marklafon (marklafon) wrote,
marklafon
marklafon

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WV roads

While in WV for the Census I had the enjoyable experience of seeing some big-wigs from our regional office in Detroit actually come down to WV. They arrived full of vim and vigor and ready to show us what we were doing wrong. By the second day it was clear that they had been blunted a bit by the reality of the landscape. By the third day I heard one of them on his cell phone explaining why he had authorized the rental of 4-wheel drive vehicles: "You just don't understand what the land is like down here." This was the mantra the people on the ground in WV kept saying when talking to Detroit. Nice to see that it sunk in even if it took a trip to the state to do it.

My wife thinks that WV has a state law prohibiting any section of road from being straight and level for more than 100 feet. She has mainly been on main roads. On the back roads there is no allowable level and straight distance. I spent a lot of time on gravel and dirt roads that wound about ridges and through hollows, by and through streams, and along hillsides. One of my co-workers found Thirteen Creek Road, recently renamed Muddy Creek Road. It used to cross 13 creeks. No bridges or culverts, just 13 incidents of driving through flowing water. (It is now down to only 9 such crossings due to some culverts.) I encountered a few roads that did not cross creeks but rather used the creek bed as the road for hundreds of feet at a time. Road intersections were fun. It was not uncommon to find roads and driveways meeting the main road at such acute angles that turns onto them could only be made from one direction. I had to drive past the intersection and find a place to turn around to come back and turn up the road. And all of these turns were up hill, of course.

And, by the way, the phrase "up the road" is a literal direction in West By God Virginia.
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