Lucky for me, almost halfway between Plymouth, MA and Roanoke, VA is the town of Chatham, NJ -- home to my college roommate, Isa. Perfect for an overnight stop! As we so often do, Isa and I decided to go out for food and drinks that Saturday. Delicious Heights, a fantabulous restaurant near her place, really lives up to its name. I was taken to whole new heights of deliciousness. (I spent a bit of time searching the internet for mango slaw recipes, thanks to ol' Delicious Heights. I have yet to make it, but I'm looking forward to it) And then Isa introduced me to her new favorite after dinner drink: sambuca with coffee beans. Somehow, the coffee beans, which you crunch up with your teeth whilst sipping the sabuca, end up tasting like little candy pieces. It's super good. But super strong! After dinner, I went to an entirely other height of deliciousness.
In the morning, we went to the Broadway Diner, home of "the world's best pancakes", or so the sign says. I've seen that sign before! Except that in this instance, I believe the sign is actually true. Broadway Diner has if not THE best pancakes in the world, then at least in the top 10. They are light and fluffy and golden and tasty. I generally go with the blueberry pancakes, but on this particular Sunday morning, the smell of cinnamon buns so overwhelmed my olfactory sensibilities, that I went with cinnamon pancakes. YUMMY!
As I drove along passing signs for Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Hamburg (with that gigantic but essentially useless Cabella's), Maryland State Line, Front Royal, Luray, Shenandoah State Park, Waynesboro, Troutsville, memories came flooding back. Its funny how precisely I can remember certain sections of trail, down to what foods I was craving! Also of note: those cheap-o car phone chargers they sell in Ocean State Job Lot? Totally do not work. Take note of it.
I ended up getting into Roanoke around 6:30 pm on Sunday. Because of a missed turn, I ended up finding my place of employment for the next three months before I found my house. Nice facility and only 2 miles away from the house. Once I got turned around, it was pretty easy finding the house.
In the past I had always gone with the corporate housing option, but now with the advent of Craig's List, its much easier to find short term rental options, which is a better option financially. In any case, I'm renting a furnished room in a house in a nice residential neighborhood. Me and 5 other roomies. All guys. So, much like the AT hike, I am --as Violet Beauregard so eloquently put it:-- "a badass in a sea of testosterone."
I also discovered a nice bike path that runs from a couple blocks away from the house to the downtown area.