Midnight Travels through the Deep South

Well, today was supposed to be the day we drove a leisurely 350 miles from Washington DC to Troutville, VA, where we were going to stay over at the Troutville Comfort Inn outside of Roanoke. Then, tomorrow we were going to leave from there and drive in to Nashville, where once again we would be staying over a night before our last leg to Chicago. Instead, we embarked on an all-night road marathon through the deep south with no sleep (and consequently, no pictures).

We arrived in Troutville after being exasperated with the idiot drivers on the interstate who refused to move into the right lane to let others pass. Stopping in Richmond, we observed some interesting local people on the street and some other reminders that part of the South is still very much a backwards place. The predominance of Confederate flags and licence plate frames, irate drivers hauling police dogs, and a particular stop sign in Richmond that urged one to "Stop Northern Agression" (a 'northern agression' sticker was placed below the 'stop' on a stop sign), told us that we should keep an eye out in this different place.

Arriving in Troutville, we checked into the Comfort in and then decided to look for a local theater in Roanoke to take in the new release of "Eyes Wide Shut." Buying tickets for the 10PM show, we dined at Shoneys in Roanoke and then attended the show. Let me say, Eyes Wide Shut is a most disturbing and unusual film (but at the same time very good and worth seeing), and its viewing by three Californians stuck in Roanoke in a Comfort Inn made the entire experience even more surreal. Needless to say, none of us could sleep, so we called ahead to Nashville, secured early check in with the nice folks at the Brentwood Hilton, and packed up and left Troutville. Time of Departure: 2 AM EDT!

After a long and tiring night of driving, we arrived in Brentwood ready to sleep for days. We checked in, grabbed the free breakfast offered by the hotel, and promptly fell asleep.

So, because we are getting a bit tired of the camera and drove predominantly at night, we did not get any shots of the exciting drive to Nashville. Hopefully we'll have some more shots of our final day of the trip, but then again, I think we are all tired of pictures of farms and signs and roadside attractions, so it may be sparse tomorrow as well, but stay tuned as we wrap up the final installments of Trip '99!!