Day 2: August 22, 2010
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This section of Old US-50 is about a dozen miles east of Chillicothe. Since the active US-50 remains two-lane in this area, this isn't a dramatic departure and, with three churches, a fire department, and lots of nice homes on the four mile section, it's hardly abandoned. There are cable style guard "rails" on both sides of the road in the first picture and, thinking they must be quite ancient, I did a quick stop-and-snap as I passed them. However, on closer examination, the cable and fittings look rather new so I think this is a modern low cost protector rather than a real antique.

In the town of McArther, the similarly named hotel caught my eye and I stopped for a few pictures. I stepped inside after reading an invitation on the front door. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some friendly chatter with the fellow tending bar but I failed to ask the question that seems so obvious now: Who are the people in the pictures? Family of the owner? Family of patrons or residents? Random flea market acquisitions? I wish I knew. I did ask about the building and he said it was built in 1939. I'm thinking that might have been a slip and that the 1839 built into an outside wall is the correct date but can't say for sure. Beyond learning that the town was founded in 1815, my internet searching came up rather empty on McArthur history. However, I did find some recent (early 2009) pictures of the bar area that I think are worth a look. They're here.

US-50 remained pleasant two-lane until it reached OH-32 where it piggybacked onto the four lanes of the major (Appalachian Highway) state route. I had half planned on getting to the center of Athens on Business 50 but construction made it unclear just how to do that. I skirted Athens and drove on divided four-lane into West Virginia.

I wiggled through Parkersburg then remained on the four-lane to Ellenboro where I moved onto Old US-50. I've driven most of this before and didn't bother to update photographs. If I had, the updates would certainly have included two old motels whose 2007 pictures are here. I can report that both are still standing and neither is abandoned.

I did not photograph the Pennsboro Speedway on that previous drive. It closed in 1998 but is apparently still used occasionally for camping and concerts. There are some nice pictures of the track in happier days here.

Finally, when it leaves Bridgeport, WV, US-50 goes back to two-lane. Things become fun again and stay that way for quite awhile. The first four pictures give just a hint of the approach to Cool Springs Park and the last two give just a hint at what you'll find there. I couldn't photograph the hairpins because somebody had to steer through them.

The delightful two-lane continued through the tip of western Maryland and back into West Virginia. The unidentified marker is about thirteen miles east of that tip. The old gas station is in Burlington.

In Winchester, Virginia, Michael Lessin didn't get the Triangle Diner reopened in 2009 as the banner predicts but thing seem to be moving along now. I was vaguely aware of this diner and its story but did not realize it was on Fifty. Seeing it was a nice surprise. Check out a news report here and the diner's own website here.

This place I knew about. I intended to go looking for it sometime but I came across it quite by accident as I was inefficiently looping around to photograph the Triangle Diner. These photos were actually taken before those in the previous panel but I'm presenting the subjects in the sequence of discovery.

This is Patsy Cline's childhood home. Back in my working days, I visited a Rubbermaid plant in Winchester a few times and have always remembered that Patsy was born here. Apparently there is no Patsy Cline museum at present but there is a group working to restore this house and turn it into one. Visit their website but be aware that it fires off music automatically. When I leave town, I'll be passing the cemetery where Patsy is buried and hope to stop by here grave.

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