We arrived into our final roadtrip stop, Roanoke, Virginia, after 8 hours of driving, receiving big hugs from Carolyn and Gary (Kristen’s sister and her sister’s boyfriend) just in time for the clock to strike midnight (east coast time) - signaling Carolyn’s 24th birthday. Fueled by the stories we had to tell, we recounted a few of the highlights of the trip, since we hadn’t seen each other in over 6 weeks, before hitting the hay like two sacks of rocks. Not even Sadie the dog sleeping between us (on a double bed, no less) could keep us from our slumbers.
After rising rather early to the smell of coffee (Carolyn is a nurse and wakes up early on her days off), we made breakfast for the group - eggs with veggies from the previous night’s roast Carolyn had made in celebration of our arrival. Shortly thereafter, we packed up our three cars and caravanned our way north on Interstate 81, careful to keep our speed in check by using cruise control (Kristen was ticketed last summer on that highway and totally learned her lesson).
On a whim, we pulled off the highway at Markham, VA, which is home to Hartland Orchard. Kristen’s family has gone apple-picking almost every year since 2006 at this orchard, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to get a half-bushel, play lacrosse with the picking claws, and take in some of the warm mid-atlantic sun. Also, it was a way to prolong our roadtrip by another hour or so. The trip was coming to an end quickly, and we wanted to savor the last few tens of miles as much as we possibly could.