Monday, June 11, 2007

Our Time in Blacksburg

Blacksburg is a familiar place that we love dearly. We enjoyed our time catching up with some friends who still live here while relaxing from the demanding energy requirements of the trail.

Our to-do list included: Shopping and mailing three weeks of food ahead to the next town stops, picking up new shoes, coordinating with Ben's mom to sew a piece of gear for us that we regretfully did not bring (a net tent for under our tarp), pay bills, connect with friends...

Bollo's Cafe & Bakery

Lauren and I also enjoyed visiting one of our all-time favorite hangouts, Bollo’s CafĂ©. We saw a lot more laptops and probably less conversation than the days we remember, but the coffee is good and it felt great to be back. We enjoyed our time there sipping coffee and evaluating our trip now that we've crossed the 25% mark.

Two Painful Topics in Blacksburg

Virginia Tech Memorial

We were able to visit the memorial to the 32 victims on the campus drill field which was compelling impromptu monument. Each person had a "hokie stone" (local limestone used in the facade on campus buildings) in their honor decorated with objects and trinkets from friends and relatives celebrating their life. We were grateful to be able to pay our respects and see how the community is bringing closure to this painful event.

The other painful topic in Blacksburg is much less somber, but emotions still run deep. The growing pains of a booming campus and community are felt in the controversy surrounding a Wal-Mart coming to town. Heated opinions and petitioning can be seen and heard across town. The outcome will undoubtedly affect the development of the town forever.

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