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Starting Location:  Covington, Virginia Ending Location:  Hampton, Virginia
Weather There:  Overcast/foggy, 56°F

Weather Here:  

Overcast/foggy, 65°F
Starting Time:  7:13am Eastern Time Ending Time:  8:56pm Eastern Time
Starting Mileage:  26,171 miles Ending Mileage:  26,759 miles
Total Miles Today:  588 miles Total Drive Time:  10 hours, 33 minutes
Deer Seen:  5, at G.W.'s birthplace Suspicious rooms:  217, just down the hall

As days go, the first long one, end to end. We were up and running around 6:30am, and by the time I got everything posted, 2am is already a distant memory. But tomorrow's another day, and we'll be setting foot in the nation's capital (or capitol... I looked up the definition of each, and it's hazy at best.)

The term for a town or city that serves as a seat of government is spelled capital. The term for the building in which a legislative assembly meets is spelled capitol.

And adding to my reasons why I hate flying places for road trips, add this one to the entry: rental cars -- at least the ones from the reservation-ignoring Avis -- have the cigarette adapters disabled (I guess to complicate people from smoking in the cars). But that also prevents me from writing updates whilst Tubby drives, and vice versa, and we can't charge our mobile Nextel phone.

6:15am The alarm goes off. I am gently annoyed, Tubby and Robin ignore it. Drat.
6:31am Movement, and packing and such activity is now swirling all around me.
7:13am Tubby checks out of the motel and we're on our way.
7:16am We wander down a bit one way, and find that there's nothing much there. Tubby makes a quick turn into a driveway, does a U-turn, and heads back the way we came. About halfway through the turn, we see a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, scurrying up the hill as fast as she could. We can only surmise she saw us turning, and thought we were going to abduct her, or was taught to run away at the sight of strangers. Either way, it was a sight to see. (And heck, we at least look local, in our rental with Virginia plates.) Anyway.
7:20am Back in town, we wandered around Covington before hopping back onto the interstate and toward uncertain adventure and excitement.
7:44am We arrived in Clifton Forge after traveling a good 10-15 miles or so down Interstate 64. While in town, we bumped into other school kids, but these were more in the junior high age range, and were in a group, so our presence was not nearly as distressing, fortunately.
8:02am Sufficiently wandered, and lacking anyone else to scare, we hit the road again. Along the way, we descended one hill into a valley where the fog was sitting in the lower-laying areas in a rather neat way.
8:29am The next stop on this magical journey was Lexington, a city fraught with history from even before the first shot of the American Revolution. But being either a poor navigator or having a particularly poor sense of direction today, I didn't find anything as earth-shattering as I'd hoped, and eventually surrendered and moved on.
9:13am Nothing noteworthy occurred at 9:13am. Nor at 9:14am, but I thought I'd keep these two updates together.
9:46am We set webbed toe in Roanoke, and I have to admit being impressed with the place. The first sight was of the steeples of the Catholic church, and the modern building behind it. Once we began wandering around the town itself, it seemed to have an ideal blend of new and old, industrial, commercial, residential and recreation, and even a cute little stream running through town. (An ambulance also wailed by, and Tubby got to stare at the flashing lights, but I'll spare you his weak attempt at photographing the event.)
10:14am We made our way back to the road, this time taking Highway 220 south.
11:11am Our kickin' Chevy ate up another 50 or so miles of asphalt before reaching Martinsville.
11:29am We left Martinsville. Enough said.
11:53am Danville greeted us with a wood sign atop a slight hill, but having been misled by wood signs earlier today, I was wary. The town seemed sufficiently quaint, but by chasing down a slightly topsy-turvey rooftop sign, we discovered the brown lining of this town -- the tobacco warehouse district.
12:29pm We headed out of town, after popping into Wendys for lunch. (Yes, I realize it's fast food, but we are operating in "road trip rules." And if you want to curb your fast food munchies, I'd suggest renting or buying the documentary Super Size Me.)
1:28pm Feeling the powerful affects of having eaten lunch and not having my daily nap, our visit to and through Lynchburg did not make me nearly as giddy as I'd have expected. So I cut my losses and pushed forward.
2:16pm Amherst was another story. While they lacked anything that could even begin to resemble a town sign, they had two courthouses (old and new), AND a round-about. And any place in America with a round-about is a place I'd like to visit.
2:29pm Having left Amherst, we rejoined the interstate for the somewhat lengthy trek (relatively speaking to today's other stops) to the state capital city of Richmond.
3:05pm Have you ever seen so many trees in one place?
3:18pm And it's not even the same trees. They go on forever, it seems. Lovely, lush, green. Even in autumn.
4:09pm We arrive in Richmond. Our agenda starts with the Virginia War Memorial, the state capitol building, and whatever else we can find. That goes reasonably well. Reasonably.
4:59pm We jump onto Highway 360 to head for the next stop. Of course, we were joined by a myriad of others who had the same idea -- get the heck out of Richmond at 5pm. Stupid running late on an otherwise good itinerary day. End grumbling.
5:06pm While only 50 or so miles (and don't quote me there -- just an estimate) to the next city, it was a 35-55 MPH stretch the entire way. Even having to suffer through people littering right in front of us (cigarette butt).
5:49pm Finally...! Our arrival in Tappahannock. I was getting a bit anxious, in that sunset is around 7pm, but it gets darker earlier in parts what with the trees and hills. And if you've seen more than a few pictures on the site, you'd know nighttime and my photos just don't generally agree. But we've dodged the bullet today!
6:17pm Pushing the envelope of low light even further, we popped into the itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny town of Lyells to photograph the sign, a field, the church, and one of only two homes we could find.
6:19pm Through the awesome power of reading the map, Robin found we weren't at all far from the birthplace of George W. -- that's Washington, not George W. Bush whose favor seems to vary from day to day, and town to town.
6:44pm It surprised the down off me, but the pictures now just after sunset at George Washington's Birthplace didn't turn out too horribly. Of course, the visitor's center closed at 5pm, but when you factor in that George was born a little less than 300 years ago, and historical societies didn't do much to save buildings in the 1700s, there's nothing much of the birthplace left at this point anyway.
6:52pm We headed back to the highways and toward our final destination of Hampton, Virginia for the night -- only 100 or so miles from the place George W. took his first breaths centuries ago.
7:27pm Taking Highway 17 south most of the way leads one to end up on less-than-optimal roads, speeds-wise. We have been sitting mostly at 55-60 MPH the entire time
8:59pm We arrive -- finally! -- in Hampton, locate a reasonable motel-like place, and find a Chili's and even the Wally-Mart nearby. Dinner first.
9:52pm That resolved, we popped into Wal-Mart to see if tomorrow's releases for DVD (particularly Fahrenheit 9/11 and Saved!) were out yet, or the new Good Charlotte CD. No dice. It was a long shot, but since the place is open 24 hours, it was possible. (Of course, it's also not in the best part of town... never before have I seen the DVDs all behind lock and key.)
10:09pm We arrive at the Red Roof Inn, check in, and are assigned to room 213.
10:14pm Proceeding past room 217 to our room, Tubby and I glance into 217. Something's amiss. Something's also foul, which I recognized from what happens when food poisoning or binge drinking finally revolt against consumption. One occupant was sitting on the bed putting on makeup.
10:21pm I settle in for what promises to be a long night. With 11 new places to post and the updates to write, I sent Tubby down to the mini-market for a liter of Diet Pepsi for me. It's nice having a lackey, eh?
10:28am Tubby returned from the store with his assigned task completed, and reported 217 now has one occupant (white female adult, mid 30s who's aged horribly) lingering outside, while a second white female adult, early 20s, is again applying make-up.)
12:09am After the end of the Monster something or another show, where they redo rooms (this one was a fire station), Robin turned in.
1:17am Tubby falls asleep sucking his thumb. It's so wretchedly adorable to look at. And photograph. ;)
3:14am The last of the updates is done and posted, so I'm turning in. Good night, y'all!
   

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