well, my first stop was not-so-successful. The "Zendik Farm Arts Foundation" Marlinton, WV turned out to be a little different than I expected. First, it's a commune, which I don't have a problem with, in theory. I think a commune could potentially be a cool place to be. This particular commune has been around and moving from state to state (well, a few states) since around 1969. They are avid followers and preachers of the writings of "Wulf Zendik", who has since passed away, and his wife, Arol, continues to run the farm.
Let me say that the people were very nice to me, there were about 20 staying in the house, and they were all related by marriage/children. They all have strange names, but I can't really say anything, I fit right in with my name. However, running the farm itself seems to be secondary to their jewelry-selling business, for which the members travel the weekends to the far reaches of PA, DC, and various other areas to hawk their goods. Granted, I went on the off-season, so all there was to do was harvest the remaining fall vegetables before the first frost, and care for the goats, horses, chickens, pigs, children--all of which I enjoyed.
I wouldn't have really bolted-in-the-night (so to speak...it was actually morning, but I like quoting Lindsay Bluth) if it hadn't been for the creepy write-ups online. A simple google search will discover a bunch of crazy-weird stories about their haunted past. Nothing necessarily life-threatening, but enough to weird me out enough to want to leave. I don't really consider myself a quitter-I really wanted this first farm to work, but I felt increasingly uncomfortable as time went on. They didn't really seem to care what I did, which is great, freedom is awesome. The part that most bothered me was that they were all busy doing other things. A few of the women manned the phones and called stores across the country to sell their jewelry. All day long.
I don't know, they're new to WWOOFing and so am I, so maybe it just wasn't a good match all around. I feel a little guilty leaving with no notice, but I can't justify putting myself in a possibly threatening situation just to stick to my plan.
So I'm in Asheville, NC, planning to plan the rest of my trip. I'm staying at this beautiful, spacious, clean, wonderful hostel right downtown and I'm loving it (it's called Sweet Peas Hostel!!). Had a nice lunch, got myself a bunk bed and a locking locker, took a shower, waiting for my hair to dry, and then I'll go explore the town. There's free coffee here! and a HUGE recycling bin! and FREE INTERNET, which means I shouldn't have canceled my netflix, because I could've continued watching my TV on instant-view here. oh well, maybe I'll go meet people instead. any sights I need to see? cool bars? I've got one of those terrible tourist maps whose colorful and not-to-scale depictions of downtown will probably get me more lost than if I wandered aimlessly. wish me luck.