Why oh why didn’t I bring my camera this weekend?
Wait, let me back up for a second.
The scene was Friday night, at my place. We’d been sitting around, having a few drinks, and were now kinda just… bored. Thus, we took a walk around the nearby shopping centres — it was nice weather, with just a drop or two of rain in the sky.
Halfway through the walk, M gets an itch.
“Let’s go to Tennessee tonight!”
Mind you, it was probably 10.30 already. I’m a bit tired and fairly hesitant. Also, I am strangely hungry at the time, so we get a pizza at a place that was along the way on our walk. The whole time, M is trying to convince me to go. The pizza comes, and we walk back, pizza in tow, with M still insistent.
To make a long story short… we went.
Left home around midnight, after consoling the woman, who was fairly pensive regarding this expedition. Packed no clothes, sans a few t-shirts. Tossed the pizza in the back seat. Drove the night through, arriving in Bristol around 5.15 in the morning.
Seeing as (1) we didn’t really know anyone who lived in bristol anymore and (2) knoew that no one in their right mind would be awake anyway, we drove up to South Holston Dam to watch the sunrise. It was amazing. Foggy on the way there, we could see the clouds in the valleys as we made our way down the parkway; On the way to the dam, we could see the actual low-level clouds, floating like apparitions through the farmers’ fields.
We got up to the dam itself just in time to see the clouds shine in red, orange and blue, a shimmering backdrop to the quiet lake. I can’t describe the peace that ensued in the next several minutes.
We were both tired, and it was still early, so we passed out in the car for about two hours before making our way to Johnson City. Arriving at the doorstep of some good friends at 9.00 in the morning (“I thought you all were Mormons!”), we chatted through the day, between bouts of powernapping (at least for me).
I didn’t get to see anywhere close to all the people I wanted to see when I was down there. It also started to become clear that our proposed itenerary (DC -> Johnson City -> Winston-Salem -> Raleigh -> maybe VA Beach) wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t care too much, though… the spontaneity was the key.
The main reason to visit Winston-Salem was to meet up with daddysl8tn, who neither of us had seen in about 4 years. Calling him up, however, resulted in the knowledge that he and his family were pondering what to do for the holiday weekend. Upon finding out that they’d decided on going out near Boone, NC, we were psyched — as it turns out, our trusty mormon-fearing friend’s grandparents have a condo out there!
We drove out to Boone and the surrounding areas. Met up with Daddy Slayton, finally getting to meet wife and kid. They checked into a hotel, where we met some very interesting people (like the 5 year old girl who came up to us, announcing that “I’m FUNNY!”). Had dinner, and after they took the kid back to the hotel, we met him there, maneuvering around a very territorial dog, and headed to a few bars.
It was a good time, a night of watching strange people, and arguably strange friends pretending to speak only russian. Over all I was glad to see Slayton again. We dropped him off at the hotel and headed back to the condo for some (much needed) sleep.
That was probably one of the best slumbers of my life. Woke up around 10.30 AM to find one friend awake already, along with his grandma, who was busy preparing a big ole breakfast for us. M woke up soon thereafter to the smell of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and pancakes.
After milling around for a while, we decided to hike Grandfather Mountain. Let me stop for a second and recommend these grounds — it was beautiful. We hiked the Grandfather Trail, over numerous large and intimidating rocks, ropes, and ladders, up to MacRae Peak (stock photo). The view was entirely worth the scuffed boots and sore muscles.
Going back “home”, I was tired and tried to fall asleep for another power nap. The car ride down the mountain seemed as formidable as any jagged cliff we ascended, however. Arrived at the condo to the smell of dinner… and oh, was it tasty. After a (much-needed) shower, I had a steak dinner waiting, with the works: Mashed potatoes, pasta salad, green beans, and cocktail shrimp… with a glass of wine, to boot.
M had been talking of coming back today rather than Monday so that he’d have a day to recuperate. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen, but alas, we left that beautiful stretch pf land, with its hills and pines, shortly after dinner. Waving goodbye, we made our way back, through back country roads and patches of rain. Arrived home around 1.30. I’m now slightly pink, fairly tired, and quite well-traveled for a weekend. I’m sure there’s a moral to this story, regarding zest for life, and living for the moment, but I’m too to tired to consider that right now.
And on that note, I think it’s time to sleep once again.