We were up and on the road out of London, Arkansas, at the first light. The day was a concentrated effort to make miles and stay ahead of the severe storms behind us, and stop before running into those ahead. We drained the last of the light out of the day, and by the time we had the RV set up for the night, between the cloud cover and the woods, it was totally black. This brought us to Cumberland Mountain State Park, on I-40 at X-317, near Crossville, TN. The camp spaces were small and jammed together, but it was home for the night.
The oldest metal bridge in Virginia.
The next morning was April 26, and we awoke to 43 degrees. When the sun came up, however, the day warmed so quickly we had the AC on most of the day. Once we reached Eastern Tennessee, we met I-81, and headed NE for Virginia.
At mile marker 107, I-81, we stopped at the rest area near Elliston, Virginia, and just south of Roanoke. As a paddler, I don’t think we can avoid becoming fascinated with bridges. They represent our best landmarks, and if we’re in a stream deep within the surrounding banks, they are most of what we get to see. Here we saw a bow string arch truss bridge which happens to be the oldest metal bridge in Virginia. It was built in 1878 by the King Iron and Bridge Company in Bedford County, which is just ENE of Roanoke. It was in continuous use until 1971. It was later moved to this rest area, where it serves as the pedestrian crosswalk between the parking lot and the facilities. A stream that serves as home and training ground for a bunch of new Canada Geese still flows beneath the bridge.