Loose Ends

Hey there, ‘Redheads… In the last blog or two, I’ve had to stop short due to brainlock or I’ve left out some odds and ends that didn’t fit with whatever I fooled myself into thinking was the theme of that particular installment. So, this one is devoted to cleaning out all of the extra crap that’s currently cluttering my cranium (alliteration, baby). Onward and backward…

Over the weekend, 15 intrepid friends and I braved the intense heat and pushed ourselves to the limits of human endurance and athletic competition. We played three mini-golf courses in one day, in the Second Annual Grand Slam of Mini-Golf

We ventured deep into the clown’s mouth to test our wills and prove we had some semblance of athletic skill. I was the clubhouse leader after the first 18 holes at Rocky Gorge, my hometown course when I was a lad, with an impressive 6 under par. From there, we traveled to Herndon, VA, for the second round at Woody’s Golf, home of Perils of the Lost Jungle, one of the top 5 mini-golf courses in the U.S. What the course lacked in difficulty, it more than made up for in production values…It was a cheeky mix of Robert Trent Jones and Indiana Jones. Despite some sloppy play on the front nine, I was able to extend my lead to seven shots heading into the final round at Hain’s Point in DC. I should mention, if you couldn’t tell already, that I get super competitive and overconfident in games of any kind where I get even a sliver of a lead. I gloat. I bluster. I’m a bit of a dick, which makes it all the more satisfying to everyone else when I eventually crumble under the weight of my own hubris. I tried to remain calm this time around, but I was being egged on by those breathing down my neck on the leader board, rooting for the inevitable. That brings us to the last leg of the day. This was the most difficult of the courses we’d faced all day. The sun had been beating down on us for hours and this was a no-frills course that required the kind of pinpoint short game that we quickly realized none of us had. The strokes piled up as seemingly easy putts lazily rolled past the hole without even saying hello. As prophesied, my lead eroded and I lost my bid for miniature glory by two strokes…well, three if you count the heat stroke.

The weekend before last, my friends and I found another fun way to enjoy heat exhaustion. We hopped in the car and headed down to Natural Bridge, VA. On the way, we saw a couple oddities on the road that I was able to snap some pictures of…Yes, that’s a DeLorean. I guess he was looking to save some time on his commute. I’m pretty sure where he was going, he still needed roads. We also spotted this…She got her hair did and she wanted to keep those curls tight for later on at the bingo hall. We took bets on whether she had a rolling pin in the passenger seat. Ok, enough of this penny ante stuff. I’ve got some pictures of true craziness for you. We checked out three roadside attractions and a natural wonder all in one day. You get a taste of each. First up is the majesty of the Natural Bridge…I’d been pretty jaded about nature since my trip to the Grand Canyon, but this was pretty impressive. We went from being awed by nature to being completely weirded out by the opposite of nature. An installation artist named Mark Cline built a couple roadside attractions to hold tourists’ sway once they got bored with beauty. Behold the twisted history lesson that is Dinosaur Kingdom…Allow me to answer some burning questions. Yes, that is a Union soldier being eaten by a T-Rex and yes, that is a velociraptor snacking on The Gettysburg Address. Basically, this was built around the conceit that an archaeological dig during the Civil War unearthed living dinosaurs that the North planned to use against the South, but things went horribly wrong. It’s Glory meets Jurassic Park. All that was missing was a fiberglass Jeff Goldblum telling Lincoln that using dinosaurs as a weapon was the worst idea in the long sad history of bad ideas (love that line). Mr. Cline also created another awesome spectacle just up the road…FOAMHENGE! Where the demons dwell. Where the banshees live and they do live well. Yep, he created a full scale replica of Stonehenge out of styrofoam…

Well crap. I was hoping to wrap this all up in a neat little package, but it’s getting late, and I’m running out of steam.

To be continued…

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