Hitting the Road for Beckley, West Virginia (Day 1 & 2)

We officially departed for Road Trip 2015 on Thursday, September 17 – characteristically, later and less prepared than planned. My sister Katharine was traveling with us, and ended up needing some work on her car to make sure she got home safely to Illinois. I packed and cleaned while Ryan took Kat to the mechanic and tire shop – but it was still after 6pm by the time we loaded everything in the Tahoe, safely stowed the camper (which looked a little lonely all by itself!), and hit the road.

We miss you already, Turtle Home!

The plan had been for Kat and me to make the five hour drive to to Beckley, West Virginia, while Ryan met up with his rafting friends at the house they’d be staying at. But halfway through the drive Ryan called sounding exhausted. I suggested he might be more comfortable at the hotel with Kat and me instead of sleeping on the floor, and he quickly agreed.

We arrived at the Microtel Inn by Wyndham Beckley at 11:30pm and were so tired we all slept right through the hotel’s free breakfast the next morning. Feeling groggy and a little cranky, Cracker Barrel seemed like the perfect option.

breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Beckley, West Virginia

My agenda for the afternoon was registering for the Beckley Half Marathon — the race that would let me check West Virginia off my list. I also wanted to make a stop at Beckley Running Supply, which ended up being a little hard to find but totally worth it, with a great selection and open, modern space. I chatted with the owner, Terry, and picked up a swanky new pair of Swiftwick socks.

Next we found the race registration, in the basement of a WVU-Beckley building, where I quickly registered for the race and picked up my race shirt (long sleeve tech, woohoo!).

Race packet in hand, we headed back to the hotel where Ryan packed up his stuff and departed to meet his rafting crew … while Kat and I settled in for a rowdy evening of the Lifetime Movie Network and Dominos pizza “room service.” With my half marathon starting at 8am the next morning, I was ready for some carbs, hydration, foam rolling, and an early bedtime.


I’m the oldest of 12 crazy kids and two pretty awesome parents. My love of travel developed during my early years traveling the globe as an Air Force brat. I’m a runner, a writer, and a reader, and I love cooking up good food and cozying up our camper.

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