Saturday, October 31, 2009
On the Horizon
For the past several weeks I've been bouncing from one home to another, hanging out with all kinds of interesting people. I've joked around with Jazz musicians and lived in a tee pee. I've had moonshine at college football games and ate chicken feet in China town. I've met some of the nicest, most interesting people in the recent past and I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world. But now it's time for a different type of adventure.
Some of the most emotional times on this trip have come while traveling alone. I learn more about myself when there's no one else around and the spirit of travel can more freely work on me when no one else is around. The experiences are more real, more powerful, and more meaningful when I do not have to share them. Also, it's so much easier to understand what I need to do when I don't have the distractions of companions.
I haven't traveled like this in a while and I could feel that I was missing something and now it's time to get back to the solo experience. No more couch surfing. No more hanging out. No more new friends. Not for a while. And to kick off the next leg of the journey, I'm going to spend a lot of time alone.
The place the Road is taking me next is not near a road at all. I looked over maps of Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina and found the most remote location out of those four states... possibly the most remote location in the eastern portion of the country.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place filled with clear streams and black bears, there is a spot that is at least 3 miles from the nearest road or house in any direction. The terrain is extremely rugged and walking to this spot from the nearest road will take several hours. I will not be able to see or hear anything manmade. I won't be bothered by people. I'll be completely and totally alone.
I'm not sure exactly how long I'll be there, drinking from streams, living in the mountains, exploring the wilderness and existing simply, but I'm going to be prepared to stay for 7 days without coming out, possibly more. I'll do this part of the trip just like any other. I'll have no definite plans apart from staying true to the spirit of travel and the desire to experience things as fully as possible. I'll go in to see the area and to reconnect with myself after so many distractions. I'll prepare myself for a lengthy stay and come out early if it feels right to do so, or forage for food to prolong it if 7 days isn't enough. I'll put myself where I need to be and see what happens.
I'll be doing a lot of reflection over the next several days, looking into myself like never before and trying to understand everything that's there. Alone in the woods, examining my conscience, this is what I need to do right now. I need to test myself in a whole new way. I need to continue peeling back the layers. I need to see everything more clearly. I'm not going to guess what the next week will be like, but however it goes, I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about and even more to think about.
I won't be able to update the blog, read or reply to emails, or make any phone calls until I come out of the mountains, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for a week or so.
Goodbye for now. I'll update again when I can.