Friday, October 4, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – West Virginia Country Roads – October 4, 2019 – Day 34

Anytime you're in West Virginia or near it, and you sing, 'Take Me Home, Country Roads,' it's a sight to behold. - Brad Paisley

Friday, the end of another week, the last radiation treatment for this week and the day I leave my friend Judy's house in Winchester, Virginia and Carolyn picks me up and transports me back to her house in West Virginia. It's Day 34 of this adventure I'm on.

The day began as the other days of the week with the exception that I had to get the stuff I wanted to take back to West Virginia for the weekend ready before heading to the hospital for my daily radiation treatment. Judy left early to head out to her weekly Bridge game. Carolyn was on her way in from West Virginia to pick me up. 

I left a few minutes early in the van to get to my radiation treatment. I arrived a few minutes early, they called me in a few minutes early and I left a few minutes early. A good start to the day.

I ended up right behind Carolyn as she was arriving at Judy's house to pick me up. So, I parked the van, got my stuff and loaded it into Carolyn's car. We used the bathroom and we were on our way by about 11AM. Carolyn brought along her little Pomeranian pooch that goes by the name “Honey, I'm Home.” Honey was happy to see me and I certainly enjoy her, too.

The trip was uneventful until we were on a road cutting across part of Virginia to another route in West Virginia. This is a familiar road to both of us. All of a sudden, Carolyn said, “Let's go check out Avalon.” 

So, what's the big deal about checking out this Avalon place? Well, simply put, Avalon is a “clothing optional” RV park and lodge that we both have known about for years. We knew it was somewhere near the route we were on. So, the trip back to Carolyn's now became an exploration mission.

She had a rough idea of where it supposedly was located and the road to turn off the main route we were on. She found that road and off we went. Now, while there are any number of detractors about the state of West Virginia, it is truly a beautiful state. The road we turned on was no exception. 

Well, except Carolyn mentioned a few times that she felt like we had entered into the kind of environment the movie “Deliverance” depicted. The road, while decently paved was narrow, windy and most of the houses, when there were any houses, were well off the road and hard to even catch a glimpse of.

We drove and drove and we were beginning to wonder if we were on a wild goose chase. But, the GPS finally indicated we were nearing our target. Sure enough, we found the street, turned up the hill and found this very well hidden clothing optional RV park and lodge that went by the name, Avalon. If you're curious, you can click here to check out this resort.

As we pulled through the gate, that was open, there was a gentleman standing outside the office in glorious au natural attire. Frankly, I was tired and chose to stay in the car with the pooch while Carolyn went into the office to learn more about the establishment. 

When she came back out, we both agreed that neither of us was impressed with the general appearance of the facilities and their camping fees were quite high for what we saw. We also realized that the fastest way to get back on course to her house was to retrace our route through the “Deliverance” territory.

Mission accomplished. Carolyn's curiosity (and mine, too) had been satisfied. The place truly existed, was literally in the middle of nowhere and didn't meet up to our expectations of a resort. And, No! There were no other people anywhere in sight who were practicing the clothing optional lifestyle the resort was noted for. It's after Labor Day and it was early on a Friday afternoon. So, as far as we could tell, other than one woman who was dressed, there didn't appear to be any other people at the property.

From there we made our way back to our main route to Carolyn's house and arrived there about an hour later. I got my stuff in the house and laid down on my bed to rest for a while. 

Later in the afternoon, I called my friend, Emory Austin, a long time friend and a long time participant of the Veteran Speakers Retreat I run each summer. And, she was a member of my “Seal Team” who kept “the show” going while I was lying in a hospital bed in the ER of the Winchester Medical Center 25 minutes away.

As it happened, Emory was struck by her own Fireball last weekend. She ended up in the hospital in her home area of Fort Mill, South Carolina where she was diagnosed with having a minor stroke or a TIA as it's often called. 

There you go. Another reason to live every moment to the fullest because we don't know what the next moment may have in store for us. It could be a Fireball from the universe, without warning, of course.

After a lengthy conversation with Emory we said goodbye and both carried on with our evening. I received some of the first hospital and medical bills. Something I wasn't looking forward to, but so far, they haven't been quite as bad as I expected. I had some dinner Carolyn fixed for me and watched a little TV. Now, as I complete today's article, my eyes are quite heavy and I'm prepared to slide into the bed and get a good night's sleep. The end of Day 34.

Live free and be happy. EH

1 comment:

Lorraine Frantz Edwards said...

I never miss your messages. I got a BIG smile when I read about your adventure to the "clothing optional" resort. Thanks for sharing that bit of humor in an otherwise sad story about your treatments, and long drives.