Friday, January 31, 2014

The Great Summer Road Trip of 2013.....Day 9 & 10.....THE END

We woke up on Day 9 in the little town of AltaVista, VA.
AltaVista was a planned community, built around the turn of the 20th century, by industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers, at the point of convergence of 3 rail lines that carried bituminous coal from the hills to the sea port in Hampton Roads, VA.
The Lane Brothers Construction Company bought acreage to lay tracks for the railroad where 3 rail lines met and then had a town laid out surrounding this convergence and the town of AltaVista was born.
Incidentally, a John Lane purchased a box plant in AltaVista in 1912 and had his son Ed, start a chest factory in his manufacturing plant.  It grew and prospered and became known as Lane Home Furnishings.  They were well known for their cedar chests or "hope chests" which many girls growing up in Virginia were given as teens.
This one looks like mine.....

But I digress.

So what in heaven's name were we doing in AltaVista, VA?

Well it's in Campbell County Virginia near where my mother's father's family is from, the Phenix/Brookneal part of the county.
And it's the closest town to there with a motel.

First thing after breakfast at the motel, we went into town for a few things and to look around at the local Rose's store.
I found my daughter a lovely frock I know she is so sad that I didn't buy it for her......

A sleeveless jean dress with a chiffon camouflage skirt.
Can you imagine somebody actually bought and worn that......on purpose?!?!

Today was my day to spend some time at the Campbell County library, in their genealogical collection.

But first, we hit the cemetery of the Falling River Baptist Church in Brookneal.
Many of my mother's father's side of the family are buried here......

Grand old Magnolia tree in the center of the cemetery.

Here is my 2 x Great Grandmother, Mary Agnes Holt Tucker.....

There are lots of Tuckers, Harpers, Holts, Masons plus more of my family lines buried here.

I even found this stone, which may be of interest to LINDA ........

It was a horribly muggy, humid day and after about 40 minutes in the cemetery shooting photos the skies opened up and we had to leave.  Unfortunately, the rain didn't cool much of anything or any one off.

We went into Brookneal to search out some lunch.  Being the huge metropolis that Brookneal is(pop. 1,112), the choices were few if not at all.
So we went to the elegant restaurant my brother, when in the area on business, would take our Great Aunt Ollie and Uncle Warren to dinner, the Golden Skillet.

This chain began in 1964 in Richmond, was sold out to Dairy Queen in the 1980's and then sometime after that, they sold the brand to a franchisee in NC.  This is one of the few GS still in operation.
We got there at the tail end of the lunch rush so we missed their Fried Chicken Buffet
We had a lunch special(chicken-of course!lol, 2 sides and a biscuit)along with some iced tea.
It was good and filling but definitely not low-calorie.

On the way in I spied the local "watermelon man"......

This is a common sight during the Summer in the rural South.  Somebody taking their garden produce(or buying a lot of produce from a wholesaler or market)into town, parking in a store's lot and selling out of the back of their truck.
The lady on the right in the photo was none too happy with what this guy was trying to charge for his melons.
Highway robbery.....or rather parking lot robbery.  ;-)

I would have bought some myself except with weren't heading home for another day and we didn't have anyplace to put them to keep them fresh, short of turning out motel bathtub into a giant ice chest.

Before we leave Brookneal let me just add this funny footnote--
Just to prove that I come from a long line of agitators and is said that on August 23, 1852, Brookneal & it's citizenry succeeded from the United States of America for a couple of weeks.

The President sent 2 dozen armed soldiers to convince the town to rejoin the Union.  After hours of "peace talks", the terms of the compromise the town's mayor agreed to let the town return to the country and the Republic of Brookneal was given $2,000 and a rifle to every citizen of the town.
Of course, I have no doubts that 9 years later, most of those guns were drawn against the Union on the home front or in battle.  ;-)

I come from true American non-conformist stock. 
But take this story with a grain of salt since I can't confirm it besides one online source.  ;-)

After lunch, Hubs took me to Rustburg(the county seat)and let me spend 2 hours going through books I can't get access to except in person.  I took my camera and was able to photograph many pages of potentially useful information.  I must say that I still haven't gotten around to actually reading all those pages but in the next couple of months I WILL read them.
We ran out of time to get to the courthouse next door to do some record searches there so that will have to wait until another visit.
I did get to see some town history books and some handmade family genealogy booklets.  The books had some great photos of assorted family lines I hadn't seen before too.

That guy is most probably my 2nd cousin 3 x removed from the little digging I have done on him.  (His grandfather was the brother of my 3x Great Grandmother.)  He was killed working on a bridge and his wife ended up in a mental hospital in 1930.

That evening we went out for dinner at this place we saw along the highway......notice the Kudzu swallowing up the trees behind the place.....

We figured the lot was full so it must be good, right?
It was pretty much a dive type place inside, so I felt right to home. lol
The adult beverage selection was excellent and the food was good....not great but good.
And the a/c was going full blast(it was late August)so it was all good for me.  8-))

We parked next to a big bush and look at what was hanging out on it......

The bush was covered in butterflies!  Wish I had a better camera and more time to shot them but Hubs was hollering for me to get a move on!

When we got back to the motel I suited up and went out into the motel pool.  It was still beastly muggy so that water felt good.  The skeeters kept away long enough for me to get a swim in.

Back in the room, I opened a bottle of wine and took a nice hot bath.....funny how our 1st room & last room on the trip both had a big ass tub in them.....

That sliding glass door opened the bathroom up into the motel room, so I slid it open and sipped wine in a plastic cup and watched TV while lounging in my hot bath.


The next morning we hit the free hot breakfast in the lobby HARD!(Kim hits her sewing hard but I hit breakfast hard. lol)then checked out and started the 8+ hour trip home to PA.

Some interesting sights on the road......

Here's a closer view....anybody remember this brand of soda?
Incidentally, you can still buy this stuff in some South American, Central American countries, as well as Pakistan and South Africa.

Too bad it was too early to stop for lunch when we passed this place......

We took a smaller road through the Rockfish Valley, up toward Waynesboro.  Kept seeing signs for a place called Saunders Brothers Farm and Orchard along the road, so we turned off to check it out.
It's a high falootin' farm market, crawling with mostly what seemed like tourists and people passing through bound for yuppie towns like Charlottesville.  At least that's what the prices were reflective of.
The veggies and fruits were pretty but the prices were like what you'd find in Whole Foods and such.
And they had a large selection of supposedly home canned condiments, salsas, relishes, jams and jellies and spreads with quite the high sticker prices to.
No thanks.
And I didn't even feel the need to take any pictures even though some fruitcake of a fellow kept following us around the market and kept trying to get us to talk to him about melons.
That was our cue to split.

Instead of jumping onto I-81 at Waynesboro, we decided to take a detour.......

Yep, we took the long meandering way through here.....

Now for some gratuitous photos along the Skyline Drive......

And here's another to drive through the mountains of Virginia by.....

Here's some more info on Jim Lloyd and The Skyliners....

After we left the Skyline Parkway(we only drove a portion of the whole thing),  we stopped at a liquor store in Elkton and Hubs stocked up on some Dickel whiskey since we can't get it up in Yankeeland PA.
I went into a Food Lion and stocked up on this......

A cherry soda they only sell in the South.
It reminds me of cough syrup my mother use to give me when I was a kid.....reminds me in a good way. 
I "heart" cherry flavor.  8-)

In Harrisonburg we hit this place for lunch.....

Good subs there.

Then we tried to make some good time and stuck to the Interstate......

I LOVE this photo.......Oooooo! A hot shirtless man!!

Here it is again, but closer......on closer inspection maybe shirtless is NOT the right look for this guy.....

 And here's a tight shot.....

"Breathtaking Scenery is RIGHT!"
A sweaty hairy middle aged paunchy man.....

Ok enough of disgusting, let's look at some nice pictures.......


Hey!  I wonder if I have any family living there?

And not soon enough, we were crossing back into WV.....

Potty & picture break in Wild and Wonderful WV....

Then shortly after we crossed into MD.....

And after a very short while, into PA.....

And to illustrate once again, how I always attract the strange and weird, look at what we passed on the Interstate once we got into PA..........

You can read all about Lynda Farley HERE .
I love that I caught her taking a drag from her cigarette in that last photo.  8-)
She must have been on her way to NJ for a court appearance when we passed her in August.
Or she could have been on her way to fight summons issued in PA, since she has gotten those too.

And just so you know.....don't EVER Google "smoking granny", unless of course you want to see old lady porn....... 8-X

We stopped in Linglestown PA at a truck stop for dinner.
We just did the Buffet du Jour since we didn't want to wait for made-to-order food.  It was steak night.
Might have been nice if they had supplied something that cut better than a plastic knife.

Here's a pseudo cake/brownie.
I thought it was a brownie but it turned out to be a really dry piece of cake....what the plastic wrap covering it trying to keep the moist OUT or IN?!?
Beats me.....

There were random shreds of coconut inside it.  Not even coconut to flavor the thing, but more like someone in the kitchen said, "Hey! What should I do with this handful of coconut that is leftover?  I  know.....I'll put it into this cake that needs more moisture!!"
Just so you know kitchen didn't help.

We pulled into the driveway around 9pm that evening.
Glad to be home but sorry that our travels had come to an end.

I can't wait to get out on the highway again!

This is your roving reporter signing off.....



  1. But I loved your trip. And someday you have to explain the second cousin once removed to me.

    Oh an for some reason you and a few other blogs are not updating on my blog roll. I am sure that its me and not my Irish Catholic Yankee self whos is doing it :) I swear its not me though..if you know how to fix it let me know

    1. It is blogger Judy. There are ones on the blogger platform that NEVER update on my roll in a timely fashion.....yours, Sonya's, and a few more. I am forever having to scroll down and see what have I missed. Love blogger.....lolz

  2. Your blog roll is not updating on my blog, either. I just figured it was my blogger.

    Lane--the chests are dangerous. Quite a few children have died in them. They do not open from the inside, so a recall makes it possible to get a free, new lock that will not trap anyone.

    Pankey--Undoubtedly, she is mine. I will ask the family genealogist> If I give him the picture, he will sell it to the members of the family. Thanks.

    I remember Teem but never heard of Cheerwine.

    I read an article online about the granny, but there was no picture. My hanging handicap tag says I cannot drive with it hanging--illegal or something. However, teens and rednecks can drive with dice, beads and junk hanging from the rearview mirror and never get a ticket. It is tacky but I cannot see what she is hurting. She might offend good taste, but side mirrors are all a person is required to have to see.

    Those are breathtaking views of the mountains.

    1. I have a photo of the family headstone too if you want names on it though and Bernice was the only one with an individual stone that I saw.
      I never had a problem with my Lane chest since it always had a heavy pile of crap on it so the kids couldn't get into it. lol

      I am shocked you've never heard of Cheerwine.....That's like being our age and from New England and never having heard of Moxie. lol It's based in the Carolinas but sold from WV to FL and you can even buy it in Norway Google tells me.
      If you don't like cherry cough syrup, don't buy it. lolz

    2. I will check to see if she is mine. Oh, who am I kidding. It's mine.

      A full chest may be thing that has saved many a child.

      I may not have drunk Cheerwine for one of two reasons. 1) because of my mother's dislike of any alcoholic beverage being consumed in front of us, I never even had rootbeer. Then, I discovered root beer was nasty. 2) she may have not allowed us to buy it because of the "wine" part. I was over 30 before I ever even tasted wine or had alcohol.

      I like cherry cough syrup and those Luden cough drops, too.


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