Welcome to West Virginia Like I said yesterday, I always slowed down to 60 while focusing and taking the picture. Here’s the “Welcome to West Virginia” sign. I tried taking a picture of the Maryland sign, but I didn’t snap the picture fast enough. Anyway, I felt very welcome in West Virginia for the entire ten minutes I was there, before I crossed over into Virginia. I missed taking a picture of that sign, too, unfortunately. I know y’all are heartbroken. The one major difference between I-81 north of the Mason-Dixon line and I-81 south of the same is that in the south, they adore their wildflowers. Wildflowers Absolutely adore them. There are signs up by every patch of wildflowers Wildflowers! See the wildflowers! Don’t PICK the wildflowers! Wildflowers next 17 miles! The very thought that someone might PICK the wildflowers sends someone into a tizzy, apparently, given how many signs there are warning not to pick the wildflowers. Wildflowers There are miles upon miles of wildflowers; more than once, there were red poppies and yellow flowers and purple flowers as far as the eye could see. Above the Mason-Dixon line, though, it’s pretty much Wildflowers? Who gives a fuck about wildflowers? Up there, they apparently just mow the wildflowers down at every opportunity. Wildflowers Okay, okay, enough about the wildflowers, right? Oh, here’s something I saw more than enough of. Yes, that’s the I-81 South sign. Have I mentioned I spent something like 8 or 9 hours on I-81? It’s fucking eternal. I81 There’s sort of a comfort to staying on the same highway for so long, though. As long as I knew I needed to stay on 81, I didn’t have to bother looking at the exit signs, didn’t have to worry about missing my exit. 81 takes you through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley (note to self: when driving home from Maine in August, try to convince the spud that they named the Shenandoah Valley after Shannon Doherty. She’ll totally buy it. If she knows who Shannon Doherty is). The Shenandoah Valley is very pretty, all mountains and rolling green hills with charming little houses and farms dotting the landscape. Unfortunately, none of the pictures I took of the aforementioned charming little houses and farms came out. Damn those trucks Damn those trucks These pictures came out, though. These pictures illustrate the most frustrating moments of my trip to and from Harrisburg. First of all, there were a FUCKING TON of trucks on the road, especially on 81. I mean, miles and miles of 18 wheelers, lumbering along. And every time I got going good and set the cruise control, one of the lumbering trucks in the right lane would pull out right in front of me, and slowwwwwwwwwly, slowwwwwwwwly, ever so slowwwwwwwly, pass the truck it had been behind. Meaning that I had to hit my brakes, hard, and slow down by about 15 miles per hour until the truck had finally passed the other truck and got the hell out of my way. I was giving out dirty looks left and right, let me tell you. Tennessee So I had entered Tennessee and had only one last exit to take, the exit for highway 72. I noticed finally that I had gone almost 40 miles since getting on highway 24, and the exit for highway 72 was supposed to show up somewhere around mile 33. At the point I realized I’d missed my exit, 24 was winding through some very steep mountains which nary an exit where I could turn around. I ended up going about 20 miles out of my way before I could turn around. It all worked out, though – I turned around and found my exit, so overall the whole fuckup added maybe half an hour to the trip. Which isn’t so bad for a 12 hour trip, I guess. I finally made it home around 7, and my wonderful husband had dinner waiting for me. He sat with me while I ate, and then we watched The Faculty, which wasn’t bad. We went to bed around 10, and I slept like the dead. It was very very good to be home. ]]>