There are more things that I want to eventually say about West Virginia and a few other places I have been, and revelations I have sustained during many-hour drives, but I think I will wait until I have recapped each of the days before launching into that.
I woke up in Lynchburg and we went off to the lovely campus of Randolph College. Anne’s an office superhero for dining services, and so we had some dining services breakfast, and I met her boss Mitch who I have been hearing about for years, and have corresponded with a few times on various subjects, so it was fun to meet him in person. He’s pretty much the same dude in real life, and I enjoyed understanding now who was making poop jokes at me over Anne’s instant messenger.
Then we went off into the burning sunshine. Dudes, it isn’t even June and it is SUMMER down here. Like, legit surface-of-the-sun summer. Thankfully I remembered my parasol, because I did not remember sunscreen.
Anne then brought me to the greatest pellet styrofoam structure in the known world: Foamhenge. We parked in a puddle of red mud in a sort of? parking area that looked more like the end of someone’s driveway, but knew we were in the right spot when we saw the foam sign:
Then, up the hill we climbed to the epic megaliths arranged carefully so as to appease the druid population of western Virginia.
And then took some jumping pictures so as to appease the Tina population of Portland, Maine.
Overall, Foamhenge is a brilliant piece of art that informs and entertains. And is creepy in bits. The base of one of the “stones” was sort of hollowed out as though something lives in there. So I am assuming something lives in there.
The other thing is there is this Merlin on a “stone” demonstrating one theory of how the original Stonehenge was erected. Which is kind of creepifying on its own but then becomes wholeheartedly simultaneously creepifying and heartwarming when you read the plaque:
Then it was off to Natural Bridge Zoo. Yay! I got so much zoo on this trip! We got a bag of generic zoo animal food, and got to pet some of the critters starting with the tiny and adorable Reeve’s muntjac.
My general disdain for camels continued as we passed the insistent and aggressive pack of Dromedaries.
There were a couple of giraffes with a baby giraffe but it was hot out and they did not want to come hang out with us. The llamas did, though, and I fed some pellets to a very nice llama who was then spat on by a jerk llama, and so the nice llama very dramatically decided to pretend to be dead in the middle of the enclosure, and would raise its head periodically to make sure the pooper scooper guy was looking at him.
There were baby lambs and goats who were very cute, and tigers and bears.
That night we went to Rivermont Pizza for dinner. Anne had informed me the pizza was good, and the place was staffed with hippies. She had neglected to mention, as she is not a beer person, that it also had an impressive set of taps. Also, there is a beer store IN the restaurant. Neat!
The pizza was hand-thrown and very tasty. The beer was also tasty. I kicked the keg on the Devil’s Backbone Schwartzbier which was very delicious, then I tried the Alewerks Washington Porter. It was fun to sample the offerings of the neighborhood, and I had a fine time discussing beers with the chap in the shop. Our waiter, while ample in tushie, was less robust in beer knowledge and I thought at first he was a misogynist because he kept pushing me toward light, fruity, low ABV selections despite my indications of preference.
We left the place with a sampler of brews to try at home and a very exciting calendar.