Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Tricks, Treats, Ghosties, Ghoulies, and Disembodied Heads

Ahh, there's nothing like some spooky Halloween (or in this case, pre-Halloween) geocaching. On Monday, I hauled myself up the thirty or so miles of scenic backroads to Rocky Mount, VA, primarily to hunt an Adventure Lab cache that takes you on a fun little ghost tour of downtown. Before hitting the town proper, though, I detoured over to some nearby woods to hunt a handful of caches I had yet to find. The first of these made my day — primarily because I did not expect what I found. Needless to say, the photo is a spoiler, so for the sake of the geocachers who follow this blog, I'll not reveal the cache name or its location. Suffice it to say that this one pretty well made my day.

After snagging a couple of more hides, I headed into town to hunt the ghostly Adventure Lab cache. It had five stages, each of which took me to a supposedly haunted location. None of these were particularly spooky, but I enjoyed visiting them for their historic significance. The most interesting to me was finding the original law office of Confederate General Jubal Early, under whom my great-great-great-grandfather and his brothers served during the Civil War. I hope that if any of these ghosts are roaming out and about, they haven't remained "unrepentant rebels," as Early himself was reputed to be following the war.

After the geocaching, I found a so-so lunch at a little Japanese place in Rocky Mount and then rode over to Ferrum College for a brief visit to my old alma mater. After that, home.

For the evening's entertainment, Ms. B. and I watched Hocus Pocus, which is one of her Halloween standards. Back when, I never thought I'd particularly enjoy this one, but it turns out that I very much do. Go figure.
Jubal Early's original law office in Rocky Mount, VA
The reputedly haunted "Farm at the Furnace"
Come Halloween morning, I was up early to fire up the crockpot for a big-ass pork butt. I had it cooking all day, seasoned it up nicely, and, come dinnertime, Ms. B. and I found ourselves with a damned good pulled pork feast. Our plan was to sit out on the front porch with the yard decorations blazing in hopes we might get a few trick-or-treaters. Since I hadn't spent Halloween in this house for many, many years, I had no idea what the turnout might be like.

It was considerably more impressive than I'd expected. We'd counted on a handful, at best, but we ended up with something like thirty. The weather cooperated nicely; it rained during the morning but cleared up by mid-afternoon. After the first couple of groups, I had to hie myself back to the grocery store to pick up more goodies. Happily, they'd already reduced the price on most of the chocolate treats, so I got a whole bunch of the good stuff (Reese's Take Fives). We still ended up with a wee bit left. But I found it very gratifying to see quite a few kids in costume — and all very polite. I understand the turnout was good just about everywhere in town. That makes me feel rather less curmudgeonly than usual.

To end the evening, we watched Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, which Ms. B. wanted to see. I think I saw this as a kid, but I can't be 100% certain. Anyway, it was fairly fun, with great animation. Then we put on Carpenter's Halloween just for shits & giggles, but by the time we got well into the film, the day's rigors and the evening's drink served to mellow me out a bit before the end of the film (as in snoring mellow, according to Brugger). Anyhoo, at least I know how the movie ends.

T'was a damn nice Halloween. I'll take it.
Appetizers on the porch prior to having trick-or-treaters (Mmm.)
Happy Horrorween!

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