Saturday, August 13, 2011
The Howard Johnson at the End of the Universe
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As route 250 crosses over the mountain headed west towards Waynesboro, there is something like a commercial ghost town. At the crest of the mountain, where the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park (A.K.A. Skyline Drive) passes over route 250, there is an area in which every single business (even the gas station) has closed. In the midst of this is a closed Howard Johnson, shuttered, but otherwise untouched. It looks almost like a houseboat run aground on an overgrown river bank. It is in great shape compared to the other empty buildings there. Most of the buildings are heavily painted with “tagging.” The H.J. is untouched. The roof of the building is in perfect shape. Evidently they used a ceramic tile on the roofs. All the tiles are the trademark orange (not even faded) and none are broken.
My apologies to Douglas Adams for borrowing a concept (the restaurant at the end of the universe)