Miles Today: 0
Total Miles: 1034.3
Days on the Road: 66
Current Body Temperature: 97.6
Highest Temperature in last 24 hours: 103.4
Luray Caverns Facts
Age: 7,000,000 years
Size: 64 Acres
Created by: Carbolic Acid
Weight of formations, per cubic foot: 135 lbs.
Years to form, per cubic inch: 120 - 300
Our latest obstacle: Anthony's sinus infection and attendant 103+ fever. Just when the car is in running order, we're not. We're beginning to suspect foul play.
To convalesce the burning man, we're embedded at the Hampton Inn in the sleepy town of Winchester, Virginia. The rest, and the $80 worth of prescription drugs, seems to be doing the trick and hopefully we'll be back on the road tomorrow.
Did I just say back on the road? You read me right - we've been on the road for four nights and have only needed to visit a mechanic once. Not bad, eh? So the car's not running perfectly, but, as the last mechanic pointed out, we can't expect to travel through mountains (or plains) in a 23-year-old car and not hear some disconcerting knocking and clunking from the engine.
We did have a rock-bottom, tearful moment on our first day out when we topped the x-foot Skyline Drive only to see streams of smoke floating out the back vents and the oil temperature gauge pegged to the high end of the dial. Not good. Not happy. Not camping. Anthony sat behind the car, head in his hands, lamenting, "Why can't anything work with this car?" That's the edited version. A few minutes later he emerged to say, "I'm OK" and we continued on our way.
Enough about car stuff, the upshot is we're rollin'. We saw some calcified stalactites and heard the world's slowest song played on the natural organ at the Luray Caverns. Worth the $16.00 each? At least once. We thought about going on the tour all day just to heckle our amateur comedian/tour guide, Matt. Paraphrased, from his routine:
Stalactites form downward from the top of the cavern, stalagmites form upward. When they meet in the middle, they're called stalacmatites, or pillars. But we here in Page County don't call 'em pillars. That's what we call the things we rest our heads on at night. (Wait for laughter.)
We have camped one night, in the George Washington National Forest, for which Dave and Cass came out from Arlington. It was a good night, except for the drunk asshole who blasted music nearly all night and Anthony's aforementioned incredible fever. Note that earplugs are rapidly becoming a necessary camping accessory.
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.