Tag Archives: Driving home

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

A West Virginia adventure – Spring Break in the New River Gorge, 2018

Saturday, 26-May, through Saturday, 02-June, 2018

Life is old there, older than the trees. Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home… to the place, I belong! West Virginia, Mountain momma… take me home, country roads.”

I’m pretty sure that the first real spring break I ever had was with Daniel, years ago, when we drove down to the New River Gorge to climb, and attend the New River Rendezvous. Since that year, we’ve done our best to always link up and go on some glorious climbing trip on or around Memorial Day. This year was a tough one, with Sarah breaking her leg, but she insisted that I go anyways, and let her live vicariously through me as she convalesed at home. I’d already cleared the week as vacation with my boss, even before I was hired for the project, so I was free and clear for a throwback adventure…




Our last day dawned, and was greeted with Eggs and a rather impressive pile of leftovers from the BBQ the night before.

When I say “a rather impressive pile”, I don’t know if you quite understand… I’m talking about a to-go box weighing a few pounds. We’re talking nearly an entire chicken. And that’s the leftovers from us all gorging ourselves till we were overfull the night before. Firecreek doesn’t mess around with portion sizes, I tell you what.

But anyways, it was a short breakfast. We had a lot to do – cleaning up, clearing out track and recycling, basically all those things that one would normally leave to housecleaning at a hotel. It’s a downside of an AirBnB, but I’m pretty okay with it – I mean, we used those dishes and generated that trash, right? It’s only fair that we spend an hour at the end of the week cleaning it all up.

After that were our sad goodbyes, and then a long road ahead for me and the rented Kia.


I honestly don’t mind driving. It’s pleasant, I can half-zone out, and I get to see beautiful scenery.

The mountains of West Virginia are absolutely one of those places that I wouldn’t mind driving through, just spending hours cruising through small towns and around bendy mountain roads.

And what an unexpected coincidence, that’s exactly what I had to do in order to get back to DC!


Since the rest of the trip is kind of boring (going home usually is), I’m just going to give a few quick bullet points below:

    • Get gas, then blast my way through the mountain towns to the main highways. It goes quickly – I’m more awake and energetic than I was on the drive in, and I’ve got better music queued up too. Awww yeah techno!
    • Get to the highways, and spend some time chatting with people on the phone. Catch up, and get some solid family time. Is good. Then, back to rocking the techno!
    • One last stop for gas and “chicken” nuggets, and I’m at the airport
    • Return car, get bags checked… ohh lord the check process is insane. Too many people, not enough kiosks, no line control. Then security… with way too much line control! Line markers everywhere, keep us walking in random loops just to waste time and energy… which is honestly really smart. Go you, Dulles. Go you.
    • Once I’m through, it only takes a bit of time to get to the gate, and then… I get to chill! Yay youtube! So many movie clips!
    • I get extra movie clips, because the flight is delayed! Boo!
    • Holy wow, so delayed. And then, once we’re on… we sit on the tarmac! Sweeeeet.

The last bit of the trip was the sweetest part of the day, even including that delicious leftover BBQ that I had for dessert: When I got out of security at the airport.

I was planning on just heading down to get my bag, and then getting a Lyft home. Probably cook something up quick once I got there?

But instead, there was a Sarah waiting for me with snacks and kisses!

An excellent end to an amazing trip.


Acadia 2012 – The story of Leaving


Sunday mornings are always melancholy at Bass Harbor, the campground that NUHOC stays at. Everyone’s usually a bit hungover, a bit sore, and more than a bit unhappy about the prospect of driving six hours just to be back in Boston again.

I don’t remember when I woke up, but once I did I was thankfully able to bring myself into gear quickly enough to catch the last dregs of breakfast before they were all gone. Daniel had cooked up a few eggs for us, and I believe I comandeered a bit of milk as well… but to be honest I was way too asleep to really form any coherent memories until a good bit later.

While I had driven up with Daniel, I planned on hitching a ride back into Boston with Mike now that he was up here. So we played some more car-jenga, this time trying to fit a kayak, a guitar, a bike, my climbing gear, and all of our camping gear into the back of Mike’s Eclipse. It was difficult, but possible. The real challenge came from trying to focus on packing a car while we were under heavy assault from Marshmallows.

NUHOC had bought S’more material for the weekend. But whoever had been left in charge of buying the Marshmallows had made a major logistical error – they had bought the “jumbo” size, instead of the more usable “normal” size. Thus, Sunday morning found NUHOC staring at dozens of bags of Jumbo Marshmallows with no home for them to go home to. The solution? Full on Marshmallow war was declared.

On one side was… anyone on that side of the campground. On the other side: people trying to pack their cars up. Tents were quickly dropped in favor of marshmallows, and the vans were re-purposed into defensive walls. At one point, I got tackled clean into said van after I made an ill-advised flanking attack on our opponents… Mike didn’t take that point-blank marshmallow too well, to say the least. Hey, I can’t throw for crap accuracy, so may as well sneak around, right?

The battle raged on for nearly an hour, culminating in one person trying to drive through the middle in a vain hope of escape. That allied the two warring armies, and we both gave chase, throwing our “grenades” through the window as it was desperately rolled shut. They escaped, but in doing so carted off nearly half of our ammunition supply.

Thus disarmed, we finished packing and headed onto the open road. Mike and I made a quick stop in to see the coffee girl at the small town near the campground, since she had been serving us our morning brew every morning for the entire weekend so far… it just seemed rude not to stop in and say our goodbyes. We stayed in for one last story-swap, where I told one about New Zealand and she told one about her stay in Australia, and we all promised to reconvene again the next year.

After leaving Acadia National Park behind, Mike and I made a scenic-route path back towards our home city. The “scenic” part may not have been completely intentional… but thanks to a quick google maps search on my Kindle (thank you free 3G) we found our way without much stress. Our only other stop in was for a quick lunch at applebee’s, which was quite excellent, but aside from that one indulgence we trucked onward, listening to random CDs and talking about what the heck we wanted to do with the next few years of our lives.