July 15, 2005
Bicycling Update, and a Question
Well, in spite of barely posessing the motivation required to breathe on Sunday, I forced myself to go for a ride. Breezed past Cedar Lane this time and made it to the Beltway. Actually went a little farther than that, to a park where the trail starts to run next to I-66. I'd guesstimate that I was getting fairly close to marker 8½, so my total ride would have been just shy of 17 miles.
When I got to the Beltway, I saw that some vines had overgrown the sign marking I-495. It reminded me of a short story I read way back in high school (I think it may have been ninth grade) about a group of survivors post-apocalypse. There were many legends about the land of the gods to the east, where nobody was allowed to go.
An explorer (a teenage boy, if I remember right) found the land of the gods (New York City) and marveled at the wonders there among the ruins: A basin with handles labeled "hot" and "cold" that no longer differed in temperature (there must have been powerful magic there at sometime), before discovering the mummified remains of one of the city's inhabitants. He rushed back to his cave (fallout shelter?) to report that the gods they so feared were nothing but Men.
I'm actually kind of interested in tracking it down, but the brain cell storing the title of the story succumbed to the ravages of time (and beer) long ago. Anybody have any idea what it was called?
Update, February 4, 2007: Finally found a lead on Google. Can't remember if I tried and failed before, or if I just never tried figuring that it wouldn't work. The story is "By the Waters of Babylon" by Stephen Vincent Benét.