In the Star City

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hotel Roanoke with my daughter Eva who is reading every word (she is a rising second grader and smart!) As Eva knows, Roanoke is called the “Star City of the South” due to the star on Mill Mountain which rises over the downtown. It’s a gem of a place which is tucked into the Roanoke River Valley.

We arrived in Roanoke last night to start our annual family trip to western Virginia. This tradition started in 2004, when I took my nascent Lt. Governor campaign (which consisted of a white Dodge Caravan and two small kids) into the great Southwest for a week of learning about the issues and meeting local leaders. Although my results a year later in the June 2005 primary were singularly unimpressive — State Senator Phil Puckett won the Southwest jurisdictions by an enormous margin – we enjoyed every moment of our time there. So we keep coming back.

Today, we will be in Abingdon for the Virginia Highlands Festival. After spending the night camping at “Hungry Mother” State Park (which Sharon insists is not named for her), we will drive down to Galax on Saturday for the Fiddler’s Festival. This is my favorite event in Virginia. Ok, let’s call it a tie with Shad Planking.

Anyway, we’ll be trying to report in from the road as we can find a “Wi-Fi” connection. One of my biggest learning points from the 2005 campaign was the need for areas in western Virginia and Southside to have access to wireless technology. We’ll see how that’s coming along in the next couple days.


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