That turned out to be a cabin in West Virginia. Driving distance is relative, of course, in DC traffic - it still took me three hours to go 85 miles (about 130km). But once I arrived it was idyllic. I researched, but didn't plan anything, which meant I spent lots of time sitting around in the woods reading books and drinking coffee. I did manage to eat out a few times, but the best meal I had, I cooked myself using garden tomatoes and cheese my cousin AinA had brought from Europe.
I also thought carefully about whether I'd like to live in a place like this someday. When I retire, my current financial plan dictates that I can either stay in DC in my house while having a roommate,or move to a lower cost-of-living area and have my home to myself. I have sometimes considered that a college town in Pennsylvania, within driving distance of my parents, might bring the diversity and cultural aspects that would allow me to thrive in a small town. Spending the weekend in West Virginia added a few more qualifications: I don't want to have to drive everyday and I need to figure out exactly what I mean by diversity. I like my life now, where I'm in the car about twice a week. And I'm pretty sure that diversity means more than different skin colors: what I love is people with a variety of experiences, who haven't all lived in the same place their entire lives. I don't know if this wish list is even possible, but if I don't start creating it, I'll never know what to look for.
And finally, some hiking pictures.
The woods were very green for late summer, and exceptionally peaceful. I only saw four people in three hours, and luckily managed not to encounter any rattlesnakes (although I did see evidence of them).
Ada has no fear of heights, and walked right up to the edge of this cliff, which has a several-hundred foot drop. This is terrifying in a creature that is tied to you.