we drove west to winston salem and then north past pilot mountain, 210 miles on interstate 77 through mountainous west virginia. these were palpable mountains. not alps, but tall and exceptionally close. they seemed to shoot straight out of the ground, fully clothed in trees. the highway wound itself between the peaks, twice we drove right through them.
we left at 4pm and arrived at 11:30–it was 400+ miles in all. i decided to seek out katie–she was, afterall, the reason we’d just driven seven and a half hours. katie figured out where we were, but getting us directions to her dorm proved to be a challenge, as we weaved the car through throngs of mildly inebriated students roaming the campus.
“tonight is oak fest, tomorrow is palmer fest,” katie said. traditionally students who live on these streets host parties and drink all day long. a non-offensive police presence was evident, the students seemed to be enjoying themselves, though i have to admit the scale of this scene was unfamilar to my unc-tempered eyes.
ohio university appears to differ from unc in the proximity and concentration of privately owned (and presumably rented) houses to the university campus and dorms. thus traditional social events such as this appear to grow much larger than your standard house party in chapel hill.
we found katie and katie found us after someone in her dorm pulled the fire alarm. though i don’t think katie would consider herself the party-school type, i was tickled to see her having such a good time.