Many Americans woke up this morning to the news of our triumphant, albeit short-handed, return home to Virginia but in our normal fashion we thought it worthy to comment about yesterday’s travels on our last leg home.
You may recall we departed Bridgeport, WV and headed east on Route 50 through the mountains, but needing to eventually work our way a little bit further south than what Route 50 had to offer. However, Route 48, also known as Corridor H, is not a friend to Model T touring as it’s meant to be a high-speed throughway so we needed an alternate route through the mountains east of Mt. Storm.
Fortunately, we could pick up Old West Virginia 55 in Moorefield and follow along the general path of 48, but with much less traffic with the bonus of having plenty to see along the way.
West Virginia has plenty to offer in terms of scenic roads and vistas, but even though the we peaked at an elevation of about 3,095′ we did find ourselves passing several, if not many, 10% grade road signs. The Ruckstell made easy work of them going up, and the Rocky Mountain brakes gave comfort to us coming back down and we would certainly recommend those brakes on any car doing West Virginia mountain touring.
Even on the highways there are nice overlooks, but not like the ones you may stumble upon on the back roads. And in the northern section of West Virginia you can look across a single vista and see the mountains in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Once we made it to Wardensville, WV, it was safe to rejoin Route 48, where it necked back down to a single-lane road in both directions (although there is still a lot of traffic) and we climbed the final ridge where the Tuscarora hiking trailhead marks the boundary between West Virginia and Virginia. Then we gradually descended down into Virginia, working our way through the increasingly built up areas until we were finally back in the heart of Northern Virginia sprawl, a bittersweet ending to our cross country trip.
But before we finished the journey, we had one more appointment…to meet and pick up two of our original travelers who had to depart early after the ’11’s sudden onset of metal fatigue. There were smiles all around as we drove the final 10 miles home together, and, with that, it’s back to rat race.
But we’re not done yet. The ’11 is due back home this week, along with a “new” engine that will be installed after the broken one is removed. We have lots of post-maintenance work to be done on both cars but without a doubt they’ll be on the road again before long. Plus, there’s already discussion among the youngest of our group which year Model Ts they’d like to own one day.
Thank you to everyone who followed along and encouraged us to continue, and especially to all of you who made it possible to continue. We cannot call out everyone by name as we’ll be sure to forget someone, but a special shout-out belongs to Scott Conger who allowed us to add another 700 miles together before the 11’s crankshaft failed, and, of course, to all our families who allowed us to go outside and play for awhile.
Until then, we’ll see you all on the road again soon!
Don, Jon, Matt, Nico and Jonathan