Apparently, in Roanoke, Virginia there’s a giant illuminated star on a hill. According to brochures, it’s the city’s primary tourist attraction.
We didn’t find it.
We also didn’t find a decent dog-walking trail, though we did find a rail trail in a nearby town. To be honest, it wasn’t interesting enough to write about.
Here’s what we did find:
First, in Troutsville, VA (outside of Roanoke) we stayed at one of my favourite Red Roof Inns in a converted hotel where the housekeeping staff stopped us in the hallway to fuss over Victor, my black schnoodle and brave travel companion on this nine-day journey.
Second, we found a ‘pup cup’ with a bone-shaped dog biscuit on top. That was kind of cool – or literally very cool – and a clever dog-friendly find.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream is iconic in the area. So is the old-school freestanding walk-up ice cream stand in the middle of an asphalt parking lot along Williamson Road, about a 10-minute drive from Troutville’s Red Roof Inn.
Mosey up to Bruster’s window – especially on a scorching summer day – and order any of the dozens of sundae combinations with your choice of handmade premium ice cream flavours, all made from locally sourced dairy products. I selected a turtle caramel sundae with Butter Pecan ice cream for me (though it came made with vanilla). It almost immediately melted in the 30C degree plus heat.
My dog Victor got a ‘pup cup’ – one scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dog biscuit on top. He didn’t eat the cookie (he’s been very fussy). But he did finish the ice cream in the seating area outside the building – the only seating area. Fortunately, there’s a drinking fountain.
Once in a blue moon, an ice cream treat is just what the sun doctor ordered, and despite the unholy amount of calories I consumed (and dairy products Vic ate), I felt good about the choice.
We didn’t find the guiding light above Roanoke, but we did find Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Pup Cup, and that might have been even better.