The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Virginia, Day 2: Part 1, with a Rock Slide

I haz a BB gun
Get off my damn lawn.

Don't worry—it's just a BB gun. The only thing it harmed while in my possession was the cat food bowl on the table across the lawn.

How did last Friday morning turn into BB gun target practice? Since Tristan had left earlier to go to the dentist, we were left without our leader and didn't know what to do with ourselves. Luckily, Katie brought a BB gun. Suddenly, our purpose was clear—that purpose being, "Shoot the cat food bowl." Later, we added, "shoot the beer bottles and cans." Katie, Dan, Ryan, Lihan, Lee Anne, and I passed the gun around as we waited for Tristan to return and give us another purpose that didn't involve shooting things.

Let's get cookin.
Let's make foodz!

And he did by setting us to work on a vegan-friendly lunch. We gathered around the central island in the kitchen to chop vegetables, including onion, peppers, and zucchini (some freshly picked from his family's farm), and open cans of tomato sauce and beans that Tristan would combine to form a mass of thick, mega-hot, beany awesomeness. That's Tristan's formula for success: vegetables, tomato sauce, and beans, seasoned with chile flakes and other substances that give a mouth-burning sensation. I've eaten his veg-and-bean mish mashes before and they're always delicious.

Lee Anne made super chunky guacamole.. ;)

Lee Anne made a refreshing super-chunky guacamole/avocado and tomato salad. I couldn't tell you the last time I ate that healthily.


I rescinded my healthy eating by buying this can of Treet from Family Dollar on our way to Shenandoah National Park. And you know what I'm going to do with it: make Treet musubis! Because it was cheaper than the Spam! Yup, there's probably something wrong about that, as though buying canned meat from a semi-dollar store wasn't wrong enough already. (I know Treet is subpar to Spam, but I must discover this for myself as part of my processed meat palate training.)

edge of the pool shoes and a bag
The water, and my shoes...sans feet.

Tristan directed us to "Super Secret Location" (it has a real name; we're just not revealing it) in the Shenandoah National Park in Syria where the main attraction was a natural rock slide and pool. ...After enduring 45 minute uphill climb over rocks and dirt and a run in with a snake or two. I didn't take photos of the actual climb because I was too distracted by the sensation that my lungs would explode, but it was probably beautiful and full of trees and dirt and stuff like that.

rock slide
There she is.

Of course, it couldn't have been as beautiful as the towering rock slide, which marked the end of my underlying feelings of lung explodee.

This is how you conquer the rock slide:

Tristan goes again
It's Tristan's turn

Sit at the top-most part where the rock doesn't dip. Numb your butt in the nearly-freezing water. Feel a hint of the pain that will soon engulf your entire body.

there he goes
Thar he goes!

Push off. Let the water carry you. Don't try to stop or else you'll probably sprain something.


Splosh. Enjoy the sensation of your brain, and possibly your heart, freezing. Rush towards the edge of the pool and scurry up the rock for another go.

I couldn't do it—the water was so cold that just dipping my feet into the pool gave me a headache. That was enough fun for me. Yet another thing I can add to my list of "Reasons Why I Am a Disappointment." I was the only one unable to face the wrath of the swimming hole, but I'm just happy that I made it up there without collapsing on the trail.

Rocks from AFAR

Going back down was less painful than going up. I even took the time to divert the energy not sucked up by my heaving lungs to take this photo of a bunch of rocks in a shaded stream. Which is way more awesome than I'm purposefully making it sound. Yay nature!

I don't mean to bore you with all this non-food stuff. Part 2 will be all about the food.


Marvo / August 10, 2008 4:49 AM


How dare you replace SPAM with Treet? The entire SPAM musubi making community will look down upon your cheap SPAM replacement.


roboppy / August 10, 2008 9:45 AM

Marvo: Treet musubis are just what us budget-conscious Spam lovers need. HA HA HA...just kidding. (Although I'm not kidding that I need ot be more budget-conscious. :( )

I read about Treet and how it doesn't taste as good as Spam (I think I'll update the entry to reflect that, heh), but I wanted to try it myself.

David Koh / August 10, 2008 1:58 PM

Hey Robyn! I went to that exact same spot 14 years ago on a middle school camping trip! Totally blew my mind when I saw your pictures of it! I only went down once because the water was so cold! It felt like a million needles poking into your body when you splashed into the water. Def wasn't expecting that. Also remembered how the rocks were so smooth and that there was a rattle snake on the path. Thanks for bring back old memories!

Also bumped into a fellow TASer that I haven't seen in 10 years at the airport in Singapore. You're right, we are everywhere.

elarael / August 10, 2008 5:24 PM

Is that girl at the top of the rock slide topless?! Looks like it from the photo, haha : O! Looks like an incredible secret spot. Yay wilderness!

roboppy / August 11, 2008 12:40 AM

David: Oooh you know the rock slide! Awesome. :D The sensation of a million needles hasn't changed at all. Haha...ah...sweet jesus.


Mia: I made you hungry without even showing you much food? Aww..

Elarael: Not topless! But the top is yellow so I guess it's hard to tell. ;)

Kate / August 11, 2008 2:45 AM

Oooo rock slides! My favorite part of hiking/camping is the food always tastes better!!

Yvo / August 11, 2008 4:22 PM

You...! No...! Words...! Ahhhh!

Um, no baked Virginia Ham "TASTE"! and... someone's been reading lolcats bit much lately :P hahahahha

PS Every time I get to the word verification, I think "THERE IS NO SPOON" even though I am not a Matrix fan. Sigh. Is this normal?

Liz / August 11, 2008 4:44 PM

I saw something in a 7-11 called "Potted Meat Food Product" (give the marketing genius a hand!) that I suspect might be subpar to TREET.

roboppy / August 12, 2008 8:47 AM

Kate: Ahh, we didn't eat on our hike. I would've been too busy catching my breath. :[


Christina: It was my first time shooting a BB gun!...that probably won't happen again for a while.

Yvo: I think the first ingredient was chicken. And then some..pork stuff. Tasty?

That's probably abnormal, but I LOVE ABNORMAL!!

Liz: Wow, the marketing department didn't really do much with that one.

Steph / August 12, 2008 9:10 AM

Holy moly, are you trying to kill me with jealousy?? With all the water hijinx and amazing looking food, I think I could have died quite happily during your trip. You guys are always coming up with awesome adventures!
- S

PS: While this is probably a foolish bet to be made, I challenge that BB gun to my... POTATO GUN! Muahahaha.

roboppy / August 14, 2008 12:05 AM

Steph: YES I AM TRYING TO KILL YOU, THAT IS MY PLAN, how did you knooow...

Tristan came up with the adventures. He is. ADVENTURE MAN. And I am thankful for it.

BBs versus potato chin)

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