Going to Town


What time did you say you were going to town? What do you mean you aren’t going to town? I thought you said you were! Let’s go at 10.

That’s an old Georgia trick. When I used to live at the old farmhouse, Georgia would come over and play me with that line. Next thing you know, I’d be taking her to town. Even though I never had any intention of going to town that day.

Maybe it will work on you. What time did you say you were going to town? How about NOW.

I’ll even let you drive.

Well, first you’ll have to walk down the driveway because nobody in their right mind has driven up it in weeks, although clearly you can see some insane person has been over here driving up it.

I can assure you that it wasn’t me. I keep my car right down here.

I mean, look at that. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to drive down on that ice?

The road in front of our farm is fairly flat. This won’t be so bad, don’t worry! It’s even a nice winter day! The snow is melting. Mostly.

Say hello to the sheep and Jack!

After we leave our farm, we pass the Ornery Angel’s house. We’re the only people that live out on this end of the road. Here’s the track that goes up to my family’s old cemetery. My great-grandfather and great-grandmother are buried there.

There are the foundation remains of the old gasoline plant from over a century ago when this was a boomtown in the country. This used to be quite a populated little place with a school, a church, a store, even a hotel! People say there was even a brothel.

You don’t mind driving across creeks, do you?

You don’t have to cross this next creek, don’t worry. You just have to actually drive right along through it for a little way. The creek is the road here.

See? They do know what bridges are around here. There’s a little one.

You just have to drive through one more creek now.

There are a few cabins out here. I wonder why those people don’t come out here in the winter?

Time to go over the hill. You have your seatbelt on, don’t you? If I cover my eyes and start whimpering, don’t mind me. That’s the benefit of being a passenger.

You’re driving so you’d better keep your eyes on the road.

I don’t know why you insisted on going out today.

This really isn’t bad, though! You should see it when the entire road is covered in snow. Only half the road is covered today so you have good traction on one side. Just watch out for the steep drop-offs.

It’s better to hug the hill. Stay away from the cliff.

You don’t want to end up way down there.

Uh oh.

You can’t pass here. Somebody has to back up until there is a place to pull over. If you aren’t having fun yet driving forward on this road, wait till you get to drive backward.

Who has to back up depends on where you are on the road. Whoever is closest to a place to pull over has to back up. This time it was the Ornery Angel. (Who ELSE do you think we’d come across driving this road? Nobody drives on this road in the winter if they don’t live out here.)

Give her a wave. And there she goes.

This is one of the most beautiful drives in the world during the spring, summer, and fall.

It’s not half-bad in the winter if you don’t mind the steep drop-offs with no guard rails.

You’re getting used to that, though, aren’t you? You’re doing good!

Up here at the top of the hill is the closest place to our farm where you can get a cell phone signal, just in case you need to make a call.

You can’t believe we’ve only gone a mile, can you? We’ve got another mile to go.

There are a few more cabins. Do you see what’s in front of that cabin?

A guard rail!

Yes, I know, I know, the cabin owner must have put that up himself, not the state road people. It still cracks me up that with all the steep drop-offs up and down this road, the only guard rail is in front of a cabin.

This road is maintained by the state. Last time we called, they said they were planning to come out here sometime in 2012 to bring some more rock. They’re on the job!

You’re almost to the hard road now! There are a handful of houses up on this end of the road. This one is my favorite. It’s an old farmhouse.

Look! You made it! So was that the longest two miles of your life? That’s what everybody says the first time they drive on this road. Plus they ask if that was only two miles because it felt like twenty.

But you’re on Easy Street now! Hard road all the way!

Another two miles, and we’ll reach a two-lane state highway.

Two more miles, and you’ll be in the middle of our little no-stoplight town! There’s a little store, a little bank, a little school, and a little post office.

What do you want to do today? If you’re feeling frisky, we can get to the interstate in about 25 minutes. Another 20 minutes from there and we’ll be in THE BIG CITY! There’s shopping and restaurants and even an airport. The world is your oyster!

Just don’t forget…..

You gotta drive home and it’s snowing again….


  1. Nancy Straka says:

    OMG that is just amazing you can drive that!
    I would be screaming all the way! :snoopy:

  2. Debbie in PA says:

    AIEEEEEEEEEEEE! I feel so tense right now for some strange reason!

    I think you better learn to ride Jack!

  3. Blessings says:

    No Way~~No Way~~would I be brave enough to drive that road!!
    I would have to hibernate til Spring!!!

  4. Wammy says:

    I love those WV hills. Where is your sense of adventure?

  5. CindyP says:

    If you just don’t look at the ruts and the slippery mud/snow mix on the road, it is BEAUTIFUL! You are so lucky to have the choice to live in those mountains!

  6. Johanna says:

    Yikes! I know how that feels. I live in SW Michigan near the big lake. Friends have a house on the lake (not me!) that’s a mile drive through sand dunes with drop offs like that. Lucky for them, it’s a second house so in the winter they don’t have to go there, and they pay for it to be plowed.

    I can’t imagine facing a road like that with snow and ice on it. More power to you, Suzanne!

  7. carsek says:

    What great pics! That is such pretty country. But all I have to say is just —–WOW! What a drive.

  8. glenda says:

    It is beautiful country and I like being more or less isolated from neighbors……….but that drive to town would be more than I could handle….those drop offs! Not sure I could even do it in good weather.

  9. B. Ruth says:

    If at least 6 families live on a road like yours here, the state paves it….a lot cheaper than maintaining a gravel road…
    or at the very least your county needs to gravel it again…!
    You do pay county taxes don’t you! How could an emergency county vehicle get to you…? I wonder!

    We need ‘mean rooster’ to give them a crow or two!

    Calling out the guard to hunt for your vehicle and you down in a ravene would be a lot more expensive than a truck of gravel!

    We put out over 600 bucks for more gravel on our private driveway, last year.. expensive..but its over a quarter of a mile and treacherous in the snow…but when we get the county road….its paved!
    Hang in there Suzanne!

  10. Sheila Z says:

    I think I’d give up driving a car those last 2 miles in the winter and get an ATV. I’d find a place to park the truck near the hard road and that’s where it would live for the winter. Yeap, ATV with chains. I’ve driven farm roads that were in better shape than your last 2 miles. I’d make sure I was stocked with enough hay, bedding and grain for the winter for the animals. I’d have a stash of human food. Then the only thing to bring in on the ATV would be a few small things. Get thee an ATV and a helmet then have fun!

  11. Mim says:

    The weather people were right again…used to be they would predict snow and we wouldn’t get any…either they are getting better at predicting or the weather has gone haywire… :pawprint: :pawprint:

  12. Joy says:

    all I want to know is do your kids drive this road? :bugeyed:

  13. Tabitha says:

    i bet you don’t get many visitors!
    i thought our road was bad
    i was very wrong!
    i like being a hermit though…so i would love a place like that :)…if i didn’t have to go anywhere

  14. Nita in South Carolina says:

    I need to go lie down until my stomach unclenches. :shocked:

  15. Tabitha2 says:

    Oh dear! I didn’t realize there were two Tabitha’s here. I’m the second one, I guess! I’ll change my name to Tabitha2.

    I’m a hermit-type too, so no visitors or solicitors would definitely be a benefit for me, LOL!

  16. Gail says:

    Your drive is pretty much like mine here, but I have no creeks to drive through. I have noticed that the state of Virgina only puts guard rails on flat ground, not here in the mountains. I have never figured out the logic behind that!

  17. Carol Langille says:

    Oh my gosh and holy sheep shearings!!!
    I would be a little nervous driving this lovely country road in dry weather! One thing I didn’t see was claw marks on the dash board and I can assure you, they would be there if I was the passenger! No chance of me being the driver…I’d rather WALK the several miles to hard road.
    Be careful out there, Suzanne….don’t be gawking around if YOU are the driver!

  18. Melinda says:

    In almost every picture you can tell you are hanging your arm out the drivers window ….probably freezing..to take these wonderful pictures EXCEPT ………the ones with ornary angel! Sorry, had to laugh……..I can see you driving along, mentally composing your blog, then along comes the ornary one and suddenly you jerk your arm back in and start taking the pics thru the windshield until she is out of sight!

  19. NorthCountryGirl says:

    I do not envy you that drive!!

  20. Brenda says:

    So Suzanne that brings new meaning to the old saying ” Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” Which my mom used to say all the time. She was from West Virginia…
    What beautiful scenery! Thanks for taking the time to share and how nice of you to drive Georgia to town. Your such a kind spirit~
    Spring is just around the corner :sun:

  21. Cynthia Stinson says:

    I totally want your life when I read about all the wonderful things on your farm, and then you post something like this and it’s a total dose of reality. I got a piece of dirt waiting for me in Mo. when Hubby retires from the Army, but it’s only a few blocks of gravel till we hit paved. You, my dear, are intrepid. I will probably never have a drive as harrowing as that! For now, I just got to deal with crazy Korean drivers. Scary, but in a diffeerent way.From an Army wife sending you good wishes from the other side of the planet.

  22. Wildcat says:

    Eeek, the part where the road is narrow and there is a steep drop off was pretty scary! I don’t know if I could have driven THAT part! Yikes!!!

  23. Joy says:

    As Mom used to say, “A good day to stay put!”

  24. Abiga/Karen says:

    Thank you for giving me the driving experience of my life. :no: Blessings…..for safety for sure!

  25. Jo says:

    Ok, so let me get this straight: you were TAKING PICTURES while driving down that road!? :bugeyed: :shocked:

    You need to put more faith in your 4wd. Perhaps you could go out somewhere where there are no drop-offs, cliffs, and creeks and just practice driving your 4wd in snow and ice so you learn what your truck will and will not do. I feel pretty confident with my 4wd jeep, but I do NOT have to drive on roads like those! So I would probably be singing a different tune if I had to.

    Practice makes perfect, Suzanne! :sheepjump:

  26. Michele Messier says:

    How many times are you going to write about your road?

  27. Beth says:

    for sure a road to heaven

  28. Mary says:

    Love it when you take us for a drive. Being from Northern Michigan I think I’ve seen it all, but I don’t have to drive through creeks and next to cliffs to get anywhere. Thanks for the ride.

  29. Angela says:

    Hey Suzanne!

    Your road reminds me of going to my uncles farm when I was a kid only his road was worse! I loved 😀 going there too so I think I would have fun giving your road a try! :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy:

    Right now I have sand bags in the back of my truck to weight it down so the back end won’t slide. It won’t either! I’ve tried to get it to on the ice and it just won’t do it. In the Spring the sand bags will be put in my boys sand box! He can’t wait because he knows we already have his sand and he wants to play with it! :happyfeet: :happyfeet:

    It took me 3 years to get the state to put a guard rail up a hill about a mile from my house! :hissyfit: I called a lot! :hissyfit: They knew me by name and that is what you have to do in West Virginia! There were a good 3 times that I found a vehicle that had went over that hill trying to pass another car. I found one truck and I was scared that they were still in there. I honked my horn but heard nothing. I went to the first house to see if the person had went to their house to call for help and she said no! Then we both went back and was trying to figure out how to get down there to help someone and luckyily another house from there had seen us and came to tell us that they knew them and they had went to their house to call for help! On top of that the road at the bottom of the hill has a low water bridge and it was flooded! The trees actually kept that truck from going into the rushing waters!

    The roads in West Virginia can be fun! :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:

    Angela :wave:

  30. Mittened Paw says:

    I love to read about your road adventures. Your road reminds me of the road to my grandmother’s house in southern WV. The only thing scarier than the ravines and meeting Ornery Angel is meeting a coal truck on a little mountain road like that. Believe me, the coal truck doesn’t back up!

  31. mrnglry says:

    I know your pix on your trip to town in the spring are going to be gorgeous, but right now they are plumb scary. Even with 4WD you were probably just creeping along, nice for taking photos, but I bet that 2 miles seemed forever. I couldn’t tell if your were the driver or the passenger.
    I especially liked that little guardrail. The person who put that up didn’t care if you went over the brink, just don’t hit his house!! I love your posts of your road…..keep ’em comin’ !!

    Grace in CA

  32. Debnfla3 says:

    That is the longest 2 miles I’ve ever seen!!!

    I can’t imagine why they don’t put guard rails up over that steep edge! Has anyone ever slid over the side?


  33. JeannieB says:

    There is NO way in heck, that I would drive that road in snow or mud. Bless your heart!!

  34. mia says:

    Yup – that’s just like my dads – you actually have to drive up an old crick bed to get the dirt road that leads to his place – fortunately, the roads near his house aren’t so steep, but there’s plenty of other places where the drop offs are exactly the same – WAY scary!!

    Nice pics – can’t wait to get down there to see my dad in June 🙂

  35. joni says:

    oh my gosh…..that. would. be. so. much. fun! I would love it and thanks for ‘bringing me along”!!!!!

  36. Jennifer Robin says:

    You’ve got me beat, only part of my road looks that bad! Love the pictures; I’m not likely to complain quite as loud about the half mile in to my place now! Of course, there’s the other mile and a half that I don’t have to drive every day…

  37. Jean says:

    I am so proud of you! You’ve not only learned to drive that road but can take pictures for us as well. You have learned so much in your time on your farm – it should give you confidence that you can do anything! When I lived in WV (30 yrs. ago)there was a phone number for the governor’s office – kind of like calling your Congressman’s office for help. Don’t know if they still have it but it got fast results for me. The phone com. wasn’t going to put in phone lines for a couple more years. We got one within a week after the call to the gov.’s office. I asked for a party line due to cost and they said “But, ma’am, the governor wants you to have a private line.” I guess they didn’t say whether you were a personal friend of the gov. or just another constituent. I miss WV.

  38. Lynn says:

    You may have to take matters into your own hands and try and maintain the road the best you can by yourself. When I was growing up we were the only house a mile down an old country road. We had the great fun of plowing snow, filling holes, clearing downed trees just to make it easier. Maybe it’s something that could keep you busy in your “spare time”!

  39. Chic says:

    Holy Cow….I think I could hear the music from Deliverence playing in the background while we were driving! You really do live out in the boonies don’t you…man I’ve driven some hairy logging roads up and down mountains but they were MUCH wider than that road. You’d sure be stuck if you had a week of rain wouldn’t you! You’re such a brave woman…yup a PIONEER WOMAN Suzanne and we’re all proud of you! :hungry2:

  40. Marianne G says:

    For vacation a couple years ago, we stayed in a cabin in Georgia on a road exactly like that, 2 1/2 miles of it. I was terrified driving it the entire week and made sure our trips out included everything we needed to do or get. A week of it was more than enough, I can’t imagine living on one. You’re a brave woman!

  41. catslady says:

    No way – you have a lovely home and that’s exactly where I’d stay. I would be a hermit and people would just have to come to me hahahaha. Maybe Clove would lend me her tiara!!!

  42. catslady says:

    p.s. don’t let Clover read today’s blog since I mangled her name lol.

  43. Nancy in Iowa says:

    OMG – I’m with Debbie in PA – my shoulders were so tense when I finished reading and looking at the photos that I had to take deep breaths to try to relax. :bugeyed: :no: :no: :no:

  44. Runningtrails says:

    I LOVED the drive in the country today! Thank you so much! I especially liked that little log cabin, the first one. It’s adorable! I would live in it.

  45. Miss Kitty says:

    We had to trade in our 2WD pickup for a 4WD pickup just to get out of our own driveway, I can relate!

  46. Missy says:

    Wow, your photos made me really miss West Virginia, mud, snow and all! We lived in a “holler” with a very narrow road. Fortunately, two cars could pass on it….very carefully! We were about 45 minutes away from Charleston.
    Love your blog!

  47. Diane says:

    My husband is orignally from Glenville, West Virgina. We live in Northeast Florida now. When he retired four years ago he wanted to go home to West By God. I’m a flatlander girl from South Carolina originally. Anytime we went to WV on vacation I got car sick from the up and down, round and round. No Way, couldn’t do it ~ the real reason we didn’t go is because two of our grandchildren live in our town (Macclenny, Florida) and the other two life an hour and a half way in St Marys GA. I have just discovered your blog and love it. By the way, we have some of your books in our library
    I am curious, do you still live in the little slanted house. If not did you blog about your new house. Are there pictures? Anyway, I’m enjoying our daily visit even if you didn’t know I was there with Ms. Georgia.

    The Library Lady
    “Take surprise and delight in the little things”

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Diane, no, I don’t live in the slanted little house anymore–we built a new farmhouse just a few miles away from there. You can find all my stories about our new farm and building our house in my archives. In particular, the posts about building our house are in the Country Living archives under Our Farm–click on the Country Living archives–see the green box at the top of the righthand sidebar?

  48. Patty says:

    Ok you just reminded me why I moved to town where I never have to see a dirt road ever again! I’ll just get my country fix through your website and the occasional trip to the Smokies.

  49. Estella says:

    I did not lose anything in town—home, sweet, home!

  50. Shirley Corwin says:

    OK, I’m exhausted from the drive. Is there anywhere in town to rest before the drive back!!!!!!! I hope you were stopping the car to take the pictures! I’d love seeing the drive in the spring/summer time.

  51. auntbear says:

    talk about a thrill ride….honey if I had to drive that road,I’d darn well post about it EVERY time!

  52. kerri says:

    That one creek is actually part of the road? Yikes! And going over that hill with the drop-off…certainly not for the faint of heart. I don’t envy you this drive, Suzanne. It’s too bad the county doesn’t put in culverts. Thanks for the pics. They’re worth a thousand words. Be careful out there!
    We’re getting our share of snow today. Big snowstorm with all the schools closed. It’s a winter wonderland outside. Hope the power stays on!

  53. Glenys O'Connell says:

    Love this, Suzanne – made me feel better about where we live – the roads aren’t quite that bad!

  54. rileysmom says:

    We have pretty much the same “adventure” when we decide to venture out! With all our snow melting, it is very muddy! Then, we’ll have dust~! You can’t really tell what color our vehicle is!
    What works for us: VERY aggresive tires!

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