We had a rough start today...mostly because of access. We had to re-route around a mine for the second time in two days. Why? Previously public roads (listed as such on Google Maps and the Gazetter) are now gated and cut off easy access to these small communities that we've been running through. One access point to our route, listed on maps as Bailey Mountain Road, was closed by the mine "10 - 15 years ago" according to the security guard at the gate barring our way. For the community of Lindytown, at the end of the road on the opposite side of the mine, this would be incredibly isolating. The road turns into unpassable ATV trails and abandoned mining parking lots, and we were forced to backtrack. Only five miles from the starting point, we were rerouted approximately sixty miles to get over the mountain.
It was a little shocking, really. Perhaps since we were expecting that traversing some of the more rural roads would be easier (and more accessible by foot). But creating less accessible areas in rural West Virginia is clearly the opposite of what is needed there. As we approached a highway crossing on Day 2, it was difficult not to notice that people were much more mobile and more affluent.
Still, we're loving the run over rural roads that show off West Virginia's culture. As we moved into Fayetteville, we kind of missed everyone waving at us.