Roadtrip Experiment for the Alphageek

I was sitting in front of the television the week before President's Day, enjoying a good bourbon. I told Mrs. Alphageek that I wanted to try an experiment. I wanted to see how many people would show up and let me take their picture if I posted I was driving around on Facebook. She sharply pointed out I was not experimenting unless I had a hypothesis to begin with. I could then either prove or disprove the hypothesis. I poured another bourbon and informed her that it would be a roadtrip instead. She gleefully said I should go for it. With me out of the house, she could watch all those boring television shows where some decorator shows up and paints the walls. Talk about your predictable shows: they always fix a house and the residents always love the house at the end.

I posted my intent to make the trip to and from Chritiansburg on facebook. I charged up the batteries on the cameras, refreshed the GPS and hit the road the day before President's day in the RX-8. Sure, there is no room for all the gadgets in the RX-8, but who cares, the car is fun to drive.

You can see the pictures of the event on this link. I can't quite get the content I want, so I suggest opening the previous link in another tab or page, and taking a look at each picture with the picture's paragraph. I know this setup is not ideal, but even the Alphageek can't quite seem to make this easier. You can also click on each highlighted link, which will bring up the picture I am talking about.

I had researched some places to stop and take pictures on Roadside America. I just had to see some of the items they list.

My first stop was a big Purple Cow Head near Dooms, VA. This was an interesting place to stop. You drive down the road and on the side of the road is a big purple cow head. This must not be much of an attraction because the place was roped off with closed signs everywhere. I snapped some pictures, waved to some friendly locals, and got back on the road.

My next stop was White's Truck Stop. I know this may not be an exciting stop anymore, but I had to check in for the nostalgia. Twenty years ago, there was nothing between Roanoke and Harrisonbug, except for White's. They used to have the only bathrooms on the trip north and south up I81. White's also used to have pinball machines. I went inside to look around and found the pinball machines had been replaced by driving video games. Someone might want to rethink the strategy of driving games at a rest stop along an interstate highway.

My next stop was to see a building shaped like a coffee (or tea) pot. Again, this building was also roped off and closed to visitors. I had to pull into the median and take some pictures. I noted that buildings with this kind of shape are not something you can see just anywhere, and moved along.

I was driving toward Foamhenge, when I noticed a familiar building. I was near the location of the great Buddy Burger controversy! I had to get a picture. Now, this is the Fancy Hill Restaurant. Twenty years ago, this was Buddy Burger. We stopped here on a family trip when I was in High School. During that stop, we stopped to order some take out at Buddy Burger. We each stepped up and ordered something to eat in the car. The only eventful occurrence was my father complaining to the person when my father was asked if he wanted some french fries. He indignantly replied that if he had wanted fries, he would have asked for them. At least my father did not tell about serving french fries during his youth. We all piled into the car with our own little bags and got back on the road. While we were all enjoying our food, my father starts complaining that he has no french fries and wants some of ours. As if we are going to give some of ours after he was positive he did not want fries twenty minutes ago. He next insists that he did order fries! Parents, what are you going to do? My sister and I did what any good children would do, laugh a lot. To this day, my father insists that he ordered fries.

I was challenged to get a picture of myself with Merlin at Foamhenge. If you want to read more about Foamhenge, go to this link.

Memories rekindled, I got back on the road. I needed some caffeine, so I stopped at Mill Mountain Coffee in Troutville. Not much to add, other than I think they have darn good coffee and that they get the Alphageek seal of approval.

I then got on the old trusty cell phone and called Adean. She responded to my facebook request and thought a picture at the Mill Mountain Star would be a great idea. This would mark my first time making the trip to the star. I drove there just in time to watch the Star turn on for the evening. A few minutes later, Adean arrived. We spent a few minutes catching up. She looked like she stepped out of her yearbook picture. She took a few minutes to entertain my messing around with my camera. I think this is my favorite. I want to thank Adean and her daughter for coming out on a chilly night for something fun. Even though it was my first trip there, it will not be my last trip.

I then jumped back into the car. I was off to my final destination, Christiansburg. While in the car, I called Richard. Richard was in Cburg from Cincinnati, OH. We caught up with each other at McAdoos in Cburg. I ordered a sandwich and we each had a beer. We spent time talking about funny stories that I am not going to put down in writing. We commemorated the moment with a picture, and headed out. The irony of meeting in Christiansburg when we each live hours away was somewhat interesting.

I woke up the next morning to some snow on my car. Sports cars don't like snow. I think that may be the first snow to touch my car.

I then headed down to the Coffee Deopt. I was going to upload a big set of pictures and look really cool. Instead, the software did not want to cooperate. Instead Melissa stopped by. She spent a few minutes telling me about herself. She has quite an interesting background. I showed her the pictures that refused to post and enjoyed the coffee she bought me. She headed off to work and I gave up trying to get anything more done. A big thanks for coming out and listening to me ramble about my roadtrip.

I decided to give one last try to posting pictures. I decided to return to Mill Mountain Coffee in Troutville and try to upload from there. While there, I made a quick post of my location on facebbok. Beaver replied and asked if I was really there. I said I was. I was pretty surprised when Beaver showed up in person a few minutes later! A visit from the CHS Class of 1984 President was an unexpected honor. We spent some time catching up. It is amazing to think I have known Beaver since kindergarten. The time quickly passed, and Beaver needed to get on with the rest of his day, and I still needed to drive home. We shook hands, and he continued with his day. I ended up posting a bunch of pictures manually, which took a lot longer than I had predicted. I hate it when technology lets you down.

I headed back on the road and drove home. Was this experiment a success? Given that Mrs. Alphageek already told me it was not really an experiment, I guess not. After all, I was not sure what to expect. To me, a good trip is seeing some unusual sights, and meeting some interesting people along the way. This trip certainly met both of those requirements.