West Virginia Trip Report, Part 3!

We’d chosen The Fly-In Cafe for an early dinner, because it was extremely close to the Haunted Majestic and they were happy to accommodate a large group even if we were pains in the ass who arrived at different times. So Lynne Hansen, Bridgett Nelson, Jeremy Megargee, Damien Casey and I were joined by Paul Lubaczewski, Coy Hall, Paul and Lisa Synuria (who drove four hours to be there!), Cassandra Arnold and her daughter Kathleen (who flew from Arizona!), and Tammy Larch-Letart. The food was good. The company was even better. The weather…ummm…

Then it was time for the big event! We headed over to the Haunted Majestic and set up our tables, joining fellow authors RJ Roles and Linley Marcum. We got to meet Dana Tomes, who was Bridgett’s point person in setting everything up for this event. Nothing could go wrong, except for the fact that it had been raining all day. But surely a cold, rainy, muddy night wouldn’t keep the crowds away!

Okay, fine. The cold, rainy, muddy night kept the crowds away, and attendance was far below what it had been just the previous day. We still had a great time, especially with bonus appearances by Eugene Johnson (and his daughter Hannah) and Michael Knost! Lynne had made a special print just for this event, with all proceeds going to Little Victories Animal Rescue, and she was able to donate $160 to the cause.

Of course, we weren’t going to be there and NOT go through the haunted house part! I’d assumed the entire thing took place on the ship, but there was a fairly substantial outdoor portion as well, and plenty o’ scares were had. Oh, but the REAL fun began after the event was over, when several of us participated in the Ghost Hunt!

Basically, we went on a tour of the Haunted Majestic for about half an hour, learning about the various spoooooky occurrences that had happened on the ship, and then were set loose for an hour. We didn’t care about the ghost hunt element–we just liked being able to roam freely around a haunted attraction! I mean, c’mon!

When the ghost hunt ended, we staggered back to our automobiles after a long but amazing day.

SUNDAY

We sadly packed the car. Bridgett’s husband Doug showed up to pick her up, and we drove to our farewell breakfast, engulfed by feelings of woe.

I mean, the woe was offset a bit by the extremely high quality of the chicken and waffles, but still…

No, wait. We couldn’t end the weekend yet. Bridgett had purchased some coonskin hats for a photo op, but we’d forgotten about them, so it was time for a quick return trip to Hillbilly Hot Dogs…

And NOW it was time to leave.

Ten minutes later, we got a flat tire. Because there was nowhere to pull over, I had to drive on it for a couple of minutes until there was a safe place to stop, by which time the tire looked like…

Okay, so, we weren’t leaving West Virginia quite yet. Fortunately, rather than being trapped in West Virginia to this very day, we did get the car towed and a new tire put on. It was a bummer end to the trip, but at least it was at the end of the trip–it would’ve been infinitely worse if it had happened sooner!

And then we made the long drive home.

Thanks to Bridgett for inviting us and setting this whole thing up. Thanks to everybody who hung out with us. Thanks to the West Virginia roads for destroying my tire and allowing me to post a picture that had lots of interaction on social media.

My next adventure is this weekend………..but it’s, like, 14 miles away for the Atlanta Writers Conference, where I’ll be giving a talk on “Surviving the Writing Life.”

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