And at the end of today, a tiny bit of North Carolina, without being in a hurry to get anywhere. You can't hurry on the ear-popping mountain roads, twisting and turning through the hills with, suddenly, a view over miles of rolling autumn beauty, vanishing into the distant mist.
The Blue Ridge Mountains, the Allegheny Mountains, the fabled Shenandoah Valley - I was getting confused between them all. And the number of times we turned a corner and gasped "Oooh!" at the view. Historical markers abounded, describing long-gone Civil War battles - this was once blood-soaked ground and not so long ago.
And the quirky things we passed on the way. The Dinosaur Park, the Fancy Gap Fabric Outlet, Rockin' Food That's Ready to Roll (didn't try that one), Creation Camping (the mind boggles) paddocks of goats, the 4-U Motel (read it aloud) the political signs: Isaac Sponaugle for House of Delegates, Harlan Krimble for Sheriff; "Exit in Grace" signs on church car parks, outcrops of spiky rocks, babbling, rocky rivers, endless cave signs (Smoke Hole Caverns et al).
You could almost think yourself on Alpine roads in Europe but for certain quintessentially American touches.
We overnighted in Elkins, West Virginia, a leafy small town with a college founded by Mr Elkins and Mr Davis, scions of the local community and built around their country cottages.
Which had views over the town and the stone spire of court house, just visible among the trees..
I shan't post about my breakfast today. Suffice to say that the opportunities were endless..
Though, as in this case, not always acted upon.
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