Detouring deliberately

1916 Clover Hollow Bridge across Sinking Creek

Click on photos to enlarge.

Rule seven says to choose a direction rather than a destination.  You should be open to what life offers.

Driving from Florida to Pennsylvania, we took extra time in order to arrive refreshed and better able to enjoy seeing our friends.

The fastest route would be I-95, but that is stressful, so we drove back-roads.  Somewhere in the Carolinas, I noticed Seneca Rocks, West Virginia on the map.  That appealed and was only a couple hundred miles out of our way.

Mountain Lake Lodge

In Radford, Virginia, we decided to see Stafford Art Glass on US 460.  On the way, we decided to drive into Blacksburg, home of Virginia Technical University, the beloved alma mater of a former colleague.

The art studio clearly had not been open for some time, so we took turned onto Virginia 42 which went the direction we wanted.  That took us through the charming little village of Newport where we saw a sign pointing to a covered bridge.

We went to see the bridge but rather than retrace our steps continued on the winding road.  It took us to county route 700 on which we discovered the Mountain Lake Lodge, opened in 1856.  It turns out the 1987 version of the movie Dirty Dancing which takes place in New York’s Catskill Mountains, was partially filmed at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia.

Forks of John’s Creek Christian Church

The road north from the lodge was closed, so we took county 600, looped back to Newport and continued north on 42 until county 658 which seemed a shortcut to Elkins, W.V.  Near Senaca Rocks, Elkins was now our destination because it had a motel.

On the way, we had a picnic lunch at a table on the lawn of the Forks of John’s Creek Christian Church before turning on VA 311.

311 took us to Paint Bank, a small town that caters to tourists looking at the fall leaves.  In the general store, we saw a T-shirt that read “End of the world 9 miles; Paint Bank 12 miles.”

Finally reaching Elkins, we found a very nice little town and an excellent restaurant.  The town decorated its parking signs for the “Third Annual Elkins Main Street Scarecrow Festival.”  We decided to stay an extra night, saw Senaca Rocks and found a most interesting glassblower, the subject of my next post.

We had not even known about most of these places when we left Florida.  We would go back — except that a detour might take us someplace else.

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About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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14 Responses to Detouring deliberately

  1. That’s such a wonderful way to drive! Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert says:

    It is good to wander purposefully and discover lost, missing, hidden, forgotten America. Untouched by time like flies in amber.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neveda Navarro says:

    Hi-I wanted to let you know about a new podcast called “Finding Florida.”  I listen to podcasts by the host who does horse oriented podcasts on the Horse Radio Network (HRN.)  They will are touring Florida.  I haven’t heard it but thought it might be something you would be interested in.  You can get it through the HRN app on your phone or go to iTunes.  I hope all is well with you both.Warmly,Your first cousin once removed  Neveda Navarro Search for homes on my husband’s website!http://www.navarro1.comLike him on Facebook! Any suggestions given in this email are not to be considered legal advice.  We are not attorneys.   For legal advice please contact an attorney. 


  4. I love the recommendation to choose a direction, rather than a destination. What a great motto for life!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dee Gilbert says:

    I look forward to the days hubby and I can detour deliberately. What a wonderful experience you had!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      We are indeed fortunate to be retired and have more time. However, I recall a time when I had hated driving. The reason was we were always in a hurry to reach our destination. Then one weekend when we had to drive from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh to visit a relative in the hospital, I took an extra day off and got off the Interstate for a while. Just having the extra day reminded me there was a time when I enjoyed driving. We tried to recapture that feeling ever after even when we were working and had limited time. Sometimes it meant we couldn’t do as much, but we enjoyed what we did more.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Keith & Loraine Beckman says:

    Beautiful scenery and the church and it’s yard looked so inviting. Am looking forward to the next blog. Love to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My kind of travel, Ray! Good for you. You never know what is around the next corner. I am reminded of William Least Heat Moon and his willingness to detour for a few hundred miles because he finds the name of a town interesting. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      His “Blue Highways” was undoubtedly an influnence on me. It wasn’t published until 1982 but had you asked me, I would have guessed I read it about the same time as “Travels with Charley,” 1962.


      • Me as well! And I really liked “Travels with Charley.” The Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, California features the modified truck/RV he travelled in. The whole museum is a delight if you ever get out that way, Ray. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Coral Waight says:

    A fabulous way to do a road trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aman Thakur says:

    wow, Awesome… 🙂


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