So there I was stuck in Elkins, West Virginia waiting on clouds to give me some space over the mountains. There was another couple stuck there too that had actually been stuck since the previous night trying to head south west to Texas.
After a few hours of deliberation and pointing out holes in the clouds that might mean they’re breaking up, just to see the hole close again, the other couple and I decided to call it a day and try again the next day.
I booked a hotel room and had the shuttle come pick me up. As we drove to the hotel, the sky kept looking better and better. I was starting to kick myself for booking a hotel — buuuuut — I wanted to be safe. So I got to the hotel, got a shower, got into clean clothes and prepared to head to the local Applebee’s to have a beer and call it a night.
The clouds looked better and better so I decided to call the national weather briefing service for one last chance. They showed that I was looking okay currently and had about a 2-4 hour window to get over the peaks before the clouds came back down and shut me out until noon the next day.
I had a quick self-conversation. Was I succumbing to “get-there-itis” or was this a legitimate opening? At that moment, the beer sounded a lot better than getting back into the hot & sweaty plane and I decided to turn back if the clouds were close to the peaks.
So, I hopped back in the plane and took a peek at the peaks.
Things looked good. Got over the mountains and it was clear sailing into Hanover County, Virginia where I was able to pick up my old college buddy Matt.
We flew from the Richmond area to the Williamsburg airport just so that we could take a look at some of the many Virginia rivers from the air. Then it was due west to Blacksburg.
This is Spring Hollow Reservoir just outside of Roanoke and Blacksburg. Really cool looking lake at such a high altitude. There’s something gorgeous about mountain lakes, even if they are mostly man-made with a dam.
We had to cut below relatively low cloud cover again passing over one last peak to get into Blacksburg, but when we made it to campus, it was well worth it.
This is what we came for. Finally! Matt’s cousin picked us up from the airport and we went to have some fun at the local bars. By the way, the best place to go in Blacksburg, VA is the Hokie House. Tune in for the trip home in part 3, and take a look at this shot of Lane Stadium!