Day 1: 490 miles

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.      

We will miss your enthusiasm, Steelers fans.

We will miss your enthusiasm, Steeler fans.

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!

The back of the car is very full. We bought that apple cookie jar at an antique store just after reaching WV.

A full car + a new apple shaped cookie jar.

A bridge in Weston, WV.

A bridge in Weston, WV.

Be sure to click on the link below to see the rest of the pictures!
Bridge close-up

Bridge close-up

The people I love most have dimples.

The people I love most have dimples.

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.

The Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Before having her wife point out the sign that says not to sit on the furniture.

Before having her wife point out the sign that says not to sit on the furniture.

Old ceilings discovered beneath and being restored.

Old ceilings discovered beneath and being restored.

Weston, West Virginia

Weston, West Virginia

shock therapy

shock therapy

Maybe a photo cant show how incredible the light was in there but we tried.

Maybe a photo can't show how incredible the light was in there but we tried.

 

Pittsburgh is everywhere

Pittsburgh is everywhere

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.  

What a handsome monster!

What a handsome monster!

We didnt shell out $25 for a souvenir monster, but we did take a souvenir photo and bought Cokes in glass bottles.

We didn't shell out $25 for a souvenir monster, but we did buy Cokes in glass bottles.


It was really striking to see the dramatic changes in the landscapes passing by the car windows as we made our way across the country, so we tried to document them as much as possible:




West Virginia hair. Watch as Kristas hair reacts differently to each environment. Seriously.

West Virginia hair. Watch as Krista's hair reacts differently to each environment.

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.

 

 

I tried to get Jess to hold a quarter up to these gigantic bees, but she declined. They were monstrous!

I tried to get Jess to hold a quarter up to these gigantic bees, but she declined.

Here is one last West Virginia picture for you:
Approaching Virginia

Approaching Virginia

Don’t worry, I promise we don’t have this many photos for every single state. For example, we pretty much drove straight through Virginia and Arkansas. This last photo does successfully illustrate how we had gorgeous weather for each of the ten days we spent on the road.
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