Last Memorial Day weekend, I ran a marathon.
I am very grateful I ran it last year and not this year because 1) I’m still working on kicking this whooping cough and 2) it was in the 40s and raining in Burlington this year. (That’s good race weather in my book, but the spectators I brought last year would not have agreed.)
Here is what I did instead, in words and pictures:
Saturday, Paul and I headed to Virginia to explore Skyline Drive and its surroundings. We stopped at the first overlook (above) before we realized there were like 50 gorgeous overlooks along the road and we should probably just keep driving.
Why just keep driving? Because as soon as we entered the park, Paul’s Check Fuel light came on. We made it to the Shell in nearby Luray with less than half a gallon of gas left. I don’t recommend this.
Luray has more than just gas stations. It also offers Luray Caverns. They’re enormous and the only caves I’ll ever need to visit. Pictured above: Stalactites being reflected in the crazy-still water below them. Not pictured: My panicky nervousnesss that the cave would collapse upon us and my greatest fear, being buried alive, would come to pass.
On Sunday, we went for a hike. We decided to do the Mill Prong Loop because the guide we got when we entered the park said it was “moderately easy,” and considering I was stopping to cough on the steep walk from our room to the restaurant, I didn’t want to try anything challenging. Fun fact: To hikers, “moderately easy” just means the terrain isn’t too technical. It doesn’t mean it’s flat.
Whatever. I just took cough breaks as necessary. And I’m glad I did, because we eventually reached Hazeltop Mountain, the third highest peak in Shenandoah National Park. Photos never do these things justice, amirite?
After the hike, we went to a few Virginia wineries. The first two were not great, but the third, Narmada Winery, had decent wine and excellent Indian food. (It’s owned by a retired Indian couple.) Pictured: The spiciest, tastiest veggie samosa I’ve ever enjoyed.
After searching long and hard for a pizza we could bring back to our room—and settling for one from a gas station—we opened our Narmada wine and enjoyed it on our deck while watching the sunset. (I highly recommend Skyland Resort. Almost all the rooms had this view.)
So, that’s what I did over the long weekend. And my three days off from running seem to have helped—I managed to run a little over four miles today with just five cough breaks. The mileage to cough break ratio is improving!