Day 5: VA Quickie

I did my best to prioritize and just pick out some easy access VA stuff en route to NC but it still took all day long.  Oh well, at least I finally made it to NC and with some luck, the sun will come out tomorrow.  It only peeked out now and then today.  No rain but very gloomy.

I have a ton of photos for the blog tonight.  And, yes, finally even some food!  Might as well get to it.   This motel is in Winchester, VA:

I made a quick stop in Shenandoah Caverns to see the giant cootie (photo over at Flickr tonight).  I thought you might also enjoy this one from the same place.  They’re at the American Celebration on Parade Museum which has stuff that has appeared in various parades from around the country.  According to the plaque, this “Lady Liberty” was covered with eucalyptus leaves when she appeared in the Rose Bowl Parade in 2000:

This guy was across the street at the Yellow Barn (an “agricultural adventure” museum):

I had been watching the deterioration of this old motel over the years.  Finally, someone wrote me in 2008 to say it had been torn down.  But no — it was still there.  Here’s what it used to look like as the Star-Gables (sorry lousy image):
http://www.agilitynut.com/p/star.jpg

and today:

Also, in Harrisonburg, what appears to be an Art Deco era billboard sign.  It’s two-faced with each face tilted slightly towards the road (slight V shape):

I’ve emailed back and forth many times with Mark Cline who has created countless fiberglass statues displayed around the country.  Every time I’d stopped by his “studio” in Natural Bridge (the Enchanted Castle Studios), he was never there.  Today was finally my lucky day.  What can I say about him and all his creations.  He’s a true artist and genius.  I’m glad he’s found a way to make a living doing this stuff and the Shenandoah Valley is a much livelier place because of him.  There are lots of articles written about him on-line so I’ll just drop a couple links here if you’re interested in reading more:
http://www.enchantedcastlestudios.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Cline

Here he is with a replica of the Enchanted Forest (Ellicott City, MD) dragon:

and with his self-portrait (molded) as Hannibal:

With a pinball wizard sort of character (Jack Nicholson “Joker” head):

and here’s just one of hundreds of other statues scattered about the yard:

There’s also a nicely-done billboard on Rte. 11 advertising two of his other “attractions”:

On to Roanoke.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pizza depicted in neon:

Some nice buildings — made nicer by momentary sunlight:

I’m always relieved when some things don’t change.  The Texas Tavern is one such place.  And although I’m vegetarian, I bought a slider (or whatever the Tavern calls them) to go for the dogs as a treat.  I got it with everything for them for under $1.50 I think.  It was a good as gold to them.  I split this miniature burger into about 44 pieces so forcing them to savor. 

The Towers Shopping Center, so named because of the two radio towers which stand in its parking lot:

Lots of goodness here:

Finally, into NC — a few photos from Rocky Mount.  An adorable icon at Odell’s Sandwich Shop.  In addition, to the big restaurant-sized building, it is also a drive-in with car hops:

Jaw-droppingly great:

This drive-in is now known as the West Pine Kitchen.  I was lured in by the sign for “Deep Fried Snickers”.  I figured I was far enough south that I should consume as much fried food as possible.  It was beyond words great.  And yes, it comes with powdered sugar on top!  They also had deep fried Oreos — and deep fried pickles.  But I didn’t have the courage for the latter.

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6 thoughts on “Day 5: VA Quickie

  1. You hit a road-trip-food home run today! Looks like you were able to “get” some nice things today too. Fun to see some blue sky. Fingers crossed the weather is now in your favor.

  2. Love that Mick Or Mack grocery store. Seen lots of pics of it online over the years. Always one of my favorites for its delighful and simplistic outdatedness.

  3. awesome to see your journey so far debra jane! love the food pics! more doggies is a-okay too….

    your visit with that incredible artist looked like a nice departure from the usual buildings.

    xoxo

    • Thanks — glad you’re enjoying my blog. It was great to meet Mark Cline finally. He’s a legend. I usually prefer my fiberglass of the vintage sort. But he’s carrying on a tradition and is so prolific. I really admire his energy and focus.

  4. Wow. I don’t even know where to start with this post. I love everything about it. Fiberglass art, a burger joint, and especially the Mick or Mack grocery store.

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