Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," safe and sanitary through a long school year! My name is Anne Johnson, and I did not get the stomach virus during the school year that just concluded. I consider that an accomplishment!
Now I would like to keep the streak going.
Customarily, this is the weekend where I go to Four Quarters Farm, which is a quasi-Pagan campground near my dear old family property that no longer belongs to my family. For the past five years I've gone to 4QF for a nice long mountain retreat.
This year, 4QF has played host to festivals on many, many weekends since Beltane. The two festivals that were held most recently were bedeviled by a virulent strain of something ... there is no news yet about what it was, but quite a number of people fell ill, and some needed to be hospitalized.
The festival I attend annually is all about drumming. Except this year, with the unidentified something still perhaps clinging to a leaf here or a fly leg there, many of the drum instructors bailed. As with them, so with me. I'm not going.
I still have to go to the mountains, however. My uncle's magnificent piece of land was purchased by a new owner last year -- someone who is interested in the history of the property. So I am going to meet this gentleman. I'm going to wear my Girl Scout smile and a stylish shirt and hope to make a good impression. One never knows if this could turn into a friendship that might lead to the sale (to me) of a nondescript acre at the very edge of the tract. Whether or not that happens, I would like to have the owner's leave to stroll the grounds.
I was fortunate to find a room in a cheery b&b in Hancock, Maryland. There I will base my stay as I undertake Plan B.
EXHIBIT A: PLAN B
This is Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. For my money, this is the most beautiful spot on the Potomac River and one of the best in all of Appalachia. One blessed summer I worked in Harper's Ferry, and I adore the place. I haven't been there for a serious hike in years. Day One, serious hike around Harper's Ferry. See that cliff? If I get there early enough, I'm going to hike it -- there are always buzzards biffing about up there.
EXHIBIT B: PLAN B
Got to do the ancestor work. No one else gonna do it for me.
EXHIBIT C: PLAN B
This unassuming establishment is Snider's Road Kill Cafe in Artemas, PA. Don't let the exterior fool you. Within those walls lies exceptional country cooking and home made pies. I promised Anansi we would go there on this trip. Of course, we always go to the Road Kill Cafe when we visit home. Thursday is ribs night.
EXHIBIT D: PLAN B
My number one reason for going to Four Quarters Farm is the plethora of swimming holes on that land. The exhibit above, however, is not a 4QF swimming hole. It's in another watershed. I'm going to give it a try and report back to you. Local swimming holes can get dicey when you're alone with New Jersey license plates. But I aim to swim. If not here, then somewhere. There are lots and lots of creeks in the mountains.
So, wish me bon voyage! I'll be off the grid and all by myself. Not exactly what I anticipated, but a woman just doesn't go through a whole school year without stomach flu, only to get it on vacation. You feel me?