Who drives more than 400 miles roundtrip to take one of these for a spin?
Oh, okay, well maybe it wasn’t THAT one, per se (as those would have been 2,500 miles away ONE WAY – plus I’d need a time machine, seeing as they’ve been out of commission for oh, 16 years) but it was still pretty awesome for me…
At this point, you might be asking…what on Earth could I possibly be talking about?
If you guessed the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system in Morgantown, West Virginia…you would be CORRECT 🙂
We set out at about 8 AM from Charlottesville – the plan was to grab smoothies for the road, but alas – we found that Smoothie King did not open until 9. Boo. So, we did what any good Charlottesvillian would do on a sunny weekend morning: Bodo’s.
Yum! So anyway – then we hit the road – windy, bumpy roads, mind you – all 200+ miles up to Morgantown. We saw some gorgeous leaves + passed through lots of quaint townships and such on the way!
We arrived in Morgantown (or as many of the local publications called ‘Motown’) a little bit after lunch and we were HUNGRY!! Fortunately, as soon as we parked the car at the hotel garage, we were en route via foot to the destination I had pre-chosen on Yelp: Black Bear Burritos!
I picked BBB because:
- It was veggie friendly – all meats can be subbed with fakin bacon or tofu!
- It had great reviews
- The prices were reasonable
- (I’ll admit) I loved the name of the place!
The restaurant had a unique ordering system (there is a sign that tells you to grab a menu + seat yourself – then go up to the counter to order) and a really down-home quirky decor that made us feel comfortable right away. I ordered the Irie Member which featured tofu, cheese, rice, black beans, pineapple, jicama and a Jamaican jerk sauce in a flour tortilla, topped with hot salsa and sour cream and hubs had the Rail Trail Quesadilla (A crispy quesadilla stuffed with cheese, rice, red beans, roasted corn, grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions, (chicken, steak, or tofu) and smothered in a mexican enchilada sauce – he had the steak). Both were served with tortilla chips + southwestern slaw – yum!
We REALLY loved this meal! It definitely lived up to our expectations…so with happy full bellies, we headed back out into the (windy!) West Virginian afternoon to hit up the main attraction: the PRT!
Call me a dork (because I definitely am one!) but I was so stoked about the idea of riding this nifty little nugget of public transportation. Along with the fact that it reminded me of being back at Disney (sigh!) – I often get giddy on different college campuses because I just enjoy the environment. (Oh, and P.S. – there is an interesting old article that mentions Disney & the PRT)
After a little confusion about if we had to pay for it (I thought I had read that there was a 50 ct fee) hubs asked a guy departing the station and he told us to just push the destination button and the gate would open.
Um, okay? He was right, so we boarded Downtown and made a full trip / loop back around to the Downtown Campus. The ride was everything I hoped it would be – delightfully ‘futuristic’ with that retro vibe (it began operation in 1975, after all) and while I can understand it might not be quite as fun to wait for if you happened to be late for class, I found myself wishing we had one in Charlottesville, too!
What is a “FEATURE” or a “MUST SEE” in your town?