Saturday, April 13, 2013

Buses, Trains and Automobiles

Melissa in front of her shop
Seems lately then whenever I travel its been by all means of travel except for the bicycle. I've taken buses and trains, and even driven cars to get to some of the places go.  Like my most recent trip to Virginia and West Virginia, Charlottesville and Rock Creek to be specific.
New River, one of the oldest rivers on Earth

My good friend owns and operates the newest consignment sensation to take over Virginia, ReThreads. Naturally, I had to head down to check out this store as I love shopping for clothes.  The man only lets me out of the slave cell for so long, so while a bike ride from NYC to Charlottesville would have been the preferred method of travel, I instead opted for a cheap bus ride to Washington, DC followed by a train ride to Cville.  This takes all day, which seems like a long time but really isn't since I traveled many hundreds of miles in a matter of hours.

After some food and beer and precursory tour of the UVA campus, the next day I went to work while on my little vacation.  I pretty much ran the store from open until I left.  Having an extensive background in women's fashion certainly helped me when the ladies came in asking about what the current rage is.  Purple wind breakers was always my answer.

Later that day we saw some good local/non-local music with the big act being Yarn.  They were a folky americana kinda band and they were pretty darn tootin good.  I felt like a college kid staying out till 1am, and then like a non college kid when I woke up at 7am the next morning.  being that I was already down south, I took a side trip Friday and Saturday to the heart of Appalachia  southern West Virginia to visit a friend who volunteers at the Coal River Mountain Watch.

Located in Rock Creek, West Virginia the good people at Coal River Mountain Watch are fighting the impossibly hard fight against the evil Coal Industry that has plagued the region for nearly 150 years.  Some of the highlights of the coal industries time in Appalachia include: Paint Creek miner strike which the coal industry had a little train come by with machine guns and blast the striking miners and their families in their tents, the Blair Mountain uprising in which striking miners revolted against the coal industry and for days battled with police and coal henchmen and even had army planes attack them.  and of course, ever since the coal industry has been around, they have been destroying the environment and killing the people.  Ahh, thanks coal.
Joe and Cat

Paint Creek

I got to go up and see some mountain top removal, speak with the volunteers, see coal smoot covered miners and of course the pro coal stickers and shirts where everywhere.  There is also an excess of beauty in the region, from the people to the landscape.  I did a small hike with my friend Joe, and also spent the better part of a day chasing a dream along the Paint Creek.  With my time done in Appalachia, I headed back to Cville as Melissa said she didnt know how she had run the store without me before, but now she needed a man to be in charge.  I sighed, knowing that once again i would be a river to my people.
Paint Creek

Sunday was a droopy eyed morning of yard sales and soft carpets, followed by a ungodly amount of indian food followed by a few hours of working at ReThreads and training the newest part time employee, the He/She drinking bird.  Sunday was capped off with a visit to the local carnival where we went on every ride twice, ate cotton candy, funnel cake and butt fries.  Yes, butt fries.

So there you have it, buses, trains and automobiles swooshed me around for a few days and brought me back to NYC.  I of course hope to return to Cville soon, but I also hope to do more traveling by bicycle as the days grow warmer.  Stay tuned.