Monday, November 09, 2020

Blue Ridge Mountains Adventure - Day 1

We're on vacation! And there's a pandemic! And it's election day! These were the thoughts running through my mind as I awoke on the first full day of our Blue Ridge Mountains Adventure. Looking for a Covid-19 friendly vacation idea, we opted to explore a part of Virginia that we hadn't spent a lot of time in. We rented a one bedroom condo in the expansive Wintergreen Resort and hoped the weather would cooperate for a week of outdoor activities.

While the week promised sunshine and a shocking lack of rain, the temperture this morning was hovering at freezing. As if to remind us that we were indeed adventuring outdoors in wintertime, we couldn't help but marvel at the remarkable displays of icicles clinging to rock walls as we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our plan for today was to hike during the day and then have a traditional election night watching John King zoom in and out of various US counties that we obsess over for a single night every four years.

One factor cementing our decision to stay at the Wintergreen resort was the sheer number of interesting trails it would put us in proximity to. Today, we tackled the Jack Albright Loop with a side-trip out and back on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The hike got off to a windy and chilly start, but over time, things warmed up. The scenery was terrific and the side trip on the AT brought us face to face with a series of waterfalls and an overflowing creek. Perhaps best of all, I had my phone on Airplane Mode, so I didn't have to endure election chatter.

After the hike, we made our way to Bold Rock Cidery where I enjoyed a flight of hard ciders. The dish that stole the show were the nachos. They mixed melted cheese with cider to make a sort of fondue like queso which was heavenly. It was a bit nippy out, but eating outdoors, in both a beautiful and covid-friendly setting was a real treat.

We then returned to our hotel to watch the election coverage. Naturally, I ignored the warnings of a red or blue mirage and instead focused on the obvious Blue Wave that would be cresting over the country shortly after polls closed at 7pm EST. Instead of a Blue Wave I was treated to Election 2016 v2.0, where I went to bed convinced that Trump had once again pulled out a victory.

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