Season 4 of The Walking Dead wrapped up more than a month ago, leaving diehard fans to fill their summers with bingeathon viewings of past episodes (“The Grove” episode alone warrants multiple repeat viewings).
Rick, Carl, Daryl, Maggie, Glenn and Micchone, et al, are spending their summer captivated by the friendly denizens of Terminus. Not everyone can enjoy such cozy accommodations and the opportunity to attend Terminus barbecues where the menu features main entree’s close to your (or your friend’s) hearts (and limbs).
Since the living, breathing Walking Dead fans and characters have their vacation plans mapped out, where does that leave the undead? What is a zombie to do once the summer solstice offers up her warm embrace? Luckily, we are glad to provide your favorite “walker” the following: “Six Recommended Summer Hotspots and Activities for the Undead”:
1) Death Valley Weekend Getaway
Decaying flesh getting in the way of your deep, dark tan? Death Valley is the perfect place to soak up some rays. With average daily temperatures exceeding 110 degrees in the summer, you won’t have to worry about those pesky living tourists taking up one of the popular desert tanning spots. Those ugly scars and dead skin spots will soon be replaced with a tan even undead supermodels will be envious of. Plus, when you are ambling up Telescope Peak to view one of the more than 1,000 plant species in the park, you might be lucky enough to come across a mid-day snack like a succulent lizard or one of the 300 species of birds. For those with a desire to experience some of the local flavors, not to worry. A short trip to the heart of Death Valley and the Native American Timbisha Shoshone Tribe is available to tickle your palate for human sushi.
2) Zombie Horde Tour of California’s Petrified Forest
Are you an undead tree hugger with a love of nature? Well, what better way to experience nature’s version of zombification than by gathering up your local horde and touring the more than 346 miles of California’s petrified forests. You will witness over 13,000 years of human history, entombed in the same form as it was in the Late Triassic Period. Petrification is the process of taking a living entity and turning it into an everlasting form, never to experience a natural death and always to maintain its characteristics at the time of its petrification. In other words, petrification is nature’s equivalent to your “turning”.
3) Dead Sea Beach Trip
We all know there aren’t a lot of vacation options for the water-loving zombie-types. Most recreational lakes and highly popular beach destinations aren’t conducive to a zombie’s inability to keep themselves afloat. But now you have the opportunity to “splish and splash” just like people with pulses. Don’t be intimidated by the blatant zombie prejudice expressed in Jordan’s tourism slogan for the Dead Sea: “Nature’s living miracle, a place to rejuvenate and restore both body and soul”. Instead, focus on the fact that the Dead Sea has a salt concentration of 33.7%, compared to 3% for most oceans. What does this mean for you and your little flesh-eaters? Well, how about hours of easy flotation fun, regardless of your lack of swimming talents! Just remember to pack some aspirin. Those open, decaying flesh sores might “ouch” a bit from the salty water when you take a dip!
4) Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain
Why let an inability to speak coherently or control your motor functions stop you from experiencing some international culture? The month of July is perfect for all undead to be front and center in one of the world’s most famous hands-on cultural events, the Running of the Bulls during the Fiesta de San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain. Known as the Encierro, the bull run officially became an event in 1856 and was even visited by Ernest Hemmingway in1920, giving him the inspiration for his unpublished zombie-themed novel “The Son Also Rises”. When your brain was a useful mass of tissue instead of the lump of cranial Play-Doh it is today, you might remember seeing news clips of men requiring medical attention after being trampled and tossed asunder over the brick streets of Pamplona. Well, no such worries for you. Your zombie-ness definitely gives you an advantage. Lumber and stumble as slowly as you want and get up close and personal to the rampaging bulls. A few gores won’t stop you. Just make sure to keep your head about you. We wouldn’t want any of those bull horns to puncture your cranial area and cut your vacation, and undead existence, short.
5) Historical Tour of Haiti
Everyone enjoys visiting places of historical import. For example, the living in the U.S. often go to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall or Williamsburg to experience colonial America. The undead are no different in their appreciation for the past. Haiti provides many opportunities for you and your fellow flesh and history craving friends to learn where it all began. Visit Port-Au-Prince and talk to the old-timers to find out how the original zombies were much different than those depicted on-screen today. Find out how Voodoo religion played a significant part in creating your ancestors. Learn how your great-great grandzombie was created through magical means as a way of controlling him to provide labor for someone and was not the flesh-eating unfocused regular Joe Zombie you know today. And just like the living visit where George Washington was born or travel to Plymouth Rock, you can zombie walk Ennery, the tiny village where one of your forezombies, Felicia Felix Mentor, first ambled the earth. Make it a family trip. Not only will the little ones have a chance to dine on some international cuisine, but there is a slim chance their dead brains might retain something educational!
6) Vermont Death Race
The name says it all. For you former strength and endurance enthusiasts who never finished an endurance race while your blood still flowed, here is a chance to fulfill your dreams. The June 27th Death Race, held in Pittsfield, VT, is touted as “a 48+ hour event that is created to break you physically, mentally and emotionally”. Well, you are already broken physically; you have no mental capacity; and, you moan and groan out of instinct, not emotion. This is perfect for you! Sure, you have to do things like crawl through barbed wire, run (in your case, slog) through moving water and perform various mental tasks (not your strong suit). Those things are just a minor inconvenience for you. The organizers say 90% of alive people who start this race won’t finish it. Only a bullet to the brain or a home run swing with a baseball bat to the side of your head can stop you. Therefore, what of the 10% who might get to the finish line ahead of you? Well, you can first munch on them for an energy snack and then zombie walk your way to a win!