24 July 2003
The immediate post-Floyd era
Cockeysville, Maryland - 3178.5 miles
I think. Half the paperwork for this hotel reads "Cockeysville", the other half reads "Hunt Valley". Neither of them being actual cities or townships or anything they're just part of the endless suburban jungle of Baltimore County it's kind of hard to be sure. I am sure, however, that Floyd County, Virginia will never look like this.
Speaking of Floyd, I managed not to get lost on the outward section of the journey, although things got interesting briefly when a humongous motor home with Florida plates showed up at the exact spot where the blacktop south of Shawsville narrows to 0.75 lane for construction. (Fred, of course, will opine that it could have been worse; had the behemoth lumbered onto one of those single-lane, so to speak, gravelloid pathways such as the one he lives beside, which are barely wide enough for my modest little sedan, surely it would have tumbled over the edge and into the meadow/creek/abandoned pickup [choose one] waiting patiently for just such a source of amusement.)
Virginia, incidentally, is hard to leave. After following a trail of rubber tire shards back to I-81, I drove all the way up to Winchester, exited east to US 340, which re-entered West Virginia long enough for me to take note of Charles Town (which has nothing to do with Charleston) and Harpers Ferry (which has everything to do with John Brown), then put me back into Virginia for a couple of miles between the Shenandoah and the Potomac before finally dumping me into Maryland.
I-70 east of Frederick, incidentally, is posted 65. Anyone actually driving 65 is presumed to be suffering imminent transmission failure; I hit the Tour's peak speed of 92 mph while trying to open a bottleneck.
Toll report: West Virginia Turnpike (from yesterday but forgotten), $1.25; total $3.75.
(Thanks, Fred. It was a blast. A quiet sort of blast, but still a blast.)