you are planning to drive from say Kentucky to Welch WV, take my hard earned advise and stay away from SR 52, its scary. And worse, they allow 18 wheelers on some of the road! And where there are towns, there are these adorable little signs showing a teeter toter and stating children at play! On a mountain highway that moves unbelievably at more than 50 miles an hour!
I know now how to do that trip without having to either go south via Tennessee or north via Maysfield. I sat down and in the wee hours of the morning planned a route that will circumvent 90 of the ups and downs we did that night, and I think that I can even be rehired as a navigator. I just think maybe I don’t want the position anymore.
And by the way, in case you are wondering that trip lasted until 1:30 am, the whole thing was 23 hours of driving in one day….. I am here to tell you don’t do it.