Number 75: Roadkill (Part 1)

26 Sep

I think it’s time to take a break from telling you about my European adventures and instead fill you in on the mysterious place I visited this weekend.  This weekend, Dan and I made a 24-hour round-trip drive to Marlinton, West Virginia, so we could attend their annual Autumn Harvest Festival and Roadkill Cookoff!  I wish I was joking.

When I first read “roadkill” on the Omnivore’s 100 list months ago, I was a little bit panicked.  First of all, I didn’t want to intentionally hit any animals with my car.  I have only ever hit one squirrel in my life and wept for the entire remaining car ride.  I also knew that I couldn’t just walk around town, scraping flattened animals off the road.  The only time that roadkill is safe to eat is when it is fresh, meaning I would probably have to hit it myself.  No dice.

Cut to a few months later.  My mom was telling someone at her work about my blog and mentioned that I’d have to eat roadkill.  Her coworker casually came out with, “Well, you know there’s a Roadkill Festival every year, right?”  Oh yes, because EVERYONE knows about the Marlinton Roadkill Festival!  My mom called me that day.  The second she told me about it, I did some research, booked some hotels, and the rest is history.

We left on Friday morning with our brand new dog, Rocket, (who I haven’t mentioned yet- surprise!) and started our 12-hour journey there.  We drove through Indiana and Ohio, seeing many of the sights you’d expect to see in those states.

Ridiculously oversized crosses…


Towns named after buckets of fish…

While we had a long drive ahead of us, it flew by pretty quickly and we only had to make a couple of rest stops.

Finally, we arrived in West Virginia.  Apparently their motto is “wild and wonderful,” which I suppose is more exciting than Illinois’ “land of Lincoln,” but it made me a bit nervous.  How wild, exactly?  We were about to find out.

The second we got into the mountains was when shit started to get serious.  It was dark, foggy, and the roads were winding.  And when I say winding, I don’t mean curving.  I mean violently winding- so much so, that the roads were actually banked to the side in some places.  Here’s an example of one of the super fun curves we encountered:

Explain to me how that curve makes any sense at all!  Instead of just going in a straight line for like 30 feet, we had to make a right turn, come back on ourselves, and then continue to swerve around the road like lunatics for another half mile.

On top of that, the speed limit ranged from 55-70 pretty much the whole time.  I have never been so terrified in my whole life.  Dan was driving (thank God) and whenever he wasn’t sure what the speed limit was, I would just tell him, “Drive until you feel like the car is out of control, then go about 20 MPH faster,” because that’s just how it seemed to work.  Near-death experiences were a dime a dozen in West Virginia.  The 30 minutes it was supposed to take to get to our hotel took a full gut-churning, white-knuckling hour and in the end, I was left shaken, but alive.

We finally arrived at the lovely Marlinton Motor Inn, which looked like it was transported straight out the horror film “Vacancy.”
It was a decent place, minus the spider infestation and the fact that our bathroom door didn’t close because the ceiling was so warped.  Oh, and the fact that every time someone walked around in the room above us, our room would shake…and the guy who tried to come into our room in the middle of the night…

After a decent night’s sleep, I awoke to the beautiful sight of cloud-covered mountains, and everything seemed okay.

Anyways, I had more important things to do that day than worry about spiders and murderers.  I was there for one reason and one reason only: to eat some roadkill!

To be continued…

Check out part 2 here!


6 Responses to “Number 75: Roadkill (Part 1)”

  1. Miss Angie September 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Oh dear god no… lol!

  2. Big Onion September 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm #


    Been dying to see how you’d cross Roadkill off your list. Can’t wait to see the next post!

  3. Laura in Cancun September 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Oooh, fun!! That does look like the hotel from Vacancy… eerie.

    Can’t wait to hear more about Rocket!

  4. IntenseGuy September 27, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Big Muskie Bucket? Goodness… that sounds like something that could have made your 100 “food” items list.

  5. Bridget September 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Have you considered writing a murder mystery? I think you’ve got the chops for it. You may recall “The Mystery at Sunset Inn”, which was a 63 page novel that I wrote and presented to my horrified 3rd grade class when I was eight? I fancied myself the next Nancy Drew and I think it must run in the family! Can’t wait for part II..!!…..


  1. Number 90: Criollo Chocolate | OMNIVORE100PROJECT - January 31, 2012

    […] to Tuesday night bowling league and drinking dollar Bud Lights.  A few months ago, I’m at a Roadkill Cook-Off in West Virginia, and now I’m making reservations at the highest rated restaurant in Chicago.  Sometimes […]

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