Monday, August 21, 2006

Martinsville--Getting There is Half the Fun

Virginia is a big state with distinctive and charming regions. Register for the conference and use your trip to check out the spectacular scenery and diversity that the Commonwealth offers.

If you hail from Northern Virginia, you'll take Route 29 Sourth past Charlottesville, Wintergreen, and Lynchburg. At Chatham, the literary incubator of Virginia, you'll cut southwest on Route 57 to Martinsville.

If you're from Hampton Roads, Route 58 will take you past Franklin, site of the great flood, past Emporia, South Hill, South Boston, and around Danville, although you might want to take the business route straight through if you're not familiar with that vibrant city.

From the Richmond area, it's a trip back in time on Route 360 as you pass by Amelia Court House, through the tiny towns of Green Bay and Meherrin, and past Keysville and South Boston.

How many political signs will you see? Who will they favor? Where will you make a pit stop for a cold drink? How many roadside produce stands will you pass? Will you see growth and development patterns unlike those in your region?

Expand your mind. Register for the Blogs United in Martinsville for Free Speech Conference.

Of course, drive safely and watch out for your friendly state troopers.


Allow me to take over tour guide duties now, City Slicker.

If you are coming in from the Valley, I-81 will bring you down through Harrisonburg, Stuarts Draft, Lexington, and finally Roanoke where you will encounter US220. This scenic route will take you out of busy Roanoke and into the Franklin County countryside. Boones Mill would be a good place for that pit stop for a cold drink or cup of coffee. If you don't stop in Boones Mill, at least slow down, it has a certain notariety for frowning on speeding. Even those that only speed a little bit.

The coalfields of the southwest offer a few more challenges for getting here, but along with those challenges comes some very beautiful scenery. Whether you take 58 to Abingdon and I-81, or 19 and 460 to Bluefield and I-77 you will pass through Wytheville and then south to Hillsville. I don't care what it looks like on a map, do not attempt to take 58 from Abingdon to Independence. If you decide to take that route you may want to leave a day early. From Hillsville 58 becomes more of a road and less of a path, taking you east across the Blue Ridge. Stop at Lover's Leap in Patrick County for a great photo opportunity of the Rock Castle gorge below. From that view point the lights of Bassett, Collinsville, and Martinsville can be seen if it's dark when you pass through.

Again, as City Slicker said drive safely and watch out for your friendly state troopers.


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