Disclaimer: Most of what is written below is a word-for-word account from my travel journal written in 2003. I did have to edit some of the content to make my account a little less dull. I also added a few hindsight comments in italics here and there. Some of the pictures included are my own and not the greatest quality (disposable camera, you know 😉 ).
August 10, 2003
Well, the rain stopped…finally. I ended up staying in my car all night. I read and played my guitar, then finally went to sleep in the passenger seat. Surprisingly, I was quite comfortable. I got up around 7:00 AM and started packing up and cleaning…
I prepare to leave Maryland today, which is sad because I have come to enjoy the state and the people here. This has been the only state where the people have been friendly enough to talk to an out-of-towner like me.
So…Virginia is next, then North Carolina. There is plenty to do and see in Virginia, but I need to be in Raleigh this evening where I am supposed to meet college friend Erica B.…I should probably get going now. I’ve got quite a drive ahead of me…
…The drive to Raleigh was without incident. Soon after I got to my hotel, I got in touch with Erica. I hung out with her and her husband Steve through much of the evening and they let me do my laundry…Exciting stuff, eh?
August 11, 2003
It’s after 1:00 PM and I just left Raleigh a short time ago. There was a Wal-Mart across the street, so I decided to get my pictures developed. While I waited, I got some gas and stepped into a Family Bookstore that was next door to Wal-Mart. After browsing…I decided to go to the bathroom (Yes, another bathroom story is coming…). This eventually led me to my second bad bathroom experience at a Family Bookstore. The first occurred in Kansas City on another road trip, where, I…you know, went, but the toilet wouldn’t flush!
It was just like the scene out of Dumb and Dumber, only I wasn’t laughing. I started pulling apart the inner workings of the toilet trying to get the stupid thing to flush, but to no avail. Finally, I had to swallow my pride, go out to the front counter and inform one of the employees of the situation. That was fun. Thankfully this time, crisis was averted, and after fiddling with the toilet, I got it to flush…I’m sure there is a spiritual lesson in this somewhere…
…Well, the end of the day finds me at the Ridgecrest Conference Center located just outside Black Mountain, NC.
I arrived here around 4:30-5:00 PM and was met by my friend Mitch. After dinner, Mitch, his wife Taylor, one of their co-workers, and I drove to the mall in Asheville, and hung out. We ended the night playing a game of Balderdash. A good time was had by all!
…It’s late now. I’m writing at a small desk in front of an open window. The blinds are shut, but I can hear the crickets chirping and in the distance, and the occasional car as it speeds along the nearby highway. I’m tired, but not enough to go to sleep just yet…