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Day 4 - Sunday, August 11. Refreshed, and with the cars washed and ready to go, we headed out of Tazewell - not onto The Back of the Dragon (VA-16), for we had done it on our last trip, but headed out west and south, to lands which we had never explored (but which through my pre-trip research I felt harboured some good stuff).
Ready for Day 4
Advertising the Twisties
Morning Mists
Again with spooky morning mists, we headed west through the panhandle of Virginia, at first along an interesting variant of a twisty - a long section of four-lane highway (US-460) that was fairly curvy. I wouldn't say twisty, but definitely not straight. It was pleasant enough, and got us swiftly (at the typical 55-mph speed limit, of course) towards the tight stuff that I wanted to explore.
courtesy LWard
Graceland-mobile
Breakfast in Richlands
Vine-lined 4-lane twisty
courtesy LWard
courtesy LWard
courtesy LWard
Covered in Vines
Coal Train
Filming is hard
Highway Cruising
Tookland
Tookland
By about 9 a.m. we had reached a region in western Virginia that had attracted my attention during my pre-trip research. There appeared to be a ton of interconnected county roads that (using google street view) appeared well-paved and quite twisty. And as it turned out, they were (especially a great section of esses on "Big Ridge Road" near the town of Haysi). But.... there was a lot of what I would call "rural residential" along these roads - not farm houses, but people living in rural areas in regular houses. This meant a higher percentage of lower speed limits in certain areas, but most of all, it meant traffic. I don't know, maybe it was the fact that we were driving during prime sunday church hours (and given the density of churches, we were clearly in pretty devoutly christian country here), but there was a lot of very slow moving traffic that impeded us.
courtesy LWard
Twisty with some population
Big Ridge Road
Nice Esses on Big Ridge Road
courtesy LWard
courtesy LWard
Stopping for a closer look
Stopping for a closer look
Take me home
courtesy LWard
The Essence of the Roadtrip
Slow, slow traffic
Flannagan Dam
Rural Homes
Beyond the semi-crowded rural residential zones, a park-like area around a reservoir provided some nice nature relief. Then we decided to move off to a different region, and charted a course west and south across the remaining bit of the Virginia panhandle. WV-72 did most of the work for us here in that regard, and it did it with a super-fresh coat of pristine blacktop - and some good twisties here and there for good measure. There were some particularly nice curves in the vicinity of Little Stony Creek area of the Jefferson National Forest - including a couple of excellent hairpins, where we stopped and did a little roadside action-shot filming.
Flannagan Reservoir
Flannagan Reservoir Overlook
What could be fun...
Clintwood, VA
Turning onto VA-72
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