Tuesday in CinCity. The Road Trip! Edition.

Our desire to live as a one car family has come to an end and so early Saturday morning Hubby and I set out to eastern Virginia to pick up the 2003 Toyota he bought online with the lure of a 6hr road trip (one way). I finally looked at a map Thursday night after work...that ain't no 6 hour drive. Ten hours per Google and more like 12 hours (one way) with a dog and a sick-of-being-in-this-car wife. He now has heard my promise and declaration to never, never drive through West Virginia again, which he has interpreted as "unsedated." Still and all, an adventure was had.

After picking up our newest addition to the family fleet we became addled when looking for the no-tell motel and ended up driving back and forth past Quantico Marine Base maybe four or seventeen times. I'm hoping for expecting a knock on the door from NCIS' Jethro and Ducky for questioning any day now.

Lessons learned: Waffle Houses are fantabulous country-wide, thanks to all the angels and saints for audio books, what goes down always goes up and steeper, rest areas are a dog's best friend, radio on the weekend in eastern Virginia is an interesting combination of Nascar and gospel, and in Virginia the past is not over by a long shot.

Driving over Route 20 out of Fredricksburg, Virginia in Spotsylvania County we traveled through the sites of the Chancellorsville and Wilderness Battlegrounds. In the early morning light and lifting fog it's hard not to imagine the silhouettes of a young Johnny Reb or a Yank leaning up next to a tree, taking a smoke and watching us go by.

As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woods

by Walt Whitman

As toilsome I wander'd Virginia's woods,

To the music of rustling leaves kick'd by my feet, (for 'twas


I mark'd at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier;

Mortally wounded he and buried on the retreat, (easily all

could I understand,)

The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose—yet

this sign left,

On a tablet scrawl'd and nail'd on the tree by the grave,

Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering,

Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life,

Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt,

alone, or in the crowded street,

Comes before me the unknown soldier's grave, comes the

inscription rude in Virginia's woods,

Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.


  1. I love the rich history of the Virginia countryside and make that journey myself as often as I can.

    To beat the boredom when I took my daughter to Charlottesville with me, I bought silly gifts for her and every 100 miles she was allowed to open one. There was much less whining involved than normal.

    1. That puts about another 5 hrs onto the trip for you, so I will stop whining :>)And, gifts would be very helpful, though to be fair that crazy dog probably thinks he's giving us little gifts every time we let him out of the car!! It wouldn't have been such a brutal trip if we didn't go and come back in 2 days. There were so many thinks we wanted to stop and check out more. Next time...

  2. Congratulations on having gotten a road trip out of becoming a two car family! And through Civil War-memory-filled South at that. Bravo!

    Your post put me in mind of my reading of "Cold Mountain: A Novel" by Charles Frazier and "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War" by Drew Gilpin Faust this past year in line with my genealogy research project. By all rights I shoulda been an Arkansan or a Texan, although I was born in Norfolk, Virginia and did my greater adulthood in California. A perfect representative of the westward expansion...

    An English Riding friend of mine and I reunited and made a pilgrimage to a SoCal showing of "Marley" in your honor this past weekend;>D

  3. How civil of you to not war with the challenges of only one car any longer! We have been doing that for over a year now, and your (wonderful) post has given me a new idea to try: "Hey, honey, let's see what kinds of cars are offered for sale online!" Except I think I will "steer" him to New Mexico instead of Virginia....I've always wanted to see Taos and Santa Fe. :)

    1. still groaning...:>)!
      This is our second car bought online and they've both been good experiences, though the first car smelled a little cigarettey for a "non-smoking" owner. That was our only minor little complaint--very doable! You can check out so many things with CarGuru.com without the emotional pull of a car right in front of you looking flashy. And they usually have the car repair records, etc. Go Girl!!

  4. So.... did it turn out to be a wonderful road trip after all?

    1. It was, sweetie, perhaps much more for us than the dog :>)

  5. Ah, Walt! How I do love him. This poem is so like his "A Sight In The Camp In The Daybreak Grey And Dim"--a Civil War poem of his that I used to teach and one that is one of my favourites. I am headed down to VA, Williamsburg, to be precise, in June. I'll tell everything along the way how much you miss it.

    1. Just read it...no words. Walt must have carried that sadness with him all of his days. An early Hawkeye Pierce from MASH and we still don't listen.
      And, have a great trip in June--photos please!!!:>)

  6. We just drove 12 hours to Hilton Head (from Xenia) on Saturday & I have to say that's at the very upper limit of what I can tolerate in a car in one day. But don't knock West Virginia! When we moved from Fairfield one of my most favorite parts was that we wouldn't have to take 75 down through Kentucky & Tennessee to visit our NC folks. Driving through WV is SO much more pleasant!

    1. You could be right. My hubby loves those looming mountains of WVa on both sides of us and all the shadowy wooded areas--but he was raised there. I think it's beautiful, but just a little creepy.


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