You’ve arrived at your destination.

A few weekends back, we went to visit George’s home away from home. George Karnes is our good friend and his family roots go way back in a place call Ten Mile, West Virginia.
Here are some pictures of our journey. For those of you not interested in our travelogue (including pictures of our children) you must ignore the next several posts.
We arrived in West VA without too many problems. We decided to make our journey a little more adventurous and let LG navigate while I drove. Mostly, he just HAD to do the navigating because George had let us borrow his GPS, and LG couldn’t wait to use it. Trusting a GPS 100% is not just a bad idea, but a completely stupid thing to do. We should have never had that darn little evil device. We would have been better off trying to follow George’s written directions and stopping and asking locals when we were unsure. We didn’t figure this out until we drove about our 50th mile. Yep, we most definitely missed that 10th mile our first time around.
After missing one interstate connection, we wasted about 30 miles. We knew we were finally getting close when we started to see license plates like this.
hmmm….cheat Mtn….sounds like a place Mormons should not visit.
And where would West Virginia be without the coal industry?
Probably in the dark, like the rest of the country.
George had warned us that the gas prices were higher up there.
It’s a good thing we filled up in Virginia.
This is when we started to be lulled into a false sense of security.
We had reached Buckhannon with only one wrong turn.
When we finally reached Ten Mile, we were approximately one hour later than expected.
We had called George from where we should have turned off the last road of true civilization.
He expected us 10 minutes later. Oh, but how George grossly underestimated our ability to sight see.
And for our three day stay, we would all try figure out where our GPS had taken us.
Using our best detective skills, we combed through my photos on my camera.
We would all be fired as Nancy Drew. We all missed this sign. LG and I had traveled up the civilized highway about 10 additional miles before we made one very wrong turn onto Sago Drive. (Maybe this is why they call the place ten mile – you have to drive 10 additional miles in every direction until you find the place) The wrong turn made for some very fun travel on crazy old mining roads.
My camera didn’t seem to mind.
What a nice place West Virginia is. They have these little red sheltered bus stops along the school bus route. (Don’t you think a kid could get into some trouble inside one of these? – They must really trust their kids, huh? – There is no way that I would let my kids hang out in one of these, at age 6 or 16…both ages could be very very dangerous for different reasons, if you know what I mean, it only takes two minutes – and those of you that read me often, know what I am implying here.)
Here is the coal mine. The first I have ever seen in real life.
It really brings home the stories that I have heard only on the news.
I guess this is the actual mine of the most recent mining tragedy.
West Virginia is also known for it’s lumber industry.
Between old mining and lumber roads, West Virginia is the perfect place for four wheeling.
This adventure will be in another post.
And, the cows.
All of the family was moaning and groaning because I just HAD to take their pictures.
These pictures would be a HUGE part in piecing the puzzle together of our GPS backwoods tour adventure.
Here was another piece of the puzzle.
Notice the reference to the”red man”.
There is something very liberating about visiting a place that hasn’t been forced to catch up to the rest of the politically correct world.
Sure tale sign that we were REALLY lost.
The wild life turns from domesticated cows to undomesticated dear.
The hubby and kids in the car are also turning into wild life at this point.
And, at some point, our GPS decided to tell us that we had “arrived at our destination”.
There was one problem, we saw nothing. I mean absolutely NOTHING but trees.
Could George and Lanette’s hideaway be THAT hid away?
We started asking locals where to go.
They were able to look at us crazily and question how we had gotten so far off track.
One very kind man was able to direct us back.
He read our directions and said,
“Oh honey, you are looking for ten mile. How did you get way up here?”
He said, “When you see the tunnel (well it’s kind of a culvert – note to self, look up culvert) you will be close.
This is the tunnel that George told us not to travel under on the way in.
We never saw it until our way back. We were so happy to drive through it.
Side note: a culvert is a drain or waterway under a road.
We should have just followed these tracks in.
Ten Mile got it’s name by being the tenth mile on the tracks.
Knowing our sense of direction, we would have followed the wrong set of tracks.
Oh, wow, look at this. The tracks do go RIGHT to George and Lanette’s front porch.
That’s our car. We had finally arrived.

Don’t you think the view alone was worth our hour long adventure in the back woods. (You can all sing along now….a one hour tour, a one hour tour.) Oh, wow, we could really take this Gilligan theme song through the whole story….

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip
That started from this K-ville port, aboard this tiny Ship.
The mate was a GPS trusting man, a driver brave and sure

And, there is nothing like, joining up with the family at a campfire.
Of course, there was a campfire. It was dark outside, duh?

This picture was taken the next day.

George and Lanette wanted us to forgive them for that stupid GPS.

They sure know how to flatter.



  1. HA! You CAN’T fire me as your blogging friend b/c we didn’t go through Knoxville 🙂 We got to a freeway where if we went west we would’ve, but we needed to go east to get to N. Carolina. But believe me, when I thought about what states we were travelling through, I thought of you!

  2. What an adventure… only someone that trusts GPS could travel a hundred miles past TEN MILE. My Dad was so lost when he came to Mesquite to meet his great-grand-daughter… I kept thinking my Dad has a better sense of direction than this… oh but he wasn’t driving with instinct or common sense or the street directions I gave him… he was using his GPS.toodles, Sheila

  3. That looks like a blast- except for the whole “lost” part but you had fun with it.So, I was thinking I might need to come get lost in your neck of the woods someday… I heard the only Saturday Rock and Roll Marathon is right there in your home state. I giggled when I heard the explanation- “It’s the bible belt and they’d rather disrupt Saturday traffic than Sunday church traffic”- that’s awesome!

  4. Haha I love your pictures. And speaking of which…I have hundreds of pictures of your kids from the reunion. They’re so adorable! I need a way to send them to you. Maybe I’ll burn them on a CD and send it home with Faye because there are almost 300 🙂 Anyway, just thought I’d drop you a line and say hi!

  5. I’m sorry I love our GPS–although I don’t know how i would feel about using it on a journey like the one you were on ; ) (My husband served his mission in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia–I always say Indiana, too, because whenever we’re in Indiana we are just beyond the river in Louisville ; )I bet you had a great time.

  6. ok first things first, Your campfire pit, was missing something,,, A big fat pig,,, next I will answer you in one post if that is ok?I do not have time to blog in the day time, if I do it in the day time I should be slapped(like right now) I do it when my chilfren are fasy a sleep(my husband works two jobs so iI have nothing to do, so blogging keeps me saine.How to get a boy- quit hoping, caring, and stop wishing. Then they will come…YES my children are like lizards, but so is my husband. there is no trick to the getting ready for church thing, my children have massive long hair, I therefore spend at least 2 hours on it, baths are done at night, and I complety about loose my mind the hour before church running to do all the last minute things, and yes, I forget the lotion way too many times…No I have not found the shirt, could you look in your dryer for it?Yes, my ward is my family, and their family, and their family…..You could have one too, it’s called adoption. :}

  7. Alice, I am pretty sure you went the wrong way again and again so you would have this awesome story for your blog — it was thoroughly enjoyable. You are truly, so funny! (Hey — you should name your blog that…)Sounds like a wonderful trip & quite the sightseeing adventure!!!

  8. My only experience with a GPS is following a friend through Washington DC when they were using one. They made a crazy illegal u-turn and we followed them, of couse. When we teased them, they just explained that it wasn’t their fault, “the GPS told us to.” We were headed to a restaurant and the GPS led us to an abandoned bowling alley on a scary alley. Yeah, you can’t totally trust those wonderful pieces of technology. 😉

  9. Loved your 10 mile story Alice! We used a GPS when we went to Kansas recently and we had it so turned around that at one point he says “turn around wherever you can!” It was pretty funny!!

  10. Alice I think LG was holding the GPS upside down. Love the blog….Lannette and I read everyone of your stories. I think I remember you telling us about the wrecker driver (so funny). It was great to have you guys visit us in Tenmile. I think I want french toast and bacon now too.

  11. Your first mistake was letting LG hold and believe that a GPS works.Glad it was a great trip.We just got back from Alice Packards’ funeral and saw your mom and dad. They look great!ann packard

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