Saturday, November 1, 2008

AT: My "Deliverance" experience

Everybody and their mother had told me about the movie "Deliverance" and warned me about Southern Appalachia. But nothing had prepared my for my own private little Deliverance experience. I was not so happily hiking one day when it was raining and storming so badly that even I decided to stay the night in a hostel 0.7 miles off trail. Of course there was no cell phone reception so I just walked there. When I arrived it was nearly getting dark and it was raining cats and dogs. There was a sign at the reception saying "We are in the house next door - come over and knock." which I did. The door was opened by - a guy about 20 years having no (I repeat: no) front teeth whatsoever, red eyes and being so drunk or stoned or both that he could hardly talk. The house behind him looked like a total mess and more like the crime scene of a ritual murder than an American home. But it was too late to tactfully retreat....

He finally managed to find some keys and followed me into the pouring rain totally oblivious of the fact that he was getting wet. He tried to show me the bunkhouse but could hardly find the hole in the lock to open the door. And I was more interested to see whether I could lock the door from inside. And it was not very helpful that he told me that I was the only one staying at the whole place that night... But the weather was so bad that I decided to stay! I barricaded the door with a chair and locked it - and actually had a good night's sleep!

In the morning I went over to have another look at the reception and big surprise: An older couple was sitting there and they solved the mystery. First they apologized for their boy "being under the weather". Then they explained that their son is a stone mason and is currently renovating their house - therefore the big mess there. And because of all the dust he had to drink all that beer... When they had come home and realized what was going on they decided not to check on me that night because they did not want to scare me any more - what a good evaluation of the whole situation. So the story had a good and happy ending - and I even got a free ride back to the trail.

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