After visiting Western Carolina, I completely understand why everyone there is a stoner.
My road trip in and of itself was testament enough to why drugs are a reasonable choice there. I headed out, Rae following close behind, unaware of what to expect. First my GPS led us into a more run down section of Boone. Then as we headed towards and then past Grandfather Mountain, things got sketchier. Before long, we were in Pisgah National Forest, terrifying and beautiful all at the same time. The lush forest surrounded us as we drove around neck breaking curves, some other drivers did not feel the need to slow down around curves but instead swing out and almost hit drivers like me. Although beautiful, the road through Pisgah was so winding, I was dying to get out. My neck and thighs were actually sore from being tensed up for so long. After Pisgah came a long, flat plain. Good, I thought, no more curves. Wrong. It was creepy. For every one house that was clearly lived in, there were twenty abandoned houses. Everywhere I looked there was rust and caved in roofs. People kept their cows and horses in their front yard. That wasn’t scary but it just showed the kind of rednecks that lived there. The whole time, I was calling Rae to say “WTF” to everything we passed. Then of course, I lost service for a good chunk of time, also very reassuring. The sketchiest thing I saw, however, came later as we headed once more into a wooded area. There in between dense woods and what looked like a ranch home, something caught my eye. What was it? Oh, obviously it makes total sense to have a water slide the likes of which one only sees in water parks just chilling there in the woods. It was huge, and not to mention incredibly rusted. Weirdest part was I didn’t see the pool where it was supposed to end. Soon after the sketch ass slide, we arrived in a town. This little town is the kind where you picture people living back in the late 20’s, early 30’s… cute or reminiscent of the town in House of Wax, whichever you prefer. I, of course, thought creepy and chose to wait to stop until we came upon real civilization.
Finally, we arrived in Sylva. Sylva is the town next to Cullowhee, where Western Carolina is located. Since I barely remember anything from my tour of Western, I assumed that meant we were seconds away from campus. Wrong again. As I drove through Sylva, I tried to look around and see what there was to do. There were a lot of auto shops and fast food places, a CVS, a Walmart, but not a lot to do. And this is the big exciting town for Western students to go to… A ten minute drive took me to Cullowhee, which I found out is only the college with three shops that are “off” campus but basically on it. Like, there is nothing there. I don’t know what someone would do if they didn’t have a car. Even with a car, I’d still be dying of boredom. The only reason I enjoyed myself was because I was with Paul.
You see, what I’m used to in Boone is being able to walk off campus into downtown on Kings Street, without fear of being raped, murdered, or mugged. Rae goes to UNC-Greensboro, so it was a real shock to her that we were safe walking at night. There are plenty of little stores and restaurants downtown. Then if you go down 421 or 321, there are more places to go. Like Walmart, a movie theatre, frozen yogurt places, etc. On top of all that, there are tons of places to hike or camp and we are close to Wilkesboro, which also has a lot of stuff to do.
So basically, if you go to Western and don’t drink or do drugs… well I just can’t comprehend how you survive. I was there on 4/20 and all of Paul’s friends were on a solid high from 2 pm until probably 2 am or later. It’s just how it is.
Lesson for the Day: Go to school in walking distance of a town that actually has stuff to do so you don’t have to waste your life away on drugs.