4.30.2008

Appalachia: How to Fit In

I've been trying to get mapquest and yahoo maps to make an image for me of the route I took through the Blue Ridge Mountains, but neither of them are being very cooperative. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke, VA to Black Mountain, NC. It took ALL DAY. I'm not kidding. I got on the parkway at noon and made it to Black Mountain at around 10pm. I had planned on camping in Mt Mitchell State Park, however it started raining again so I spent the night in my car.

The scenery was beautiful. I have not very much else to say about it. I'll just put up as many pictures as I can to give you the idea.

I'm going to backtrack a bit here. The night prior to driving through the mountains, I stopped at a rest stop in Troutville, VA. I parked under a light and locked my doors like I always do, gathered my pepper spray and hid my valuables. The whole time there was this creepy guy standing by the vending machines watching me. So I decided to not put my pajamas on, and just sleep in my clothes. I bundled up in the back and fell asleep. I kept waking up with this awkward feeling. I couldn't shake the image of the guy staring at me. I had a restless night. I woke up quite early, groggy as hell, and decided I wasn't going to have much sleep. I sat up to rub the sleep out of my eyes and was face to face with a different creepy old man peering into my window. Literally, he was looking into the back from my driver side window. He was an employee of the rest stop (so was the creepy guy from the night shift), but it didn't make me feel any less violated.

I had been half-joking with friends for the past 6 weeks that I wanted a knife. It was this waking up to an old man staring into my car that made me decide to finally get one. So adventures at Wal-mart in the south began that evening. I had to search out an employee to help me with the selection (although they do sell knifes, they don't openly display them). The guy that came to help me didn't normally work in the sporting goods store. He was joking the whole time about who I was planning to kill and blah blah blah. As I was looking at one of them, neither of us could figure out how to close the sucker, this other customer walked up and was showing us what the trick was (there was an automatic lock on the opening of the knife to keep it from closing on you while you were cutting things). He then gave me a quick tutorial on what knives were best and how to hold them (which I did already know about). His slow southern drawl and methodical explanation on personal safety and why carrying a knife clipped to your pocket was not a concealed weapon gave me a bit of the creeps.
The regular sporting goods attendant came back then and was trying to help me out. He was taken aback when he realized I wanted the knife for defensive purposes, but quickly adjusted his sale pitch accordingly. Pretty soon there were 3 or 4 more employees gathering around, gawking at the lone girl checking out the knives. They were all cracking jokes about guys trying to take me out on dates and such. It was actually pretty funny.
Anyhow, I found the knife I wanted and paid - then walked out feeling a little less sophisticated than when I walked in. Such is life.













2 comments:

LoserGirl said...

Just a thought: Why don't you get some of those sun visor thingys to cover your windows when you sleep?

motocrashal said...

The statistics are a person will get assaulted with their own weapon once taken away by the assailant who is more prepared for the assault! BE CAREFUL