Tuesday, August 21, 2018

how Monday went

I think a lot of what I've been doing this vacation, aside from fattening myself for some sort of slaughter, has been about reliving the oldies.

Today, I drove back out to Skyline Drive for the final time this trip and did the Dark Hollow Falls trail one last time. The entire round trip, way down then way up, took 38 minutes. I once again walked faster than everyone else on the trail, but as before, this was because people were walking in pairs and groups.

The major difference, this time, was that a thick fog had rolled in and covered the entire north-south axis of the Drive by the time I got there. This made driving somewhat hazardous, even at only 35 miles per hour; it also made the trail more hazardous, but not by too much: the rocks along the trail hadn't formed a layer of moss, algae, or lichen, so they weren't as slippery as I thought they'd be, Cthulhu be praised.

The fog put everything in an eldritch cast; at some points, driving visibility was only about 100 feet (30-ish meters).

The mist made the trail a bit more mysterious, but the people I encountered were more bouncy, talkative, and extroverted than last time. I even passed by a Korean family on its way back up, but I refrained from butting in on their family-only repartee.

You hear a lot of foreign languages on these trails. Along with Korean, I've heard French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. There may have been some sort of Scandinavian tongue thrown in for good measure. A lot of foreign tourists end up in Shenandoah National Park.

As I was on my way back up, I happened upon the tableau you see below. Did the leaves fall that way of their own accord? Did someone arrange them that way? We'll never know, but I found the image pretty enough to pause in my climb and snap a picture:

And here I am, selfie-ing with an old friend:

Dark Hollow Falls is at Mile 51 of the Drive: about halfway down (the Drive is 105 miles long). After my hike, I doubled back and drove to Front Royal, where I hoped to eat at one of two favorite joints: Foster's Grille (a burger joint) in "upper" Front Royal, or Melting Pot Pizza in "lower" Front Royal. I tossed a coin and headed for Melting Pot, telling myself I'd eat at Foster's if the pizzeria proved too crowded. Sure enough, I saw that Melting Pot's parking lot was full, so I headed for Foster's.

To my grief and horror, I discovered that Foster's no longer existed. In that same shopping complex, though, was the depressing but passably good China City Buffet, so, defeated, I stopped in there to eat dinner. Plate One:

Plate Two:


And finally, the "fortune" from the fortune cookie that came with my bill:

I took this to mean, "Go ask that chick out as soon as your ass is back in Korea." The "fortune" is sitting in my wallet, emitting talismanic vibes.

I drove over to my brother's house and hung out for a while, watching "American Ninja Warrior" and other "reality" shows, which seem to have taken over American TV. One thing you learn from living in different countries is that TV is shite just about everywhere. I prefer my current method of TV-watching: find out about an awesome show from online chatter, then purchase several seasons of it and binge-watch.

Anyway, that's how Monday went down.


John Mac said...

Damn, I envy you that trail! Looks wonderful.

And yes, ask that gal out. Not knowing what would have happened is much worse than a potential negative response. Life's a dance after all...


John from Daejeon said...

Summer TV in the U.S. has normally been known for broadcast repeats until a little show called "Survivor" came along and now there are some streaming Marvel gems like "Legion" and "Jessica Jones" along with countless others. Hell, 530 million Chinese are making "The Story of Yanxi Palace" the most watched TV show of all time. Well, beautiful concubines are a pretty big draw.