Mountain in Reality


Last week we went on a trip to the mountains of Shenandoah Valley. I had booked us a cabin on top of a mountain, which sounded at once both rugged and quaint. Still, somehow I didn’t expect it that was literally on top of a mountain. What did I expect? Perhaps I expected a mountain in theory.

Mountain in reality was an hour-long roundtrip to civilizaton each time, in our hopefully-trusty hatchback Elantra that puttered like a toy car as it climbed those mountain roads. The wife wanted to know why didn’t I just book us a stay at the Days Inn with the free wifi. Why? Why? This cabin had a hot tub, a pool table, a spec’ed-out boombox from 1993, and decorative ceramic duck statues. That’s why.


Cabin in Theory had wifi, too. Even though they had told me on the phone it did not. I couldn’t really picture not having it, so I didn’t accept it. However, they did not lie. Cabin in Theory at least had promiximity to a cell phone tower so we could get 4G?

Nope. Well how about 3G?

Nope? How about basic cell phone service where you make calls?

Mountain Cabin in reality had a landline. I was certain an axe murderer would cut the line. Speaking of which, Cabin in Theory had locks on the windows. Mountain Cabin in Reality did not.

Wait, what? What the hell? Dude, we lived in Baltimore. How can you not have locks on the windows. We’re gonna freaking die. This deeply unsettled both the wife and I. Laugh at me all you want. I’ve seen movies and been to bad places on the Internet. I foraged the surrounding woods for a stick I could jam the bedroom window shut with, and we slept with the bedroom window jammed, the bedroom door locked, and one eye open.

(Cue the wife’s WHY DIDN’T WE STAY AT THE DAY’S INN again.)

There was also the paradox of Dog In Theory/Dog In Reality. Dog In Theory is good at traveling, likes trips, and would become at one with her inner wild beast in the mountains. Dog in Reality is a weirdo nervous wreck poodle who spent the entire trip spooked by the woods surrounding us.

Dog in Theory would save us from bears if needed. Dog in Reality promptly peed on the floor upon arrival.

Dog in Reality looks fierce in a poncho though.


At least my mountain snack game was tight. Let me break it down for you:

– 7 Layer Dip Combos
– Mini-donuts
– Oatmeal Creme Pies
– Mountain fudge
– Hot Fries (the wife claims they taste like cat food. Grounds for divorce.)
– Milano cookies
– Weird out-of-state chips that you can’t get back home (favorite part of traveling, possibly.)

Meanwhile I grade my mountain souvenir game as just alright. I had daydreams of finding some leather-tassled rabbit foot embedded in an amber geode, or something else badass like that.

However, since no such amazing object exists, I got this dinosaur spirit animal instead:


I have no idea what you’re supposed to do with figural mini spirit animals, but I put mine on display in the bathroom.

hover here for more info

3 thoughts on “Mountain in Reality

  1. What brand of Hot Fries? I prefer Tom’s, but my friend is partial to Andy Capps.

    And that is a cool dinosaur spirit animal. It looks clever, yet modest.

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