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Decided to start a thread to share some pictures of my WV mini-trip, that I just finished yesterday. I was coming back home after visiting my sister and her daughter in DC, and wanted to avoid I-81, so this was the result:

Entering West Virginia on US 48. I wanted to capture the welcome sign, but there was none, for some reason.

Crossing the Lost River.

I decided to stop in Moorefield to consider where I wanted to go, and decided that I wanted to swing by Seneca Rocks and check out Spruce Knob, then make my way south towards Green Bank, and eventually White Sulphur Springs.

Ascending Spruce Knob in my "new" 2010 Ford Explorer XLT, 4x4 included. I recently got this car. It runs great, and I got it for 6 grand with 103,000 miles on it. It was a fleet vehicle for the NC Department of Public Safety, so it was religiously maintained to their high standards, and as such, works great. There were a ridiculous amount of flies up here. There were dozens crawling all over the car when I stepped out to take some pictures. Overall, West Virginia had TONS of bugs at dawn, more than anywhere else I've seen. The front of my car is covered in splattered bugs right now and I haven't cleaned them off yet.

Reaching the summit of Spruce Knob. This is my latest state high point, after North Carolina and Kentucky.

There was still snow on the summit, and all the deciduous trees up here were still totally dead. Typical early May weather this high up.

After spending about an hour on some easier (hiking) trails, I decided to hit up some of the forest service roads in the area, and spent about two hours exploring them, getting as far as Randolph County. There was absolutely no service until White Sulphur Springs, so I was relying almost entirely on my sense of direction. I got the Explorer because I really want to do off-roading, but even though I have it now, I don't have the right tires yet, so these sorts of roads would have to do for now. I still really enjoyed it.

I lastly took FFR 112 out to WV 28 to make my way towards Green Bank. I got a shot of the telescope in this picture. I would've loved to get closer, but by the time I arrived, everything was closed.

Leaving Green Bank. I chatted with a Dollar General cashier there, and she told me a few interesting things about the building she worked in - it was specifically built to meet the quiet zone standards, and the paint in the building is infused with metal flakes to act as an additional layer of shielding. Special wireless routers are also used. And there are indeed "radio cops" who will make sure you're not interfering with the telescopes, as she told me. After this, it would get quite dark, so I do not have any more pictures from this day.

I would stop in a church parking lot in Monroe County to get some rest - it was about 2 AM. This shot is the last interesting thing I encountered, in the little notch of Virginia that US 219 terminates in.

Overall, this was a pretty cool trip and a great way to break in my new car. I had fun navigating without GPS and just roaming around. I originally planned to just hop over to WV and take US 220 out as a little detour, but it turned into much more than that.

Part of a small trip I took last weekend, featuring WV 16 from Welch to War. One of the reasons I did this route specifically is that there isn't any video of it that I know of.



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