Sunday, July 2, 2017

Time out for Vacation

My wife and I went on a little (?) visit to our son's place in TN.    Two weeks "down south",  and a bunch of quality time with the baby...a nice break for everyone!

Needless to say, the vacation itself was in "less feminine mode."  Shorts, women's tees, clogs and the usual other cues like hair, purse and nails.  (No pantyhose...much too hot outside.)   And I won't have much to say about our exact "comings and goings," other than:  once again I commented to my wife that I hadn't heard too many miss-identifications.   Once again reminded me that she had heard "Ma'am" references frequently, thus I was being seen as a woman most of the time.   (Well, nothing wrong with least in my humble opinion!)  

Enroute south, we drove on I-81.  The drive was uneventful, except for the amount of traffic.  That may have been simply vacationers, but the number of trucks seemed higher than normal.  Everyone must have been rushing deliveries to make sure they were home for the 4th of July holiday.

As usual, we made a few stops on the way.  First one was a quick detour into Wytheville, VA.  We had seen info about an old-time gas station and museum on the grounds of the local historical society, and wanted to get a look at it.    So we detoured into town and came across it.    I parked the car on a nearby street to walk over and get some pictures.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood watchdog wasn't happy with me, and began barking furiously.  Fortunately he was on a long chain, and while he made lots of noise, wasn't anything to be reckoned with.

Anyone ever heard of the Great Lakes to Florida Highway?  (Route 21?)  Neither had we!

Don't we all wish the price of gas was still under 18 cents per gallon?   A fill up for $3?  Nice.

According to the Town of Wytheville website and others, the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum offers visitors a chance to look back at the days when the highway (Route 21) was the main north-south route from Ohio to Florida.   This gas station, which began as Texaco, was built in 1926 by H. R. Umberger.  About 1934, the station changed to Esso.  Candy and other snacks were added in the 1940's.  By the '50's, when the road was rerouted through Wytheville, bypassing the station, gas was phased out and it became a small grocery store.  Once I-77 opened, the business was basically finished.

It's hard to believe that this narrow then-country, now residential, road was once the main route south to Florida!  That speaks volumes about the amount of traffic, then versus now.

From the Unusual Names department, there is an airport along the interstate, and a sign for the nearby town:

Usually there is info about towns on the internet.  Not so much for Groseclose.  On Google Maps it appears that this one is "a wide spot in the road."  There are two towns by that name, one in Wythe County, one in Smyth County.   There used to be passenger train service to the one in Wythe County.   And the name is a family name...reportedly a Groseclose was instrumental in forming the Future Farmers of Virginia, and this went national, eventually becoming the Future Farmers of America.

So, as always, History is where you find it.

A sunset view, from outside our son's place!

During our visit, we did some local sightseeing, and happened to be in a nearby town when an excursion train came around the bend and stopped...lots of excitement, and at no extra cost!

We had a great time, and all too soon it was time to leave...



  1. I enjoy reading about your trips (car or train) and I am really starting to look forward to retirement when i can have the time to take some unpressured excursions.

    1. It couldn't have come soon enough! I certainly was ready...when your turn comes, I know you'll love it, too!