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USA road trip, day 4, and we’re heading for Deliverance country.

USA road trip, day 4, and we’re heading for Deliverance country.

A sombre start this morning with a detour to Arlington National Cemetery. It wasn’t in the original plan but I’m so glad we went. The two main things we saw there were JFK’s resting place, which was surprisingly simple, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its 24/7 honour guard. Seeing the guard made me smile. Reminded me of the films you watch with American marines in them shouting “one, two, three, four, I love Marine Corp.!” I always thought they put that voice on, seems not 🙂 Must be trained to do it as they sound just like they do in the movies. As we left Washington we passed the Pentagon and headed to Mount Vernon, the home of the first U.S. President George Washington. Phil stayed in the car, silly boy, missed out. Wonderful to see the estate, and educational too. Turns out one of the most revered Presidents in all of U.S. history had slaves. Didn’t know that and was a little surprised to see their quarters. Next stop was lunch at The Apple House in Linden, Virginia at the top of the Skyline Drive which runs through Shenandoah National Park. Our first taste of proper BBQ and whilst there Greg used some initiative and picked up some sausages for the next morning’s breakfast that he was going to cook at the cabin we had booked for the night. The Skyline Drive was amazing and by pure luck we were passing through at the perfect time of year, the fall (that’s autumn to you and me). An amazing display of yellows, reds, purples and blue haze coming off the trees (think the song, Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia..that’s where they got the name from apparently). One word, spectacular. We stopped at many overlooks, just had to. It was staggering. Around each corner was another beautiful, epic view that stretched for miles, especially to the east. I’m not exaggerating. I wish we had the time to complete not only the Skyline Drive but also the Blue Ridge Parkway as well. To do both drives justice they need a week and we only had an afternoon. We also had to hop off the Skyline Drive a little early as we wanted to make sure we got to the cabin before sunset so we could take in the view. We made it in time but it was overcast so the view wasn’t the best, but hey, the cabin was brilliant, an amazing find by Greg on AirBnB. It was so deep in the woods you couldn’t get a mobile signal and I swear I heard a banjo. No neighbours for some distance, think the boys were nervous. The plan had been to find some food on the way to the cabin to cook for supper but that plan went out the window a long way back so we had to venture out. We hadn’t planned for this so we just headed off, further into the woods to find a store. Satnav was useless. We passed a small town, Hot Springs, that had a decent looking inn, made a mental note, and pressed on to the store at the end of the ‘rainbow’. Just as we were about to give up, there it was! It was too late to get food to cook (too much hassle at that time of night) so we loaded up with beer and wine and headed back to the inn we had passed a little way back. Turned out is was Sam Snead’s Tavern (famous golfer) who was originally from the area. Well, that’s what the barmaid told us. Place wasn’t busy but ww were told we couldn’t have a table and had to eat at the bar. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, sometimes some of the best finds are not planned and this was one of them. After a few jars and some grub it was back to the cabin to crack open the wine and get the banjo out for a duel. Oh, OK, just the wine then. Couldn’t be a late one. Next day was the longest drive of the trip, over 600 miles. Didn’t look that far on the map…

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