Homeward Bound

On our way through North Carolina, we stopped in the small town of Statesville, where there was a big flea market going on in the parking lot of this store, which carries everything from books to used furniture and fishing rods.

Gullion's - Statesville, NC

Loads of books - not a winner among them

We stopped at Snooper’s Antique Mall in Wytheville, Virginia, where we found a few collectible quality books.  I didn’t snap a photo of Snooper’s, but this place had lots of nice antiques and books…it’s worth a stop, with several other antique malls very close by with interesting stock.

We continued northward on Rte. I-77 through the mountainous Virginias…

Big Walker Mountain Tunnel on Rte. I-77, connecting Wytheville, Virginia to Bland County, Virginia.

Inside the tunnel (4,229 feet long)

A second tunnel, 20 miles further north…

East River Mountain Tunnel, running through East River Mountain on Rte. I-77 between Rocky Gap, Virginia and Bluefield, West Virginia

We got lost for awhile in the mountains of West Virginia after getting off the interstate to find an antique shop.  The signs disappeared, and pretty soon the road almost disappeared as well, as we climbed higher and higher on a long winding road.  What fun!

Lost in the mountains of West Virginia. Almost Heaven!

Stopping for the night at about 9pm, we stayed at the Best Western in Bridgeport, West Virginia.  It was a nice hotel with a friendly and fun bartender on duty named Daniel.  He made me his excellent “perfect” Rob Roy, and also made sure we had a nice dinner even though it was late.

After a good sleep, we put some miles on, and crossed the border into Pennsylvania while the sun was still low in the sky.  We just couldn’t resist dipping into Pittsburgh, though, on our way home!

Driving into Pittsburgh, PA

We were intending to visit Caliban Books at 410 S. Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA, and we did — technically.  The sign said they didn’t open until 1:00pm on Sundays, however, and our schedule didn’t allow for us to wait that long.  It looked like a good book store though, just so you know ( judging by our window peeking).

We got LOST in Pittsburgh (not hard to do) and found a place called Awesome Books at 5111 Penn Avenue.  Sometimes it’s awesome getting lost!

Awesome Books, 5111 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA

This is actually the second Awesome Books location to open in Pittsburgh, and has only been open a couple of months.  The original store has been open for about three years and is located at 929 Liberty Ave., P-Burgh.

Mo-Jo, one of three book store cats, peering through the window at us

We were greeted first by Mo-Jo the cat, then by Laura Jean McLaughlin.  Laura Jean and Bob Ziller are partners at Awesome Books.

Laura Jean McLaughlin of Awesome Books

Cathy and Laura Jean

Laura Jean is also an artist, and she showed us her giant fascinating workshop in the back of the store.

Artist's work zone

Here’s Laura Jean with one of her amazing sculptures (work in progress, yet to be named)

One of her sculptures hanging on the wall (below).  The missing head hangs on the wall at the main store!

At Awesome Books I purchased an intriguing novel from the 1930’s in a fine old dust jacket.  We didn’t make it to the main store, or to any other book shops in Pittsburgh, for that matter.  We really have to get home now!

And so we did, driving at full tilt with our carload of books, sea shells, driftwood and luggage, we pulled into the driveway at about 8 pm on Sunday, April 29th, ending sixteen days on the road.

It’s cold up here, and the first thing we had to do was start a fire in the wood stove!

Below is our cat Spider, checking out a box or two from the book booty, which will soon be entering our inventory at Old Scrolls Book Shop. Ten boxes of glorious, carefully chosen books.

After we’ve unpacked and been allowed to get our land legs back, I’ll supply a wrap-up of the trip with photos of some highlights of the books we found and a list of our favorite shops!

Thanks for tagging along with us on our book scouting adventure.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Welcome Home! It was a really fun trip ‘with you’ on the blog!

    • Thanks Laura — glad to hear you enjoyed the trip. See you soon!

  2. Glad to know you actually DID return…so hard to leave the beautiful southern weather…but so wonderful to be safely HOME! Welcome back.


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