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Friday, January 12, 2007

The Cave

The place in the woods where the degenerate "burn-outs" would hang out - was called The Cave. Riding past there on
your bike when the hoodlums were there was like riding the gauntlet. Sometimes they'd throw rocks at you, sometimes they'd throw beer cans. You were going to get heckled that much was for sure.

Years later I befriended one of the local juvey hall kids and went there myself. At some point they had built a rope swing that swung off the top of it which was pretty hairy and pretty scary. I saw a guy get stuck and watched his friends scramble to find a branch long enough for him to grab so he could get back. Serious injury would have resulted from a fall from that height. Although the dirtbags were smart enough to knot the end of the rope which formed a rudimentary seat thus saving your upper body strength from being tapped out in just such and occasion.

My older brother told me a story about how one of his friends was kicked out of his house in high school and he spent a couple of nights at the cave (although there doesn't seem to be much room in the cave).

And when I told another friend about my recent trek to The Cave he asked if there were any moldy Penthouses to be found. Fortunately there weren't. But there was a shitload of broken glass from smashing beer bottles on the rocks.

So on a recent trip to see my parents I took my two boys on a expedition to see the creek, the "black path," and the cave.

A little bit of neighborhood lore for them to take with them back to North Carolina.
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The Woods

I spent a lot of time playing in the woods as a kid. We used to ride our bmx bikes back into the woods by the creek. Skipped stones along the bank or search for salamanders, turtles or snakes.

There was a path that went from Lake Needwood all the way to the National Zoo in D.C. It was dirt for a long time and then somewhere around the end of elementary school they paved it and it became known as the "black path."

if you said you were going to the black path people knew exactly what you were talking about. By the time I got out of high school, me and my friend Scooby would ride our mountain bikes on it, searching for paths that spun off of it. If we didn't find anything, we'd get to D.C., park our bikes and saddle up at some cafe like Zorba's on 19th Street and drink pitchers of beer under the summer sun. Those were good times.
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Durham Ink

The shop is open.
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