Kurt's Hike: Jan. 20, 2013Hard to hear, in the typed word, John Gorka's joke as he picked up this G-sharp guitar: "OK, I'm gonna play a little guitar for you know." (As in "talk a little smack" or "tell you a little story" . . . OK, you had to be there.)
Well, the woods were still a little snowy still around Roanoke, and we needed to go downtown for the evening anyway, so we combined the walk and the live music.
Plus a visit to Beamer's 25, a newish restaurant along the way, a quick pass through the Martin Luther King Memorial and a brief stop at the venerable Pine Room in the even-more-venerable Hotel Roanoke.
The greenway was pretty busy for well into Sunday afternoon, with walkers, bikers and boarders all along our distance on it. And it was still officially gated and closed as the low-water bridges had not been cleared of river debris from the rain and snow of the recent days.
Beamer's 25, on Salem Avenue, was pretty quiet in the pre-dinner hour. The sliders were good; Gail's salmon wasabi also, and augmented with an extra piece, as the kitchen staff decided her initial chunk wasn't big enough.
After that, as per agreement before we set out, we were to get in some more distance before heading to Kirk Avenue Music Hall.
But The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All earns that reputation in the woods; put her in an urban setting on a colding-down day and she'll begin hedge and cajole, edge and roll toward another warm place. Hence the quick visit to Roanoke's King Memorial on the eve of MLK Day and then a stop for a warmer-upper at the Hotel Roanoke before the short walk to Kirk Avenue.
Listening to John Gorka sing, play and clown around is as good a hike midpoint stop as the best viewpoints in Virginia, and it lasts lots longer. Nice to hear once again what I think is my favorite live song from him – "Houses in the Fields," on the piano.
We know a short-cut home (rather than back along the greenway), and we took it.
From our house via the Roanoke River Greenway and Franklin Road to downtown Roanoke and back. About 6 miles.