This past weekend we took our first family vacation. We drove six hours across Virginia to take a four mile hike up to Cascade Falls. I made "reservations" at a place called the Rendezvous Motel. I simply called and gave them my name and asked for a room for three nights. I was told that a key would be left at the window for us. When we arrived, at 2 am, there was no key. I searched and searched to no avail. We drove a block away and found the Holiday Motor Lodge.
Not the nicest place, but it was open and had rooms available. Well, it had a room available, after much prodding, and after turning down the room with no a/c, and encouraging the sleepy desk clerk to try a lttle harder. When we climbed the rickety metal staircase and opened the door, we found that we were staying in what Thairyan colorfully referred to as a "crack-tel." The decor had not been changed since the 70's, and the sheets probably hadn't been, either.
Luckily we brought the pack 'n' play for the girls to sleep in, and we would just have to brave the beds ourselves.
I noticed, as we climbed the stairs to the room, that there was a pool and briefly considered that we had not brought bathing suits. In the morning I realized that wouldn't be an issue.
However, you couldn't beat the view.
The hotel was mainly open for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Ever since I read a magazine article about it, I'd been dreaming about someday tackling a hike from Georgia to Maine. I spotted a hiker the at the motel the next morning, and I was as in awe as if I'd seen my favorite rock star. I struck up a conversation with him. "I'm hiking the A.T." he said, casually, as if hiking 2, 178 miles is no big deal. "The whole thing, all in one shot?" I asked, amazed. "Yup, " he nodded, his face weathered and peeling from exposure to the elements. "When did you start?" "April 6th," he replied. "And how long will it take you?' "I should be done by mid-Spetember, I think." he said. "Wow, have fun," was all I could think to say. He gave me an odd look, nodded, and escaped to his room.
The next day we tackled our own hike, to the Cascade Falls...