Sunday, October 14, 2018

The ups and the downs.......

7:35 am - Sunday - October 14th - Fairmont, WV - 44º F, 83% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the west by northwest......heavy cloud cover, but no rain in the forecast....at least during the day.  High for today in Fairmont will be 59º F.  We roll our wheels in 2 hours!

Having only 156 miles to cover on Saturday we were in no hurry to depart the Walmart Supercenter in Hagerstown, and TLE wanted to get a pedicure.  The 'nail' place opened at 10 am, and TLE was there at 10....she was back at the coach a little after 11 am, and we were rolling our wheels shortly thereafter.

We have driven the Newell through northwestern Maryland, and northeastern West Virginia before, and I was not looking forward to doing it again.  Why?  Well, it is very mountainous, and for the 156 miles we traveled Saturday it was continuously up 5-6% grades and then down 5-6% grades, one after the other, all day long.  It is mentally exhausting as one is having to watch downhill speeds, shifting down one gear after another to climb each 1-3 mile grade, remembering to turn on one's hazard lights when the speed dips below 50 mph.....remembering to turn them off again when you get back over 50 mph....continually having to move into the truck lane on the long climbs, and then moving back to the left when the lane disappears after the latest climb.....all the while monitoring the temps of the coolant, oil and transmission.  Repeat this process about 60 times and you kind of get what I am trying to convey.  You can never just hold onto the steering wheel and let the cruise control push you down the highway.  It is, simply put, a 'knock down drag out' experience.

While I was busy keeping us on the road, and safe TLE was taking a plethora of pictures.....

 A little to add a little something extra to the mix


 A much needed Rest Area





 The Maryland sign at the West Virginia border.....first one of these I've see in 7 years


......for most of the drive we were traversing northeastern Maryland, only dipping into West Virginia without about 14 miles to at the end of the day.  We made two rest stops, one being at a regular Rest Area, and the second at at Pilot Truck Stop as there were no rest areas on the horizon.  We took about a 30 minute break at each.  Our highest elevation was just over 2,700', and we now sit at just over 1,000' elevation in Fairmont, WV.

We began our day with a brief stint in I-81, then back to I-70, eventually hitting I-68, and finishing on I-78 in Fairmont, WV.  Why Fairmont, WV?  Well, there happens to be a Cracker Barrel there right off the Interstate with RV parking.  We haven't visited a Cracker Barrel in a long time....


....we arrived at the Cracker Barrel around 3:30 pm, found a suitable spot in which to park our 62', and then just relaxed for about a hour and a half before venturing inside to have dinner around 5 pm.  It was nice to just sit drinking a few cups of coffee and enjoying a great dinner.  We finally paid our check around 6:30 and headed back to the Newell for the evening.  

My L.A. Dodgers were playing the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS (National Leage Championship Series) for the chance to get to the World Series again.  They lost their first game in Milwaukee on Friday night, but were successful Saturday night coming from behind to win 4-3 on a 2 run Justin Turner homerun.  A nice way to finish the evening.   

We were in bed by 10 pm, not looking forward to another 140+ miles of West Virginia mountain driving!  By the way, a good friend commented on Facebook I should be taking my zinc tablets at the first sign of a scratchy throat....doh!  I started taking them Saturday morning, and I feel much, much better......thank you  Lee Lisman, and thanks for stopping by!

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