2400 miles, 14 states, 4 guys, 1 Volvo Part 9 (Charlotte to DC)

We all woke up the next day with a mild hangover but our various cures we were all good to go. I was taking charge of the first half the drive today. Today was our drive to DC, the nation’s capital. Before heading there, I first dropped Marco off at the Charlotte airport for his American Airlines flight back to New York. Marco was coping surprisingly well despite the obscene amount consumed the previous night.

After dropping Marco off at the American Airlines stronghold of Charlotte airport, I filled the mighty Volvo with gas then headed back to our Airbnb to pick up Carl and Jan for the drive up north. We decided to take a slightly more northerly route which would take us through some of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia. The roads leading to the Blue Ridge mountains were some of the most beautiful we had seen on this trip. The drive primarily took place on highways rather than mainline interstates. We stopped in-between a town called Winston-Salem for a spot of lunch. We all had a light bite at the Trade-St diner before picking up some snacks from a nearby food truck.

We were soon back on the road heading towards the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I was simply stunned by the views; there was some gorgeous forest surrounding us. However, the drive was mildly ruined once we crossed over into Virginia. The standard of driving plummeted which is truly a great shame since the road quality was out of this world. As we climbed higher and higher, the views kept getting better and better. We reached a part of the highway where there were some strong winds, and the car started to shake a little. Nevertheless, we continued at our steady pace of 80 miles an hour.

Eventually, I had to throw in the towel and do a driver change. Carl took over after a quick gas stop at a gas station near the West Virginia Stateline. We continued north towards Shenandoah and the next few hours towards DC was a blaze of coffee, sights and the powerful music of John Denver. It was approaching nightfall as we approached the nation’s capital.

On the way to the AirBnB which was actually in neighboring Maryland in the town of Mount Rainier, we stopped off at a grocery store to pick up supplies for the next few days. It was here where I discovered that DC brews it own beer. To our surprise, it was not that half bad. We tried the Brau Pilsner from the DC Brau brewing company.

We soon reached our AirBnB, settled in for the night with some Ethiopian food, wine, beer and Goldfinger.

The next day was going to be a lot of walking and sightseeing.