Driving away from Abingdon, VA on Alt. 58, the first thing you lose is your sense of distance. Even though I've driven this route at least ten times, I can never keep track of where that next landmark, that next turn, is supposed to be. And so I flip through through the radio, find a wonderful folk and bluegrass station, and try to convince myself that I haven't passed it yet, that I haven't been going the wrong way for the last twenty minutes. As soon as I've all but given up hope, the turn comes, and I continue on my way to the boundary (a forestry term for the place you are logging) in Castlewood.
As usual, my country directions include a stoplight without a street name, so I'm left wondering if this really is the correct stoplight. Oh well, I think, its only five miles to the next turn, and if I don't find it, I'll try the next stoplight.
As it turns out, it was only three miles to the next turn, causing me to see it only as I passed by, and then turn around awkwardly in someone's circular driveway, apologizing to them mentally the whole time.
But I make the turn and easily find the next one, though this last road immediately turns into a driveway-esque gravel path. As I head up the mountain, I come across a young man walking without a dog. He waves at me and I think, maybe he's one of Chad's loggers trying to flag me down. I stop and say hi, he says hi back, and we just sit there until I ask "Were you trying to flag me down?"
"No, just wavin'," is his reply.
"Oh ok," I respond, and drive off feeling more like an outsider than usual. I arrive at the end of the road, wondering if this is the place, and hop the gate. At this point, I'm either early or tresspassing. I breathe a sigh of relief when I find Chad's truck at the end of the dirt drive.