Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Choose wisely.

     "I think the Greenbrier is nearby," I had said, as we drove into West Virginia, coming from the east.
     I've always had a fondness for big old style resorts, and have stayed at a few: The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs. The Grand Hotel at Mackinac. I was hoping we'd see the famous old hot springs hotel from the road, perhaps plant the seed for a future visit.
     Later, I wasn't thinking about the place when we pulled off at an unnamed rest stop at Mile 182. My wife suggested we walk around the building—we like to walk on trips, shake off the stiffness from the car, stretch our legs, get the blood moving.
The Greenbrier Hotel view.
The rest area overlook.
     We were surprised to find a wooded area, with a path. We followed the path until it divided into a T. To the left, the sign pointed toward the "GREEENBRIER HOTEL OVERLOOK." To the right, the "RESTAREA OVERLOOK," the lack of the proper space somehow seeming apt. That's a no brainer. We headed left. After a very brief walk, we were treated to a view of the sprawling white hotel, the lush green mountains beyond, bright forest in front, piles of white clouds, the blue sky.
     We stood a moment, savoring the panorama.
     I have to admit, I would have clomped back to the car at that point.
     But my wife suggested we see what the other view was like.
     So we returned to the woods, went past the sign, again a very few steps.
     We gazed in a kind of wonder at the rest area overlook, and enjoyed a very different view. A picnic table. A garbage can. And beyond it, the roof of the rest area, as promised, and beyond it the highway, Route 35, with cars and trucks whizzing by.
    We stood and soaked that in, briefly.
     I had to wonder, returning to the car, how many people, not knowing what the Greenbrier is, only went to the right overlook, and missed the one to the left? 
    That's life, ain't it? A little knowledge helps.


  1. Had yourself a Robert Frost moment, but managed to take both. Smart move. Leave it to Neil to point out the obvious. Why not take both?

  2. I’ll make sure to avoid Restarea, W.V. in my travels.
    The photo of the rest area reminds me of a couple of signs I saw at a rest stop on my way west. The first sign said “Picnic Area”. A few feet later the sign said “Beware of Poisonous Snakes.” The place was empty.

  3. I knew one alcoholic who loved going to greenbriar and gambling until he died. Apparently they keep the whiskey flowing for high rollers...
    While beautiful from afar, it might be different seen up close...

  4. Even without knowing about the Greenbrier, it’s hard to imagine making the rest area overlook your first choice.

  5. "When you come to a fork in the road take it." Yogi Berra

  6. That's a swell view of the Greenbrier and surroundings. But am I the only one thinking that it sounds like a pretty simple choice? Frankly, if one of the options had been "Rest Area Overlook" and the alternative was "Other Overlook" or "NOT Rest Area Overlook," it seems as if Curtain #2 would have been the one to go with. ; )

  7. Very Funny. Actually, I thought the "restarea" was a failed attempt to spell restaurant and thought, "Who the hell wants to look over a restaurant?" Or course, even fewer would want to view a rest area, I would think.


  8. Beautiful. Why not take both. West Virginia is a beautiful place. Hope the weather is good for you. It's perfect here. (Chicago)


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