Can’t Get There from Here

Well, you can, but it ain’t easy. No straight shot, that’s for sure. You might have heard of the crooked road. Here ’tis.

I once counted the blind curves between the house and the hardtop east and west of us, as we live in betwixt two real roads.

Buckle up. Hang on. I seen’em do this onest on Dukes o’ Hazard. I think I kin do it. YEEE HAAAA! (It really needs some traveling music. Suggestions? Maybe Born to be Wild. Gotcha motor running…)

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Going west that you travel in this HyperLapse video, you’l cover a five minute 1.7 mile drive at 20 mph condensed in just 1 minute.

That’d put the apparent speed at about 100 mph, during which you will carefully negotiate 11 blind curves, with or without rises so steep you can’t see anything but the hood of your car for a brief second, during which interval you hope an approaching vehicle has not entered that particular blind spot.

Mostly, you meet somebody coming the opposite direction (even a regular sized car) somebody is going to have to back up. Meet the UPS man or a logging truck, it gets interesting. Put snow or ice on the road, well…

This is the direction we don’t go for months at a time between first of December and the end of March, as it’s northy, as they say. Get’s at best two hours of sun. Less in some places. It’s 500 feet higher up in the sunshine than it is down here in the holler of Middle Earth.


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Definitely the Slow Road Home! Well done! Coming down the road from the hardtop feels like a descent into who-knows-where? I guess Middle Earth, as you stated.

  2. Upon watching the video –
    1. The rollercoasterieness of this reminds me of Einstein’s relativitieness – things so different are so much the same.
    2. Since driving is so much of this American life – the fact of so many roads like this in these mountains must have something to do with defining the character of the place and the people who live here…I am becoming a crooked road – or maybe a long and winding one.

  3. So fun to see. I also looked at two other videos on your Vimeo site. The goldenrod one sure made me want to get off the computer and go outside!