Saturday, May 28, 2011
Cynicism Etch A Sketch
I took my time getting out of Grafton, heading first to the laundromat near the hotel to move the stinky hiker gauge back to "bearable by humans." I left my digs shortly before eleven and stopped in at the 1-2-3 Cafe for a leisurely lunch.
While there I met Sam and Mary Kay who helped my Abby Normal brain decide what to have. Sam persuaded me to try the Cordon Blue (sic) panini and Mary Kay suggested the Mountaineer Nut Brown Ale to wet my whistle. I don't usually drink beer before a hike, but having not tried a local beer yet, I believed myself duty-bound to donate my liver to science for you, my inquisitive audience.
The brew has a nice hint of chocolate malt and hazelnut to cut the bitterness normally associated with ales, but not so much as to be sugary sweet, like another Brown Nut Ale, Newcastle.
For dessert I had a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven that was nine parts chocolate and one part cookie. A perfect percentage in my eyes. Thanks to Sam and Mary Kay for the free beer and a great meal to start my day in earnest.
I headed out of town around twelve and made good time, doing about fourteen miles by six in the evening. Realizing Bridgeport was out of range given the late hour, I settled in the hamlet of Hepzibah, on the steps of the Baptist Church there. Hepzibah means "my delight is in her" in Hebrew. I wonder if the Jews of that era had my love for double entendres.
While sitting on the stoop I ran into Fritz and her friend Catherine out for a walk. Following a brief period when I scared the hell out of them, we fell into conversation about my trip. I asked if they knew the pastor at the church. They did not, but Fritz returned shortly with her husband Tim and an offer to camp on their property, which was quite close. They showered me with affection, bringing me beer, spaghetti, band aids (which I had run out of), Dr. Scholl's insoles, and a little road money.
I don't know what I've done to deserve the love shown me by the people here, but I do know I've met some folks I will never forget. If you are feeling cynical about life you need to get off your butt and walk through the country here - your attitude will quickly be readjusted. I feel like I have been playing the trust exercise with the populace of West Virginia and they have caught me every time. Except for Fort Ashby. Get your act together Fort Ashby, you are dragging down the whole state.
13 miles were eliminated today for a total of 424.
Apologies to Fort Ashby, I never really gave you a chance back in those days. I was just a foolish young man.