Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Bum Leaves Lynchburg

    The next morning, Great Aunt P and I joined one her daughter’s and her husband Mr. M and headed to downtown Lynchburg to have breakfast at a local restaurant.  I had sweet potato pancakes (I like to try new things when I can and when I’m in a somewhat adventurous mood) with lots of syrup and butter on them.  While we were eating, I discussed the lack of luck I was having with finding a place to couch surf in DC, speculating that my lack of any previous couch surfing experiences may have caused some potential hosts to be uneasy about letting a lone male stay at their place.  In a continuation of extraordinary family generosity, Great Aunt P’s daughter said her old college roommate lived in the area and offered to give her a call.  She did, and I had a place to stay.  Along with saving me money, this combination of generosity and luck probably saved me from a boat load of stress as I had plans to drive deep into the city to stay at a place (hostel, motel, or couch surfing host) to be within walking distance of the sites I wanted to visit.
       After breakfast, we drove past the location where local crazy, The Kind of Germany, hangs out when he’s not in jail (the only evidence of his previous presence were long strips of seemingly random numbers written on white tape attached to a pole).  We also toured Mr. M’s art studio and I flipped through this really cool book he had put together containing pictures and stories from his entire life.
    We drove past the shoe factory where Great Aunt P’s father worked (and she worked over a couple summers).  She told me of how, on occasion, a man and a woman would dance the dance of extramarital foolin’ around in this area beneath where they stored some leather.  It turns out that they weren’t exactly hidden because my great grandfather and other he worked with could see (And apparently watched in silence. Who says the world was entertainment deficient prior to the invention of television and the internet?)
    Back at Great Aunt P’s, I collected all my now clean and dry camping gear, unpacked all the piles of unorganized clutter stacked up in my car, and packed everything up in a bit more of an unorganized manner (my organizational methods have a minor flaw in that I’m currently using my ice chest to store all of my cooking equipment).
    My stay in Lynchburg was great.  The family members I met were very entertaining and generous.  It was wonderful to not have to drive everywhere and to be able to communicate with people throughout the day.  Lynchburg is a nice little town.  A bit off the beaten path, but because of it’s Civil War history, nice local restaurants, and proximity to other attractions in the area, I’d recommend stopping by if you’re close.
       After saying goodbye, I headed out of Lynchburg at a much later hour than desired, and got to Appomattox an hour before it closed.  I still managed to see the old court house (where I watched a short film on the history of the place during the Civil War), see the house where the treaty was signed (only, by the way, a treaty between Virginia’s army directly under Lee’s command and the army directly under Grant’s control in that area), the area where the last cannon blasts of the civil war were fired, and where all the passes were printed for confederates so that they could return home with proof that they had surrendered.
    I ate dinner at a local restaurant in Farmville where college students appeared to be arriving for the fall semester.  Something about seeing college aged kids (especially girls) walking around makes me feel like an old man.  What a tragedy.
    I drove into the $22/night (to rent a bed of rocks!) Twin Lakes State Park.  The idea that I was somewhere different from the Deep South was completely squashed when I drove past the RVs, every other one of which had a Confederate flag flying from it.  There was only one other tent in the campground which was occupied by a young woman with a bandana on her head, a book in her hands, and kayak on her car.  I should have gone over to talk to her, but didn’t (file it under chump out record number 22,432).  Although, on a more positive note, it’s probably best that I didn’t because something about my current state (whether being alone, being tall, being bearded, being a vagabond, never smiling or some combination of these) seems to make people fear me quite often.  It’s possible that I would have been pepper sprayed before I even got within conversation range.  Didn’t he say positive?  The next day, I planned to head to Hopewell where my mother grew up (daughter of the exceptional rabbit breeder).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ryan,

This morning we rode by and managed to see The KING of Germany at his post. Too bad you were not with us.

Mr. M

Ryan Fuller said...

Mr. M, sorry I missed him. Maybe next time I can try to plan my visit around his schedule (wonder if he has an assistant). By the way, I decided to take one of your travel reccomendations and it worked out really well. Look out for it in futute post!

Anonymous said...

On Friday, the King of Germany was at his usual post, dressed in a preppy-looking red shirt instead of his usual bare-chested look, and wearing a large piece of duct tape across his mouth. He was standing without moving, a far cry from his usual antics. I'll keep you posted. (Loved your Shenandoah postings. That is a great place.)

Mr. M

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