Accidentally Drinking At Work

An orange flower sitting on a bed of green with other orange flowers behind it.

An orange flower sitting on a bed of green with other orange flowers behind it.

So, not my usual hiking post but I will throw in random pictures of flowers in the Shenandoah Valley just because I have way too many pictures of nature on my phone. 

An image of pink flowers.

Context: I was dog sitting last-last week for Cool Dog Sitting Couple, my last day being Wednesday. I had forgotten to return their garage remote door and decided to drop it off over my lunch break on Thursday. While chatting with Cool Dog Sitting Lady after giving her the remote, she tells me I left some hard cider in her fridge (oops!). She is chill about it and returns it to me. I toss it in my lunchbox which was in my car (obviously. I was going over my lunch break so I wanted to eat some snacks in my car). It’s important to note that I’d packed a can of tea in my Starry Night lunchbox that day, which is rather unusual because I pretty much exclusively drink water at work.

A pink flower

Anywho, I return to work, unbox 24893105831905 chromebooks, and then get thirsty.

Ah, I have tea,” I think to myself gleefully. A rare treat. I unzip my lunchbox, grab a can of what I think is tea, crack it open, and take a longggg swig. I mean long.

You would think the taste being distinctively not tea would somewhat clue me in to the fact something was amiss with my drink. Nah, I kept drinking. Satiated, I set the can down only to realize with horror I have drunken about half a can of hard cider at an elementary school.

A picture of mimosas (the flower, not the drink) against a blue sky.

First, I look around to see if any of the custodians (the only people in the building) were there to witness my muck up. They were not, praise Jesus.

Next, I have a mild heart attack because ya know, just drunk alcohol at work, there are cameras, what if someone sees me on camera drinking hard cider? OMG. So of course I’m like, I’ll just toss it in the trash but then I think what if someone finds the can and is wondering who was drinking hard cider at an elementary school ( Irrational maybe but almost no one is working in the buildings so there would be few culprits should my mistake be discovered. ALSO, I was somewhat loathe to just throw it away as I did pay good money for it as terrible as that sounds).

At this point, I can’t tell if the alcohol is hitting me (unlikely – I can outdrink Legolas) or I’m having an anxiety attack. Regardless, I start chugging water and eating whatever snacks I have left whilst trying to figure out what to do with this can of cider. If I toss it in my lunch box, it’ll probably spill everywhere as I will inevitably forget it’s in there when I leave for work. And even if I dump it in the sink, what if someone sees me dumping alcohol in the sink??? Or sees me walking to the sink to dump it out? Argh. That seems so sketchy.

A picture of purple flowers lightly peppered with drops of rain.

So what do I do?

Toss my cardigan over it and keep on working like nothing happened. Fortunately, I was at work for several more hours, so all was well by the time I left work with my cardigan draped over my arm.

Anyway, negative 0/10. Do not recommend drinking alcoholic beverages at work. Next time (if there ever is one), I’ll just drop it off at home, like a rational person would do and then go to work. However, I do recommend going for walks and checking out all the cool flowers you’ll see.

How to Hike (Safely) During COVID

I have no clue what the name of this trail is. Best I can say is the trail was right by the lake in the first parking lot in the Sherando Recreation Area (which is still closed, FYI).

The hike I was going to do was blocked by a closed road. Although Google said the park was open (which now I know Google cannot be trusted for any useful information in regards to things being open or closed) it clearly was not, so instead I hiked this Something Trail.

As usual, I got lost. Right at the start too – I went the wrong direction. I don’t even think I was on a trail, I was just sort of wandering through the woods and decided to make a trail.

Pro Tip: If you’re walking up a mountain of endless rocks, no blazes, trail, or end in sight, turn around. Unless you’re trying to trail-blaze or get lost/injured. Fortunately, eventually a trail was found.

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, I had an apple, and this was shortly before all the trails in my area closed (not going to lie, hopping barriers crossed my mind several times during quarantine but I abstained like the good American citizen I sometimes am…).

I tapped out about an hour and a half into the hike due to time constraints and lack of snacks, at a nice, rocky view point. The trail kept kept going though…

Anyway, to make this somewhat COVID related, here are some tips from me who knows nothing about hiking safely during COVID, or at any other time in history.

How to Sort of Hike Safely During Covid:

  1. Hike by yourself.
  2. Hike alone.
  3. Solo hike. (Make sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back).
  4. Drive yourself to the trail. Meet a friend at the trailhead. Stay 6 feet apart as you hike.
  5. Drive with a friend, but keep them in your trunk so you can maintain social distancing.
  6. Drive with a friend, but strap them to the roof of your car so you can maintain social distancing. Although this might not be 6 feet, the roof of your car should provide a nice barrier between you and their coronagerms.
  7. Drive with a friend but sanitize your car, wear masks, keep them in the backseat, and open the windows. If necessary, erect a Captain America’s shield between you and them. Kind of like a cop car but think vibranium instead of bars.
  8. Carry hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
  9. Don’t sneeze or cough on folks as you pass them. Hide your germs.
  10. Hike during a random weekday (early morning or evening), so you’ll have no company except the bears and the friend you strapped to the roof of your car.
  11. Pick a lightly-traversed trail, or hike part of a long trail.
  12. Pee beforehand otherwise you’ll end up peeing in the woods because everything is closed (not that this has ever happened to me before). Also, public restrooms are gross and should be avoided during non-pandemic times as well.
  13. Shower and change your clothes when you come home. Wash those coronagerms away.

Regardless, get outside and enjoy nature.

Flowery Hikes: High Knob

Despite having hiked to High Knob Fire Tower a dozen plus times, this was the only time all four of the following conditions were met:

1: The trees were green.

2. It was not rainy/foggy .

3. Flowers were blooming.

4. I was matching my hiking partner.

Pink flowers in the middle of the woods

And this all happened on my first hike here, which spoiled me during subsequent visits (when it was either raining or brown)

Black dog staring longily at the mountains from the top of a fire tower

This is Nala, who was not feeling the fire tower at the end. We cheered her up the stairs (like literally screamed, “You can do it, Nala! ” For about 5 minutes until she went up with us). This is not my dog (I do not have a dog), but a dog I was dog sitting for.

Anyway, 10/10. This hike is one of my favs when I want to hike but don’t want to put in the effort of really hiking (as in driving to some far away location, packing a bunch of snacks/water, and being out all day).

Also, I recommend the redneck gas station further down 33 (pass the parking lot for High Knob; just keep going – it’s the first one there, you can’t miss it). The bathrooms are very clean and they have ice cream for dogs, which this old man recommended I get for Nala who (apparently) yowled like the devil was on her heels the entire time I was was using the restroom. The ice cream for humans wasn’t bad either.

View of the blue ridge mountains