Archive for the 'Virginia' Category

Release the hounds

Sooo… I had my first Greyhound trip today.

It wasn’t as bad as I had feared. D.Chong drove me to the station, and after some small admin trouble I managed to get on the 9:55 coach for the seven hour (sadface) journey to Knoxville.

An hour in, we stopped for ‘breakfast’, which was whatever was available from the local providence – in this case, a McDonald’s and two petrol stations. Not in the mood for that much grease, I settled on a six-pack of Oreos and regular fries, which I threw away after about half because they were over-salted. The lay-by was on a gravel verge over a highway, with the aforementioned buildings and a general air of decrepitude. It would be a strong contender for the most depressing place I’ve ever been, if it had actually had any character to it.

After my breakfast of champions, and removing myself to as much distance as I could from the pumps, where someone had decided that smoking would be a totally neat idea, our coach rolled on. The clouds swallowed the mountains and the rain came down, compounding a strange sense I had of something going wrong… but that eventually passed, the wooded hills smoothing into rolling plains and Virginia becoming Tennessee. Our driver somehow got lost – goodness knows – but a friendly garage owner set us straight and we actually arrived more or less on time. After a few hiccoughs which aren’t worth relating (but thank you, Shogun), I found myself at Jobastion’s place. We went to yet another burger joint, with his flatmate, where I increased the chances of those participating in the pool that says I’m going to come back fatter than I left.

And now I’m back here, with my thoughts, of which there are a few distinct ones brewing at this time. Watch this space…

This was moved to re-order the posts, I had somehow not published ‘Blue Ridge Mountains’.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Ahh… Fleet Foxes.

Anyway, today was mostly a driving day, so there’s not that much to tell. Coasting down the highway populated equally with churches and strip joints, West Virginian territory gave way to her fairer sister. Job and I arranged to meet Diannao halfway, at Staunton. More on that in a sec. To make a day of it, we decided to drop by the Luray Caverns on the way.

I link the site because my camera is sorely underequipped to deal with that sort of environment, so I don’t have any photos myself. They’re great caverns, though: vast and deep, with over a mile’s worth of walking and some truly spectacular sights, chief of which to me was a large, shallow pool that is so still that at first your eyes don’t catch the ceiling’s reflection; it seems just a pit with stalagmites in. Then something might drip, or the placid surface ripple at some disturbance, and suddenly the exquisiteness of the illusion is made clear. Other notable features included several impressive, millenia-old formations, and an organ that had been wired to ‘play’ carefully-selected stalegtites – the largest musical instrument in the world.

We drove through the very pretty scenery to Staunton, where we met Diannao and had some burgers at a place called ‘5 guys’; a classic American diner. Good stuff. From there, more driving on to Roanoke, and here I am at another house. Tomorrow I move on to Knoxville.

Current mood: Crunk

Soooo vicodin is a lot like being drunk.


This is a public service announcement

Nelson Mandela once said: “You have never truly known a country until you have been inside its gaols”. They might have to extend that to hospitals.

Hi everyone. If you’ve been watching my twitter feed you’ll know I was taken pretty ill over the last couple of days. What started out as a small cough suddenly got a lot nastier and effectively knocked me out around midday yesterday halfway though Baltimore aquarium – effective sleeping with the fishes, I suppose. SirToons and his mum have been absolute champions and really gone well out of their way to help me out, and I can’t thank them enough. Ms. SirToons is a nurse and feared I may have had strep throat, so earlier today I was driven to the hospital she works at and given a series of tests. It all checked out, thankfully, and apart from some just-in-case prescriptions including vicodin, I was given the all-clear. This is good, as although I’m hypochondriac, I do know that swine flu isn’t all talk and that airports are sometimes the equivalent of a bouncy castle comprised of used needles.

It’s true that I wasn’t particularly expecting for my first ever visit to a hospital (at least as a patient) to be in America, but I’m glad I had such generous backup at my side.

Speaking of generosity, I better expand on those lost blogging days! Nailbunny and his girlfriend couldn’t have given me a better welcome to the country, and somehow managed to deal with the arrivals of both myself and a new puppy in the same day. Yesterday saw NB drive me down to Baltimore, where we visited the aforementioned aquarium, which even in my slightly delirious state I found to be a lot of fun. By the end, however, I was really dropping, and I don’t think I got the chance to fully show my appreciation to my first hosts. So, to you two, thank you once again.

Today’s intended trip to DC obviously had to be abandoned, but I hope to have recovered sufficiently enough by tomorrow to spend a decent amount of time in the Capital before catching the train to West Virginia. Here’s to a good night’s sleep, and no more illnesses!

Though I guess a hospital wrist tag is kind of a neat souvenir.

Other Blogs

Click Here

The Entries

The States:

The Mob

  • 27,156 hits