I pulled off of Interstate 68 onto WV 28 to get to Bruceton Mills. There were a couple of gas stations / restaurant things right off the exit that I could have parked at, but I didn’t want to take away space from a paying customer. I found this little strip:
Three stores. One of which — the biggest — was out of business. It was 9:30AM on a Sunday. The other two businesses were not open. Plenty of parking in front of each location and lots more parking along the side. The other two business were a tobacco shop and a cell phone store. Doubtful either were going to be busting at the seams on a holiday weekend. (The picture above was snapped later that afternoon. One car in the parking lots. Hers.)
I parked in the spot farthest away from the front door, changed into my biking gear, got the bike off the rack, loaded up the panniers. When I was done, a woman who’d pulled into the lot, drove around in a couple of circles, then pulled up alongside me and barked, “Parking is for customers only.”
I looked around the lot. We were the only cars there. I said “They’re all closed. None of these places are open. That one,” I said, pointing to the defunct sports bar, “isn’t going to be open at all today.”
She didn’t budge. “Parking is for customers only.”
“Ooooooo-kay. Well, where can I park, then?”
“I don’t know. Maybe somewhere in town? Just not here.”
Uh huh. Fantastic greeting to a visitor to your town, lady. People should consider they don’t know who they’re possibly pissing off. The pissed off guy might want to tell 400,000 of his closest friends about you.
Crazy bitchy woman aside, I have to admit, everyone else I encountered in West Virginia waved and smiled and seemed damned friendly. Perhaps this lady who owned the dying businesses (because, c’mon, who else would care?) was having a bad day. Still no excuse to be rude about it, though.
Anyway, there really wasn’t much more to tell about West By Gawd Virginny. The first mile and 3/4s was a steady climb. Was just a cruel teaser for how the rest of the day was going to be.
The silver lining was I knew that my last 7/4ths of a mile (hey kids! remember “improper fractions” from the 5th grade?) was going to be down hill.
Got a kick out of this road’s name: