First, the hiking. Drew, Julie and I went to Elliot Knob this past weekend. It’s a bit west of Staunton. As an aside, I really enjoy pronouncing Staunton the way people from Staunton actually pronounce it, doing so entertains me greatly. Anyhow, we ventured forth with two dogs and a nice picnic. The trail alternated between dirt road and actual trail, and we ended up eating lunch in a teeny field amongst some power lines with a good overlook of the valley below. The last mile of the trail was at this insane uphill angle, which caused our legs to fall off. The view from the top was totally worth it, though. Hiking back was interesting as the last 1/3 was done in the darkness. We were super smart, though, and brought flashlights with us. So we ended up only taking one wrong turn in the dark. Mind you, on the way up I totally led us down the wrong trail at one point. Anyhow, if you have good legs and like hiking straight up, I totally recommend it.
In other news, Drew and I had an exiting adventure at Trader Joe’s today, which I’d been wanting to do for quite awhile. I first went to one back when I was like 17 and in California with my aunt. So we got some awesome looking pizza dough for a buck, an awesome looking pack of granola bars for a buck, some chocolate and granola cereal for 2 bucks, and a bunch of other things. It’s interesting, some of the prices were higher then what I’d pay for things, and seemed more in line with your standard fancy organic pricing, and some of the prices were cheaper then I generally pay for similar things (AKA the $1 garlic pizza dough). Mmm garlic pizza.
That area out at Short Pump is insane! I generally avoid that area, as unless you go in the middle of a weekday it’s just a sea of cars and concrete mazes and makes me want to start smashing things. And so, at some point or another, a giant strip of field and trees got filled in with giant apartments and restaurants and stores, kinda crazy. I really hate the whole ‘giant boxes of stores separated by giant highway, so don’t even think of trying all of your errands in this area on foot’ kind of thing. However, I can hope they might be moving in a slightly different direction, given that the apartments had stores on their first floor and such, and the buildings seemed to be getting built in the direction of being more walkable and communitylike (mind you, they’re still building stuff, so who knows). I think that everyone needs to read Suburban Nation, especially if you are a developer, that way you will be making places I want to live in. I can hope things are moving in that direction, what with this whole ‘green movement’ thing and all, as a great way to cut down on car exhaust would be to make it easier to walk to stores from your house then to drive there.
And on a completely different note, we saw Coraline a few days ago. I really liked the animation style, and I highly recommend the movie to anyone who likes artsy animation and cutesy horror.