Yesterday morning was a strange start to the day.
It began with my wife in tears regarding a situation with my daughter which was pretty yucky (although, in the end everything turned out grand).
Not ten minutes later I received a call informing my that my father had been rushed to the hospital in his home town of Portsmouth, VA with an intestinal blockage, and was likely facing surgery. I tried to keep up with his situation all day, but discovered late in the evening that they had taken him into surgery. Due to the HIPPA restrictions, I couldn’t get much more information that that, and it become clear that I needed to head to Virginia.
So, at 1:30 a.m. this morning, I jumped in the minivan and headed northeast.
It was a long drive . . . some 12 hours including a couple of short stops for catnaps during the night. There is frankly no good way to get to the Portsmouth/Norfolk/Hampton Roads area from Nashville. All of the interstate focused routes take you far north or far south and then have you double back to make the coast. After a little research on the Windows Live map service, I determined that taking US-58 for just over 200 miles would only take 13 minutes longer than the Interstate based routes, and it was many fewer miles, so when I hit Wytheville on I-81 I headed south on I-77 to US-58.
What I didn’t know, but came to appreciate, was that the first 25 miles went straight through the Blue Ridge, actually crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway. About halfway through this stretch of the road, in Patrick County, I came upon the Lover’s Leap overlook, which looked out on miles of valley and mountains. It was gorgeous, especially in the morning when I came through, I would would like to go back someday when I could actually spend some time enjoying the scenery.
I’m not sure how long I will be here in Portsmouth. Dad is doing fine, but it will be a couple of days until he gets sprung from the hospital and he doesn’t have any other family to watch over him so I may be here through the weekend.