Before moving on from Shepherdstown in this travelogue, I should note a couple more things that happened while in this lovely West Virginia city.
From talking with fellow cyclists, we learned something about the official detour mentioned in an earlier column. They had taken it the year before, and one of them crashed, breaking a collarbone. Score one for scofflaws.
More importantly, Sabra got to do laundry.
Left alone to my own sensibilities, I can get by with two sets of the essentials: T-shirt, underwear and socks. I simply wear one set and air out the other ad infinitum. In deference to Sabra, however, I don clean clothes daily. That means I carry five sets of the essentials plus slacks, one dress shirt and a light windbreaker in the event we dine someplace nicer than usual or we encounter a cold snap.
More sensitive to temperature changes and fashion, Sabra takes extra. Basically, she carries everything I do plus another, heavier jacket, a couple long sleeve shirts and long pants. She also tosses in a few items to make sure her ensemble always matches. I don’t have the same problem, as everything goes with my orange hat.
Our standard operating plan is do laundry every fourth day. I get insecure when food stocks are low; Sabra gets panicky when we’re down to our last change of clothes. She’s never bought into the let-it-air theory. Bottom line is doing laundry makes her happy, and she doesn’t mind if I spend the hour amusing myself while she does it. It’s a win/win so we wash early and wash often.
Also, it was here that I decided to do something about the poison ivy rash that was growing up my arm and ankle (it was something I picked up before we left). I couldn’t find a taxi to take me to a medical clinic in the next town, so I hit on the idea of calling Enterprise Rental. The gal working there picked me up but on the way back to the business we realized that I only had a debit card, something her company did not accept. She fixed my problem by taking me to Hertz Rental. The guy at Hertz, which normally doesn’t drop off and pick up, listened to my story and offered to drive me back. Both went above and beyond the call of duty. Bless them.
So it was with clean clothes, light hearts and prednisone that we headed out for Brunswick, the sixth day of our travels. Before leaving, we visited with a distant relative on Sabra’s side and along the way stopped at Harper’s Ferry, where Sabra had another best meal of her life. We toured the beautiful, historic city and hit our overnight town later and more tired than usual.
To date, we had climbed only one hill and that was a side trip into Frostburg with fresh legs on our first day for lunch. While the motel in Brunswick was probably no more of a climb than the restaurant, it kicked our butts nevertheless. We showed up at the Green Country Inn hot, tired and ready for some rest and relaxation.
Both were hard to come by.
The Inn, a converted YMCA, felt more like a prison or no-tell motel than an oasis for a weary traveler. As we walked in two young women– pierced, tattooed and provocatively dressed– walked out arm in arm with a young man– pants to his knees and gold chain to his waist. I hate to profile on appearance, but if it walks like a duck... On the way to our room down a long foreboding hallway we heard barking behind several doors. Coming from another room, prominently displaying a “do not disturb” sign, we heard noises that can only be described as disturbing.
The only thing I can say good about our room is that it had a very sturdy lock combined with thick bars over the tiny window, which made us feel safe and unsafe at the same time. In hindsight, we should have spent the night in Harpers Ferry and kept our visit to Brunswick brief. But then hindsight is always 20/20.
Falling asleep I thought I heard strains of “Hotel California.”