Ask most anyone living in Northern Virginia to name the bordering states, and they can’t do it.
Most will get Maryland, West Virginia and North Carolina. After that, they are pretty much stumped. A few eventually get Tennessee. Kentucky isn’t on anyone’s mind.
Our 14-runs-in-a-week trip to Southwest Virginia found us up against and over the borders of four states.
There were even some multi-state runs, including the Cumberland Gap (where Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina meet), Bristol (a town split between Virginia and Tennessee) and Bluefield (with Virginia and West Virginia sections).
Over the course of the week, I logged about 50 miles, about half on smooth, flat paths and the other half on sometimes treacherous mountainous trails.
Those mountains isolate the area from the rest of the Virginia. Southwest, among other things, is known for its mountain music, for being the birthplace of country music and its crafts. Economically, it has been hit hard by textile and furniture plants moving overseas as well as a decrease in coal production. It is making efforts to attract tourists.
I covered the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton, and the counties of Carroll, Lee, Scott Washington, Smith, Grayson, Carroll, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell.
I broke it down into four pages:
108 runs down, 26 to go.