West Virginia Route 55

A scenic route that crosses Monongahela Forest and small scattered poor towns. I ended up driving three times on this route, an extremely curvy road going up and down mountains. It has many hairpin curves, making driving exciting and a bit crazy at night. Somehow I ended up with no gas, close to midnight, in the middle of nowhere on Route 55. It was a scene perfectly cut of your perfect horror movie. Actually many horror movies were filmed in that area. It was pitch black, I had not seen a car on the road in more than one hour, on one side of the road it was a big rocky mountain and on the other what looked like scary impenetrable dark forest. The gas needle was on empty. I was hours away from civilization. In the eerie headlights I could almost start seeing weird shadows. If a zombie or a witch or alien monster would had stepped out of the forest in the middle of the road, I would have not been that surprised.

I had to make a decision – continue or go back and look for a gas station. My GPS was indicating a gas station somewhere 30 miles behind. Ahead it was just wilderness. So I turned around and off I went to the closest gas station my GPS indicated. Again, like the perfect horror movie scene, the gas station my GPS pointed me to was closed, and looked abandoned for years. Was my GPS possessed by some local evil spirits? I continued towards the biggest village the GPS indicated. One more closed gas station, then, third time was a charm – at a crossroads there it was, nice and shining in the darkness of the night, a beautifully lit gas station. I refueled and once again headed towards Route 55 to cross the Appalachians, get out of WV and into Virginia.

During daytime Route 55 is marvelous, the car winds up and down green mountains, steep valleys, small (but poor) villages with weird names. At one point, on a curve, a big white monster appeared from behind the trees: it was the head of a humongous wind turbine, spinning white and quiet in the sun. Then I spotted more turbines, the hills around were all topped with these big white technological monsters that added a nice alien touch to the scenery.

The wind turbines are part of a 300 million project that installed 119 wind turbines in what is called Beech Ridge Wind Farm, each turbine is 120 meter tall.