Day 2: Winding up West Virginia

Hopefully, after today’s photos here and over at Flickr, you’ll understand my compulsion to finish up my West Virginia list before eventually heading westward.  Maybe it’ll moved up on your list of states to explore.  Make sure you have good brakes and tires though — they don’t call it the Mountain State for nothing.

So, I’m almost done with WV.  Ran out of daylight in Wheeling where I’ve parked hard-working little Sparkle for the night.  Just some Northern Panhandle (that skinny piece on top) to go — and then over to Pittsburgh area for a bit and then onward to Ohio.  Finally.  The big exciting-est news (you might have noticed at Flickr) — SUN today.  All day.

And one humbling 15 minute episode.  I spotted an unexpected nice canopy gas station to shoot in Harrisville.  Pulled over on the shoulder — thought I’d be fine with two wheels on pavement and two in the grass.  But, uh-uh.  Although Sparkle’s all-wheel drive, I could tell right away we were in trouble.  I gently tried reverse and forward a bit.  No dice.  It was like quicksand.  After a few minutes, Sparkle’s left rear tire was off the ground.  I wanted to get a photo for you — but I was too chicken to get back in the van to get the camera.  So then the race was on by every macho guy in town to get me out.  A trooper directed traffic while a good-old-boy in a monster truck pulled me back out just the way I went in.  Done.  So strange.  I was only maybe a foot in the grass from the pavement but that was enough.

OK then — lots of photos — and I got a late start tonight.  Already 12:30am so let’s get to it.

Starting with Morgantown.  This appears to be a former gas station dressed up castle style:


From Fairmont.  Still open.  From the company’s website, it sounds & looks like this sign is from 1936:

This two-fer — also in Fairmont:


A dome home in Quiet Dell (gotta love  name):


From Grafton — sun makes all the difference don’t it?


From Clarksburg.  A not so special mid-century bank.  Although the marble at the lower level is nice….


BUT…  the most exquisite vinyl (?) tiles above:


Also Clarksburg:


More Clarksburg.  Your vitrolite facade du jour — this time with the sign built into the glass:  Note the detail at the tops of the windows also:


Yes, more Clarksburg.  Theatre-like sign originally read “Palace Furniture”.  The store is long-gone now.  Surely there was neon or bulbs.  Note the double ladders that were used for maintenance:


Still Clarksburg.  Need I say that this drive-in is closed?  I love the extra long arrow, with the crunch:


OK, last two from Clarksburg — a nice bit of terra cotta at the downtown post office:


The Dairy Queen in Shinnston.  What made me hit the brakes was the DQ “lips” weathervane.    I’ve only seen a couple of others like this:

But what seemed especially novel to me was this backside.  A second level balcony?  Can one rent out the top floor of DQs?  Is this just a private lounge for employees?  Was it — or is it still — open to customers?  So many questions — but so little time.  I was racing the sun to get to Parkersburg so I couldn’t stop & ask what the deal was.


Final photo for the night — from Ohio (I was spilling over to Ohio for a bit en route to Wheeling).  This is in Sardis.  Nearly dark but I still had to shoot this one.  Obviously from the island, it was a gas station at some point.  Sadly, vacant now.  I like how it nearly conceals the attached house behind.


1:20 am.  That’s a wrap.

The dogs, yes, must get some shots of them soon.  In the meantime, for those of you starving to see them, you do know they have a section over there at my site?

Food.  I’ve been eating really boring & healthy lately.  But I will break down soon and get some ice cream — and yes, some pie, somewhere.  Not to worry.

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