It was last Monday when I stepped off of Highway 321 and marched into the Blue Ridge Mountains, and now, a week later, I stumbled out, limping slightly and more energized than ever.
I stayed in seclusion the entire time, not seeing a single person while out there, and yet I never felt lonely. I went to the most secluded place in North Carolina to NOT see people and I got just what I expected as far as that is concerned.
After a week of reflection and self-evaluation, I've made several decisions concerning myself, decisions that should change how I live the rest of my life. I came to realize that much of what I had done in the past was selfish and many other things only held me back. I can't live that way any longer and, now matter how difficult, I must make changes.
Parts of me, parts I didn't like, I intend to leave behind in those hills. Hopefully I can break certain habits and move forward in a more positive manner with my life. Hopefully, my time in the valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains will have left a permanent mark on my soul.
It's a magical place, peaceful and quiet except in the late afternoon when the wind whips over the ridge and rushes down into the valley, roaring and flinging leaves in every direction. Simply beautiful. Deer and turkey can be seen every single day and if you sit still enough, they'll walk within feet of you, eating and exploring.
I built no fires while I was there, chopped down only one small tree to use as a crutch after straining a muscle, and left no trace that I have ever walked into that area... which is more than I can say for some people. I found a bulldozer trail in that valley. Ruin is coming to the most remote area of North Carolina. That magical place will soon be pocked with summer homes for the retirees of Florida and scarred with roads.
I don't plan to ever visit that place again. It was so beautiful and did so much good for me, I'd rather remember it as it is now, not how it will be in a year. Right now it's bruised. I won't visit that place once civilization has raped it.
I have a new destination in mind and mus move quickly. I've set new challenges for myself and I must see if I can meet them. Now I'm back to the Road.