RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Drive From Virginia To West Virginia on I-77

                                     Tuesday 5/6/2014

Wytheville, Virginia is 8 miles from our the Fort Chiswell Campground. On our second day we drove to see the town. We stopped at the Visitor Center to see what there was to see in the area. There was the West Winds Farm & Winery just 3 miles up from our campground, as well as the Historic Shot Tower that made lead bullets in 1807. There was the Big Walker Lookout Tower that is 100 feet tall on the tallest mountain in the area. But when it came down to it, Joe and I decided just to go to Wal-Mart for groceries and to just go home and relax. We had done a lot of day trips in North Carolina and were a little burnt out from going all the time!

Joe filled up the car and RV before we headed out of town the next day. He had done some research, and Virginia had the best diesel prices between, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.

We took I-77 North

North of Wytheville, we came to Big Walker Mountain. At the top of this mountain is the Big Walker Lookout tower that we forgo the day before. The tower had open air stairs, which Joe and I were not keen on climbing.

We were told by other travelers that we would go through two tunnels on I-77 going north.

I didn't like the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. It seemed very narrow for the speed that the traffic was going. The tunnel was just about a mile long.
I liked Virginia, because it had some mountains, but also some rolling green pastureland.

Even though we were on an interstate, the drive was constantly going down or up with lots of curves. Not Joe's most favorite drive! Check out the the run away truck ramp. We have never seen one that goes up such a steep hill. That should stop a run away truck!

It was a very beautiful drive, but a stressful drive for Joe.

It would be a gorgeous drive in the fall.

We come to the second tunnel, East River Mountain Tunnel. This tunnel was not as scary as the first. Joe thought it was because we got use to the first one. I think the second one was wider.

As you exit the second tunnel, you enter West Virginia Wild & Wonderful.This is the first time Joe and I have ever been in West Virginia. A new state for us.

As you enter West Virginia, I-77 becomes the West Virginia Turnpike.

This Oversize Load was not fun as it passed us on the interstate. Joe had to ride the rumble strip on the side of the road for a while until it passed us. It was traveling pretty fast for an Oversize Load. We travel at 57 mph, so we get passed up a lot.
We went through 3 pay stations at a cost of $3.25. Not too bad of a price, compared to other turnpikes we have been on.
I had read online about Tamarack, a place to stop and shop. I talked Joe into stopping for a break.

When you pull into Tamarack, you can go to the truck parking or on up to the shopping area. After parking in the truck stop, we had to walk up  a few stairs to get to the shop.

View of the truck stop below. There is also a Travel Center behind the truck stop with a Burger King, Starbucks, Hersey's Ice Cream, and a Sbarro.
We ate our lunch earlier at a rest stop, so we just went to the shopping.

The shopping center is round, and you walk until you come back to where you started. Tamarack has West Virginian's arts and crafts from local state artist. You will find anything from pottery, to woodwork, to paintings. Tamarack also has several eating areas in the center.
We didn't stay long in the shopping center as we left all the windows open in the bus for Mallery, and I didn't want anyone stealing my dog. Yes I worry about all these things. I could see Mallery waiting for us in the front passenger seat. Tamarak is in the town of Beckley which is at a elevation of 2,421 ft.

We left Tamarack and headed down the road to more downgrades,

and more curves

We made our night stop at the Morton Travel Plaza after 170 miles of driving that day.

During our drive we reached a height of 3,274 feet, and ended at the plaza at 741 feet. We didn't know what elevation the plaza was going to be at, but wished it had been at a higher elevation, because it was 90 degrees when we stopped at 3PM. We looked for campgrounds off I-77 in West Virginia, but everything we found was not "Big Rig" friendly according to reviews or not close off the interstate. This truck stop has mountains on all four sides, which prevented us from getting any internet or phone service. We went into the Travel Plaza, and they said they had internet, but when I couldn't get a connection, they said the internet was down. Luckily we did get TV that night. It was a hot and noisy sleep night! Mallery hated it here, because it was so noisy when she went out to go to the bathroom. We were the only RV that night, and the truck stop was full that evening. Around 4PM I finally closed my window because I was tired of the noise and diesel fumes.

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