Posts Tagged 'Roanoke'

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’.

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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.


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