In June 2003, I spent a week with a youth construction mission camp in Bristol, VA, working to provide safer, dryer, warmer housing for homeowners in Southwest Virginia. Two different crews combined efforts on this home, with the labor of two crew chiefs (construction leaders) and at least 25 teenagers.
The location was picturesque: the road followed along the creek, and the driveway of the house stopped at the creek. To get to the front door, you had to cross the creek on the footbridge. If memory serves me correctly, this story was told in the Religious Herald in the fall of 2003, with this picture.
The house needed a lot of work: a new roof, a fresh paint job, and more than that large crew could possibly have done in a week. They labored with love and tried to take care of that family as best they could.
I rarely travel that stretch of I-81 into Southwest Virginia, but when I have, Exit 22 (Enterprise Road) has called my name. I worked for that camp for 4 years, and have slowly forgotten the locations of many worksites throughout Virginia. But this one I have never forgotten.
A few weeks ago, Kim and I were driving down I-81 on a weekend getaway. As we approached Enterprise Road, I asked if she was up for a short detour, and we pulled off Exit 22. As I drove down the street, my mind doubted, “Do I really remember this?” When we got to the end of the street and turned around, having passed where I thought the house had stood, I doubted even more, and we headed back to the Interstate.
But as we rounded the bend, I slowed down at where I thought the house would have been, and my heart sank. The creek still flowed and the bridge still stood, but the only thing left of the house was the chimney.
What happened the house? Where is the family living now? How long has it been since this occurred? All of these questions go unanswered. Even without the house, I’ll still remember Exit 22: Enterprise Road.
Google Maps leads me to believe it has been a few years, but you never know how long it’s been since they updated their satelitte images.