Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip

It aint over till it’s over.

The end of my Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip.

Sunday we woke up early after the bluegrass festival and I made the executive decision to cut my trip a day short. I allotted two days to get back but looking over my map I kept thinking I’d probably only end up a few hours from home anyways. So I decided to cut out a few things and just drive.

And drive I did.

I drove a little through Asheville and didn’t see a thing I was looking for. I did have a man wish me safe travels at a gas station because he saw that I was “far from home.” Indeed.

I drove through a bit of the Great Smoky Mountains. Which were pretty amazing. I’d love to drive through more when I have more time…and when it’s not a holiday weekend. Not sure how traffic is on a normal day or even a normal weekend, but it was a bit crowded.

I drove through Cherokee Village, an interesting little town with a giant wooden Indian. But I just drove through. Because it was insanely crowded and there was also a lot of construction around said giant Indian.

As I wound my way through the mountains I stopped on the side a couple of times to take it all in.

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - Driving through the Great Smoky Mountains

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - Driving through the Great Smoky Mountains

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - Driving through the Great Smoky Mountains

And it was all so beautiful.

And then I drove. Drove. Drove. Drove.

I was a little nervous as my route took me through Pigeon Forge which was horribly slow. But luckily I didn’t hit much traffic elsewhere!

I made a couple of stops…once for an airplane-shaped filling station, once for a giant chicken I didn’t find, and once for a giant chair.

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - Airplane-shaped filling station

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - Giant Chair

And one for Krystals.

Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip - road trip stop at Krystals

And for gas.

I knew I was back in Chicago when I was driving fifteen over the speed limit and was still being passed left and right. Most of my trip everyone pretty much went within five miles of the speed limit. So it is a really good thing that on road trips my normal Chicago road rage seems to melt away and I just enjoy a leisurely drive.

After leaving at around 8am Eastern I rolled into Chicago around 11:30pm Central meaning that I drove from just about sixteen and a half hours. I was pretty tired but I went to Mat’s place to eat a taco, drink some beer (yeah, I drank beer?), and then fall asleep.

Because I wasn’t just ready to go home.

And a vacation isn’t over until you’re home.

My Virginia/North Carolina Road Trip:

Day 1: You know you take the scenic route when…

Day 2: I don’t do well with decisions.

Day 3/Day 4: And all the roads that lead you there were winding.

Day 5: I swear we were infinite.

Day 6: Chicago needs more mountains.

Day 7: Second Best Water Ever.

Day 8: RedBone Willy’s Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival.

Day 9: It ain’t over till it’s over.


Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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