After spending the entire day before we left cleaning and getting rid of stuff, and spraining Krista’s wrist, we woke up early the next morning to do a walk-through with Jess’ soon-to-be-former landlord. We headed to our favorite coffee shop in Pittsburgh, Tazza d’oro. Ironically, they serve coffee from a company from Olympia, WA.
Our drive on the first day was out of Pennsylvania, through West Virginia, and a quick trip through Virginia before reaching the home of Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, TN. Here are our West Virginia pictures!
We had been waiting for a few minutes at the bridge as they were late opening up the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. We had no idea what to expect, but it turned out that other than the fake Halloween blood left splattered on the walls from last year’s haunted asylum event, it was less of a sideshow event and more about seeing this beautiful old building and what time has done to it. It is one of only a small number of buildings designed by Kirkbride, a psychiatrist who believed in the healing powers of light. It is also, according to our tourguide, the second largest hand-cut stone masonry building (with the largest being the Kremlin). Read the Wikipedia entry.
Next we stopped at a convenience store in Flatwoods. For $25 you can buy a replica of the Flatwoods Monster AKA the Braxton County Monster AKA The Phantom of Flatwoods. How cool is that? Legend tells there was a close encounter in Flatwoods in September of 1952.
Our last stop in West Virginia was the New River Gorge Bridge, which claims to be the largest single arch steel span bridge around, but we think someone has built a bigger one since. Still, pretty cool and it got us to hike up and down a whole lot of stairs which is a good idea when you’re mostly sitting on your behind in a car all day.