*Hell no, there was no cake, and thus no actual candles.
|On a nighttime walkabout in Savannah's historical district — near one of the caches I hunted.|
Finally, though the evening was wearing down, part of it was really just beginning. Ms. B. had booked us a late-night ghost tour of the historical district, and though we were starting to feel the effects of walking many miles over the course of the day, we perked up and trekked over to Colonial Park Cemetery, the oldest in Savannah — interestingly, also where Nathanael Greene, for whom Greensboro is named, is buried. Colonial Park is also filled with corpses of victims of Yellow Fever, which plagued Savannah just after the War Between the States. Back then, it was not common knowledge, as it is today, that malaria is carried by mosquitoes, and lying amid the marshes as it does, Savannah has more than its fair share (not to mention stinging sand gnats, which assailed us mercilessly over the weekend). With countless casualties of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars also buried in areas that are now part of the historical district, Savannah truly is a city built atop the bodies of the dead — a fact that, according to our ghost tour guide — accounts for its plentiful hauntings. No, I'm not a believer in such things, but I do find the history and many of the decidedly grim stories of life and death from the past most intriguing.
One thing I did miss from my past trips to Savannah was the giant spider invasion, which occurs in late summer and early fall. Massive numbers of huge nephilim spiders invade the city and spin webs amid the buildings and trees, sometimes three or more stories high. I recall in 2009 seeing entire building facades covered by webs and these huge red and gold spiders, with leg spans up to five inches, hanging in their midst. I also recall, in no uncertain terms, hunting for a cache on the ground, standing upright, and finding myself face to face with one of the spiders, hanging just inches away. Now, I'm nowhere near as arachnophobic as I was in my younger days, but while these huge creatures are fascinating, they can also be a tad unnerving. Next time we go back, it's gotta be in the fall.
This morning, I made an intriguing discovery at our hotel. As I was returning to my room from the lobby area with a cup of fresh coffee, I heard a demonic child caterwauling. I know it was a demonic child because it had a really gruff, deep voice — gah-wooh-gah-wooh-oooh — and it was coming from behind a hotel room door that was padlocked from the outside. Really, honestly, I don't know what gives here, but given the town's character, this just seemed so Savannah. I'm sure there was a perfectly rational explanation for it; maybe the kid I heard was actually out in the courtyard beyond that room's window so it only sounded like the crying was coming from inside. Whatever, I don't know. Agreeably unnerving, that's what it was.
Finally, after a brief stop at the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force, both to get a cache and to satisfy this old military aviation fanatic, we hit the road again for Greensboro. It seemed a very long return trip; I did stop for a handful of caches, as usual, but our forward progress was twice impeded by very long, very slow funeral processions, which dragged on no end. I gotta tell you... it's one thing to show respect for the dead, but it's a whole 'nuther to stop the world so they can parade on by. Me, I want no such thing. When I go, get me cremated, put my ashes in a travel bug so I can see the world by way of geocaches, and fuck the funeral procession. I won't have it.
Despite it being just another day in the forward progress toward that funeral procession I refuse, it was a damned fine birthday. A bit different, I think, than what Kimberly and I had expected — whatever we might have expected — but I reckon that's just one of the great things about living, don't you think?
|Beth, Terry, Ms. B., and old dude at In Vino Veritas|
|Old Rodan with F4C Phantom at the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force|