Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jane Lew's truckstop.

Well, Dave has managed to teach me that it is entirely possible to drive from a, to b, to c and back to a, with nary a crisis; that getting enough sleep means that you can arrive home undishraglike and feel a bit more optimistic about going out again. The next enterprise, Georgia and back before Christmas.

It is Saturday as we set out. Yesterday brought the beginning of the much heralded 'snowmageddon', the series of blizzards which will pound most of the continent for the next few days. As we are heading south, we hope to get out of the snow belt between hits and then sneak back in similar fashion. Today began sunny and the roads have been freshly ploughed and salted, so the main issue facing us before we set off was how far to venture today and where to settle for the night.

A fifteen hour drive divided nicely into six hours today and nine tomorrow, enabling us to stop at one of Dave's all time fave truckstops; Jane Lew's in West Virginia. I am getting used to the assortment of different ways a truckstop can style itself; some are trying to be modern travel plazas, with food courts and computer games; others go for the down-homey feel of wood panelled walls and resident patrons who can wear cowboy hats unironically. There are chains, like the incomparable Flying J, where the person who cleans your shower before use leaves you a little choc or a peppermint on your clean towels; but Jane Lew's has to be a total one off.

It appears to have been constructed from a combination of church hall and several outhouses. Someone has gone to infinite pains to decorate the interior with individuality and panache; leading to an imaginative mix of lilac and green colour scheme, gilt chandeliers, a huge mural along one wall depicting the truckstop and environs, a real fireplace topped with triptych stained glass windows...and lace curtains. There is also an aquarium. The ladies loo sports a fabric potted geranium. It's all disconcertingly charming. Oh, and of course the festive season is in full swing so add to your mental picture rather a lot of home-made felt Christmas stockings and one (yes one) string of red tinsel.

The food is on the imaginative side too. I was almost tempted to the battered and deep fried macaroni cheese, just to find out how you can manage to stop it falling to bits, but settled for a sandwich in the interests of overnight digestive comfort. All I really need to add is that the adjacent shop displayed a range of Christian T-shirts in one corner ("My Lifeguard walks on water") and an equally wide range of blow-up dolls in another. I may discover tomorrow that parts of West Virginia are quite normal, but dear Jane Lew (not sure if she is a place or a person) has amused me enough to be a permanent mental State mascot.

1 comment:

  1. You've got to try (or at least order and bin!) the deep fried macaroni cheese.

    We need a photograph of it!

    (And for goodness sakes, don't tell them about deep-fried Mars bars!)