It’s hard to map out a good running route just by using Google maps. Going South out of Christiansburg, most roads aren’t busy, but all roads fall off the plateau very quickly. I was trying to run a loop, but somehow missed a turnoff. It’s also possible that the map wasn’t accurate, since the roads in question were narrow dirt roads running through a valley. There’s another place in Christiansburg where Google is wrong and it always ruins the first mile on the GPS.

I had a bad feeling at the beginning about the amount of downhill, but figured it was inevitable. I was happier when the road turned to dirt and ran along a stream in the valley. I also thought that I was still on the right road, since two roads appeared to join for half a mile on the map. When I saw a sign that said “End State Maintenance”, I still hoped that the road would turn into a different road, but it became apparent that wasn’t the case and I’d come to a dead end. At the end of the road, I noticed a trailer with a handmade taxidermy sign.

You don’t have to watch many horror movies to know to avoid the taxidermy trailer. This is the part where the girl looks into the window and sees human heads mounted on the walls.

I also met a dog that looked like a shepherd/chow mix. More shepherd in front and more chow in back. I couldn’t remember how far the dead end was on the map, but I’d lost a lot of time poking around to see if the road really ended, and I decided that I’d hitch a ride back to my car when I could- not that a car was sure to come along from the end of a dead end dirt rural road. The first car was a pair of census takers, who assured me that they would take as long to get to the main road as I would, and nearly did so as I passed their stopped car several times. Finally a truck came by and I got in and observed that the ax on the floor would also contribute to a horror story. The man was very nice and said that he’d moved from Washington because it was too violent a city.

I have started packing books. I was doing well on Sunday, but have lost momentum. I also over-broiled a steak and set the fire alarm off. It occurred to me that since my neighbor’s house recently burned down, testing the fire alarm was probably a good idea anyway.


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