It helps if you are going to drive out and back 1000 miles in a weekend to have a buddy along. Lucky for me, I have J. Who else would come over, ride at 0 dark 30 on the first sub- 50 degree morning of the year, and then pile into the Queen cab for a road trip to Depressionville, Ky with me?
New best place to eat on the east coast... Tamarack. That's the WVA arts tourist trap where WVA artisans show off their wares at incredibly inflated prices... The saving grace? The Greenbrier has a food court there, and you can eat real high quality stuff for very little $$. I've been to the Greenbrier, they sure don't price the food there the way they do at Tamarack! Broiled trout, roast potatoes, green beans, all for $9 and change. J got salmon. It was the best we ate all weekend, not to mention the cheapest.
We make it to Winchester, Ky and its pretty obvious that hard times have hit that town. The hotel next to our hotel had the EFIS siding delaminated and littering the parking lot. We were sure we were in the WRONG place. Our Holiday Inn was next door and J and I watched people go in and out of the "abandoned" hotel's rear doors all night. It was surreal. The only place in town we would eat at was a Applebees, and it was maybe 1/3 full on a Saturday night. I got fajitas, and the guac and salsa were FROZEN. Obviously, people don't eat out much in Winchester.
Coming home was interesting to say the least. I haul a trailer about once in a blue moon. I can do it, I just don't often have call to. So pulling a trailer full of my Dad's riding lawn mower, generator, and other equipment was interesting. Add that I have a small truck, and had to go over big mountains...
So J and I decided that when the economy really tanks I'm going to start a new business... Chi Hauling. In J's words, " Karen is going to market a new trailer-hauling school - it's called "chi hauling". It's based on the principal that everything "flows" or moves forward. It entails NO backing up because that would be terrible karma that would set the world off its axis, so all one needs to do is move ahead, smoothly, "flowingly", and serenely. She's even determined that if the insurance industry gets too bad, she and Cliff can become a long-haul team. She'll drive forward, and if the need ever arose to go in reverse (and that would be VERY RARE), that would be Cliff's job.... ;)"
We made it. No backing up. 3 tanks of gas home, only 2 out. (Of course we couldn't run the a/c coming home, either.) We got the trailer dumped off at U haul with 3 minutes to spare.
Life is good. All is right with the universe, by not backing up, the ocean's will still flow. I couldn't do much to stop the debacle in Congress, but we'll work on that for the next trip.