Because of my little whirlwind adventure over the state, people ask me about food a lot. Where did I have my best meal? What was my favorite?
That’s not an easy question to answer. It’s hard to compare the Peruvian lunch I had in Bridgeport with the hot dog I had in Hamlin or the small pizza I ate in Charles Town.
These were all good meals, but so was the chicken sandwich I got at the gas station in Mingo County and the basket of peaches I bought at that little roadside shack in Hampshire County.
It’s easier to talk about the best gas station restroom I found while traveling because while meals vary, the outcome is inevitably the same.
What you want in a public restroom isn’t hard to figure out. You want clean. You want functional. You want good lighting, access to soap, paper products and water. A mirror is good, but a lock on the door for some privacy is better.
While the quality of the restrooms I encountered varied wildly, the best and worst stood out.
The best places make you feel at ease. The worst make you wish you’d maybe skipped breakfast or those last two cups of coffee.
The worst restroom on my trip this summer was in Braxton County at a gas station whose name I don’t remember.
It was an old-school place, decorated in the style of a vintage 1970s zombie apocalypse movie. Every surface seemed to be sweating, including the spiders hiding underneath the toilet.
I got a good look. I dropped my car keys.
The best gas station restroom was at a GoMart in Richwood in Nicholas County. I stopped on my way out of Pocahontas County.
It was sparkling clean — far cleaner than the bathroom at my house usually happens to be in the best of times, let alone this summer.
I got behind on the housework.
This was just a really good example of a GoMart — well-lit, well-stocked and also well-staffed. They had my favorite energy drinks in an assortment of primary colors and hypothetical flavors.
Of course, keep in mind this was for the men’s room. I have no idea about the women’s restroom. I didn’t think to ask if I could check.
Otherwise, I can say I had great experiences at two different Nicholas County GoMarts. I also stopped at a different location on my way to Webster County and it was nearly as admirable.
While this may not be true of every GoMart, the bathrooms in Nicholas County were great. I’d be willing to sign a certificate of something, if they wanted.