Today we crossed more of the Appalachian Mountains that cross these states diagonally. We were climbing and descending. There were beautiful green mountains and forests. We traveled high on a long ridge overlooking the valley.
Then we traveled along more highway that went through mountains instead of around or over them. I guess since they do a lot of mining here it must be easier to just tunnel through the mountains. One of the tunnels took us from West Virginia into Virginia, that was a surprise.
After the last tunnel, and traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway past Fancy Gap we descended into North Carolina which landscapes their interstate highway with lovely colorful flowers. We passed Pilot Mountain, turned and passed Winston-Salem famous for NASCAR. There were lovely homes along the lakes and rivers.
We saw fruit orchards and many hardwood trees and pine forests. We even saw our first tobacco field. We began to see the horrible, invasive climbing vine, Kudzu, that takes over everything. It covers trees, smothering them and eventually killing them. Kudzu was introduced to the United States as an ornamental bush and an effortless and efficient shade producer at the Philadelphia Continental Exposition in 1876. In the 1930s and '40s, the vine was rebranded as a way for farmers to stop soil erosion. Workers were paid eight dollars an hour to sow topsoil with the invasive vine. Now it is a menace
We arrived at our campground near the Fayetteville Airport. The ground is sand, like much of the southeast coastal states. There were tall, thin pine trees shading us from the heat and humidity and covering the ground with their needles.
For a little socializing, we went to the Fayetteville Elks Lodge that we had visited in 2006 on our first trip east. In 2006 we had been invited to a “Pig Pickin” party by a member named Glen. Well after socializing with the members at the bar, who walks in? Why, it was Glen. He has not been coming into the lodge much so it was a surprise to his friends, and especially to us. He presented us with a jar of their favorite homemade BBQ sauce that they keep at the lodge. I took a photo of their Pin Map and you can see our pin that we left in 2006 was still there. This is when we were members of Buena Park Elks, and their pin is the one with the red heart.
I love their sign as we left their parking lot, “Ya’All come back”.