Eastbound Day 17 – 505 miles – Nashville to Sutton

Monday, 11 April 1994

Another long drive day, through Tennessee and Kentucky into West Virginia. The Kentucky stretch is a real international tour – in short order we pass exits to Boston, New Haven, Paris, Versailles, Somerset, Winchester, Lebanon, Glasgow and even Danville, the very first night stop on this tour.

motel in SuttonWe pass Charleston (West Virginia not South Carolina) and decide to stop by 8.30 pm, between there and Clarksburg. But then the traffic fades out and so do the exit possibilities, an occasional gas station is all there is on offer. Finally there’s a motel signposted at Sutton, although the homely little hostelry in this sleepy little town turns out to be much further off the freeway than expected. The first two places we try for a meal are already closed for the night by 9 pm and we’re almost resigned to McDonalds back at the freeway when we stumble upon a diner which turns out some excellent home cooking with a knockout choice of pies (the cherry was best) to finish with.

Sending these reports in should be straightforward in the high tech US of A but in fact it has not always been so. Tonight there is no phone in our room, my cellular phone doesn’t want to connect and I end up sending the files through via a payphone. I have to hold the computer in one hand, angling it to catch the light from a streetlamp, typing in one finger instructions with the other hand while cold West Virginian mist, with a distinct smell of burning coal, wafts around me.