Although the hotel offered a hot breakfast – and we were out of bed and showered before 6:30 am when the service apparently began – our travel enthusiasm propelled us to the American border-crossing nearby Hill Island adjacent the Ivy Lea Parkway. When we twisted our path to what we perceived to be the correct lane for cars, all four lanes were surmounted by a glaring red neon CLOSED signs. Suddenly however one changed to OPEN and we proceeded to the wicket. The officer asked the usual questions in addition to requesting me to lower the rear window so she could have a look inside. Unwittingly I lied that we were not importing any fresh fruit. I forgot about the Granny apple in my overnight bag. Then we were on our way south on Interstate 81.
The snow was driving and sleety. It marred what was otherwise a pleasant bucolic view. It reminded me of Bob and Joan Irvington’s son Bruce who had a farm in upstate New York. When we drove through Scranton, PA I noticed signage of President Biden Expressway.
Our rapidly ensuing dilemma about where to have breakfast – specifically the choice of which of several Cracker Barrels along the way identified by our GPS – quickly dissolved into the recollection of Perkins restaurant in nearby Courtland. We also knew we could get fuel for the car at a nearby gas station.
Although we escaped the bakery counter judiciously located at the front of the restaurant I was not so abstemious at table. With the assistance of two sausage biscuits and the maple syrup dispenser afforded Denis for his buttermilk pancakes I ornamented my stock Dr Atkins production.
The traffic soon accelerated on every level. The number of transport trucks in particular revived my dislike of these highways. To my credit I have over the years learned to dodge these behemoth vehicles. Certainly it is not a question of beating them at their own game – that is, supremacy – rather to outwit them the same way a mouse dodges a cat. On uphills I pass them; on downhills they pass me. It is a perpetual back and forth as we mounted and descended the Appalachian trail through the Blue Ridge mountain ranges into the Shenandoah Valley.
Precipitously the ambient temperature rose from 28ºF to 53ºF. The sky cleared and the harshness of the atmosphere appeared to dissolve.
Upon arrival in Harrisonburg, West Virginia at our Marriott hotel this evening we settled upon dinner in the lobby at the short order counter. While waiting for our soup and sandwiches we chatted with a young gentleman from nearby Richmond, VA. He studied forestry and now works for a progressive company seeking to alter the power production from coal to wind power. He spoke glowingly of his undertaking and politely – but with a wink – alluded to “that gentleman Trump”.