Welcome to West Virginia, now Get the Hell Out!

I embarked this morning on an adventure. Something of a misadventure as it turned out. One involving errant directions, a hostile landowner, two cases of bootleg gin, and a Honda Accord with something just short of 200,000 miles under the hood. OK – there was no gin. But there could have been. Really. Yes, this fine morning I had been commissioned to travel to Inwood, WV, home to The Library Corporation (our library system’s software vendor) for a training session on the new software we are implementing at work next week.

Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia. Anyone who lives within, say, 20 miles of the West Virginia border in any direction can certainly attest to the first and last of these. As for the meat in that descriptive sandwich – I haven’t found it to be that exactly. As you cross from Virginia into West Virginia traveling on US Rt. 11, the landscape changes drastically. Suddenly you start to notice billboards for gambling establishments and once or twice you will see buildings that were houses in Virginia suddenly adorned with signs of varying subtlety that advertise the presence inside of women in varying states of undress. Oh, and your local 7-11 sells hard liquor. No Department of Alchoholic Beverage Control for us, thanks.

Dick’s Gun Shop by dozens on flickr.

Knowing this, I chose to travel as far north on Interstate 81 as possible before jumping deeper in. As it turns out, that distance is about 5 miles. So, Google directions in hand, I glibly exited the interstate, turned on to Rt. 11 and terminated the demands of my directions by turning right on Jordan Lane.

Now, perhaps the fact that Jordan Lane was an ill-kept gravel road, and my intended destination was a Corporation should have tipped me off that all was not well. Perhaps the fact that TLC’s website lists corporate offices at 1 Research Park should have reinforced the initial cue. In my defense I only offer the flimsy excuse that my boss mentioned a trip “through the woods” before getting to the building, and the fact that I unabashedly drink the Google kool-aid. My google-map directions wrong!? Inconceivable.

Unfortunately, at this point, the possibility that my directions were errant was all too conceivable. Having reached the inevitable dead end of what was now obviously a driveway I turned around. I assumed I would just have to track back to that 7-11, ask directions, and possibly pick up some of that aforementioned gin. About 100 yards from the paved road I saw that this assumption was going to make an ass out of, well, just me.

Sauntering out into the middle of Jordan Lane, languorously waving an arm to stop my progress, was the aforementioned hostile landowner. Now don’t get the impression that I heard the familiar strains of Banjos from Deliverance - I was well clear of the Deep South hinterlands and the Cahulawassee River. But if you’ve ever been pulled over by a State Trooper, aviator-clad and infuriatingly self-assured in his leisurely trips back and forth to his cruiser while he files a report, you know how I felt.

“What’s going on here?”

“Um, I’m looking for The Library Corporation” great, today is the day I choose to wear my metrosexual pink oxford shirt…

“Did you get your directions from MapQuest?”


“This is a private drive.”

“Yes sir, I apologize for being on your property.”

“What’s going on here…”

umm…haven’t we gone over this?

“…’cause you’re the fourth of fifth car’s been through here today.”

“There’s a training session we’re all going to this morning.” what did you think? we all decided we’d have a tromp-through-someone-else’s-property party?

“Hmph. That explains all the Virginia and Maryland license plates.”

“Yes sir.” g-ddamned interlopers!

After giving immaculate directions (he’s obviously done this before) he bids me a none too friendly adieu.

“And tell your friends not to turn down Jordan Lane!”

“Yes sir.” guess we’ll have to cancel the picnic out back that we were planning for lunch.

Wild. Wonderful. West Virginia.

2 Responses to “Welcome to West Virginia, now Get the Hell Out!”

  1. Sara Says:

    This is incredible.

  2. walter Says:

    Guns, Booze, and Babes! And I believe you left out the “by god…” interjection. I’d a shot yer ass….

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