Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wilderness Festival

(Originally posted on Sunday, September 24, 2006 by Tim)

(OK, so this was actually posted on October 7th. I?ve back dated it to the day that most of it was written)

We?ve had a busy, but relatively uneventful week out here. Cat and I have gotten over our colds. Dalton still seems to be a bit congested, but he never developed severe symptoms as far as I could tell. Since babies do all their breathing through their nose, I was worried when he started getting sick. I know how hard it is for me to breath through my nose when I have a cold, and I can switch over to my mouth. Maybe he can too, but I haven?t seen him do it yet.

The three of us have been making a habit of walking down to the Coffee Depot (coffee shop) every Saturday morning. Dalton usually falls asleep for the first hour or so and it?s a great place to sit and catch up on my grading. They also have some good drinks and scones there. The food selection is broader than scones, but most of the rest of the items are a bit mediocre. All the same, my usual morning order includes an egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant. The sandwich is interesting. They order thin scrambled egg rectangles from somewhere that then get folded over threefold and covered with a cheese like substance. This is then placed between croissant halves and heated in the microwave.

We generally have the coffee shop mostly to ourselves. The place is huge and the layout is pretty nice. There are a couple of big tables in back and also two big cushy couches. Yesterday, the place was pretty empty. It was just us and the girl who sings loudly with her iPod on (henceforth known as opera girl). This was in distinct contrast to last weekend when the place was packed.

The reason for the crowds last weekend was that Christiansburg was holding its annual Wilderness Festival downtown. The festival consists of a multitude of huts set up by vendors of kitsch, charities, politicians, radio stations, and purveyors of foods that should be avoided by any reasonable adult who gives much thought to their ingredients. On the way home, I showed my iron willpower and avoided all food products. The fact that I had already stuffed myself at the coffee shop and that the baby was crying had nothing to do with it.

The funny thing about the Wilderness Festival is what it celebrates. Many cities in Virginia have a rich history. Many of them were touched by significant events in the Civil War. Others are the sites where important institutions were founded. Christiansburg?s claim to fame is that Daniel Boone once came through town, picked up some supplies, and didn?t pay for them. Yes, that?s correct, the Wilderness Festival commemorates the day that Daniel Boone ripped the town off.

Despite the reason for the festival, it does draw quite a crowd. Our downtown coffee shop was packed. There was a wood carver working in the front as well as a literacy charity selling used books. Lots of people filed in from the street and the barristas behind the counter had their hands full. The air was filled with the chatter of happy patrons with Opera Girl caroling in the background. It was good to see the place doing so well. We really enjoy the place and sometimes worry if it will continue to stay in business. I don?t really know the economics of a coffee shop. There are a number of people that come in, order their coffee, and leave. It has been around for three years so I assume that business can?t be that bad.

Today's picture is Dalton with our good friend Anduin at her house near Washington DC. He is wearing a sweater and booties that she made for him. I don't know if you can see in the picture, but the sweater has the cutest little square buttons. The picture was taken on September 2nd.

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