Saturday, August 14, 2021

Alas, Poor Yorick!

I spent last night at the old homeplace in Martinsville, working like the devil on a new short story that is past its deadline. I made good progress. But as I had managed to fit in very little strenuous exercise last week, the craving to hike after a geocache had settled heavily upon me. The complication here is that, over the past thirteen years, I have found almost every cache for fifty to a hundred miles in every direction. Still, I thought maybe I could figure out some place to go this morning not too far from Martinsville.

Well, I checked the map and saw a few in the Rocky Mount area, about thirty miles north of Martinsville, one of them in Waid Park, where I have hiked and cached several times in the past. This one, called “Alas, Poor Yorick,” has been live for a few months, resides a good ways out in the woods, and no rain was predicted for the morning. Temperatures are in the high 90s this weekend, but, regardless, I set my sights on Yorick for a relatively early solo outing. I figured while I was out there, I could make a little side trip to visit the Ferrum College campus, my old alma mater.

When I left Martinsville, the thermometer read 83℉, and the humidity hadn’t yet reach its oppressive heights. I ended up taking a back road I don’t believe I have ever traveled before, which turned out pretty cool. I always enjoy exploring unfamiliar backroads. Anyway, when I reached the park, the temperature had hit 90℉, and the air was just turning to soup. I set out on the trail, which, since it was mostly shady, proved not too uncomfortable. But the hike was lovely—not too long, not too short, and in places a bit rugged. I found the cache readily, and this made for a most gratifying morning, I can tell you.

Sure enough, afterward, I drove over to Ferrum, about five miles west of the park on Hwy 40. I cruised around a few of my old haunts, which I enjoy doing every now and again. I must say, the campus is considerably more attractive and well-maintained than it was then—not that it was ever not picturesque. I did happen by the site of my first alcohol-related disaster, which is the reason I don’t drink white wine (see “Why I Don’t Drink White Wine”). Actually, I do drink white wine on rare occasion, but it’s not my favorite. Oftentimes, far from it.

Anyhoo, I got in a lot of writing, got in a bit of caching, and there must yet be more writing. So much time, so little to do....

Wait, reverse that.

Now, who do you suppose that is watching me from over yonder?
Why, it's Yorick! As Yorick is not looking so well, I figured I'd help keep him from spreading
so much death around.
A view of the Pigg River from the trail. I spent a lot of time at the Pigg River in my Ferrum Days,
mostly engaged in unfamily-friendly activities, about which I shall say no more.
Old fellow on the trail. Almost as old as Yorick.
Ah, memories. It was on that very landing, on a frigid cold night in 1977, that I lost the contents of my almost
virgin stomach after chugging massive quantities of white wine. I blew the first salvo on Dr. Ward's dining table,
which would have resided somewhere behind that door there.

No comments: