July 4-7: Boom, crash, and friends

Three days later…

What Mary calls "the green wall," on my way across from Charlotte to Fayetteville.
What Mary calls “the green wall,” on my way across from Charlotte to Fayetteville.
Another crape myrtle, this one across the street from a chicken fast food place called Bojangles, where I ate lunch on the way to Morgan's.
Another crape myrtle, this one across the street from a chicken fast food place called Bojangles, where I ate lunch on the way to Morgan’s.

Independence Day was fun. I made it to Fayetteville by mid-afternoon, and after a bit of confusion arrived at Morgan and Kaz’s house. It’s a cute little house, full of three very large dogs (mostly malamute-husky mix, and one has a bit of lab in him, too). Morgan had just been given a sewing machine as a gift, sans manual, and when she pulled it out of its box, it was a vintage Singer just like mine only I think a few years older. So we went to JoAnn’s, which was open on the holiday, bought some thread and a remnant to practice on, and got absolutely drenched running back to the car in a downpour.

But at least she now knows how to thread her sewing machine, wind the bobbin, and sew with it. My good deed for the day [g].

Then the thunder and the lightning started, and we added fireworks of our own (well, they did), fountains and sparklers and all that fun stuff. The neighbors pitched in with their own supply, too. It was fun.

The day before yesterday I headed north towards my friend Mary’s home, up near the Virginia border about 150 miles away. Finding her house was a bit of an adventure, too, but I did it, even if I had to pass way too much kudzu to do it.

Mary lives with some friends, in a sort of mother-in-law apartment, way out in the country. It was good to see her because the last time I saw her was in 2011 when we went to the Reno WorldCon together. We pretty much chatted non-stop the whole time I was there, but the best part (aside from meeting her slighly psycho cat Miles – I told her she was tempting fate to name him after Miles Vorkosigan!) was yesterday when we took a drive to some local landmarks.

First we went to Pilot Knob, which you can see really well from a viewpoint on the highway, and which you can also drive up, almost to the top. The views are pretty spectacular, with the haze from the humidity blurring the horizon again.

Pilot KNob, North Carolina.
Pilot Knob, North Carolina, with daylilies in the foreground.
A zoomed Pilot Knob.
A zoomed Pilot Knob.
A view from the lookout on top (well not on the knob but just below it) of Pilot Knob.
A view from the lookout on top (well not on the knob but just below it) of Pilot Knob.
A very blurry horizon from Pilot Knob.
A very blurry horizon from Pilot Knob.

Then we drove around to Hanging Rock, but just about the time we got there the skies opened up again, so I never actually got to see the hanging rock itself. But we did go to a nice place for lunch. And then she showed me – or tried to show me – the house she used to live in with her husband before he died. But the driveway (which was basically more pothole than road, and really, really steep and slick because of the rain) was gated shut halfway up. I was so glad there was somewhere to turn around!

We also looked at a few of my photos [g].

This morning I headed out again, across the border into Virginia.  I made a couple of stops, one at a state park where I caught my journal up and ate a picnic lunch, and again at the site of an old fort.

Occoneechee State Park along a reservoir in Virginia, where I ate a picnic lunch.
Occoneechee State Park along a reservoir in Virginia, where I ate a picnic lunch.
This is exactly what almost all of U.S. 58 across southern Virginia looked like. It was like a very mild roller coaster.
This is exactly what almost all of U.S. 58 across southern Virginia looked like. It was like a very mild roller coaster.
Fort Christanna, Virginia, state historical site, which dates from before the American Revolution.
Fort Christanna, Virginia, state historical site, which dates from before the American Revolution.
Black-eyed susans along the gravel road to Fort Christanna.
Black-eyed susans along the gravel road to Fort Christanna.

I’m aiming towards the Atlantic coast. I’m actually headed towards Williamsburg, where I haven’t been since 1991. I can’t wait.