We trust Google with most directions. I spend much of our driving days on the Google Maps Android app (while Lisa drives). Most days end up being uneventful — we just find where we want to go. Driving to Breaks Interstate Park … not so much.
If you look at a map, you may think you can just take Highway 119 out of Charleston, WV to Highway 80 and, easy-peasy, you’re there. Not according to Google. Google suggests County Road 1441 (Raccoon Road) as a shortcut. Here’s how to find it.
As you’re barreling along on Highway 119, you’ll probably start getting tired of the nice curves, beautiful scenery, and non-existent traffic, so look for a tiny road in the valley below (bridges on 119 carry you from pass to pass — but it’s more exciting in the trenches).
You can’t just take a left on 1441, you need to take the exit after you pass 300′ above it to circle down to the road and get on it. Once on it, it’ll border, literally border, a flowing river. And it will get narrower and narrower. There will be no shoulder, so any error will result in you ending up in the river or in somebody’s front yard.
The road winds. When you see a man working on a Trans Am transmission by sitting inside the engine bay, be sure to turn right. But watch out for the wild chickens. You don’t want to run those over — they’re dinner.
After this, you’ll see a posting that the road will narrow, again, and be narrow for the next 5 miles. Pray for no oncoming traffic.
After a few more curves and after passing a few more porches (wave to those “setting for a spell”), you’ll get to 80, a road that intersects 119 perfectly nicely, but Google thought you shouldn’t take it.
Assuming you made it this far, following the signs to the park from here is easy.