Coal Country

Ridgeline SunsetSo, here we are again, more random travel stories. This past weekend, I played a couple shows with Kerrie Roberts up in Virginia. Unbeknownst to us, the shows were in some really steep terrain in the heart of Virginia's coal country. After the show on Saturday night, we got asked if any of us enjoyed 'technical mountain driving'. I replied, "yes!", and the adventure began.

Kerrie, Lisa, and Brad hopped in the back of our Suburban while I drove, racing after the pastor up and down steep, twisty, awesome roads towards a ridgeline view. We were trying to beat the sunset, but after an elevation climb of about 1,000 feet, in a very short amount of time mind you, we arrived at the above picture. Coal companies have to either resotre the landscape to exactly how they found it, or improve upon it. While the level of their 'improvement' can be debated, there was a nice park at the top of this lookout that used to be a strip mine.

After the service the following morning, a less-frantic (because it was light out) but no less exhilarating adventure occurred. We were told, by the same pastor, that there was quite the sight nearby. It was called, by locals, The Grand Canyon of the South. Since none of us really had much to do in Nashville that evening, we decided to drive out there with him for lunch. Another brisk, twisty drive, but sometimes these things are totally worth it, as you can see below.

The Grand Canyon of the SouthThe earth is an amazing place. We are fortunate in America to have so many places like this hidden away throughout our country. Playing music for a living gives you the opportunity to see many of them, but at times, you have to be willing to go slightly off the beaten path :)