(part 4, etc.) november brought us into the carolinas. we spent some time in andy griffith’s hometown of mt. airy, checking out the memorabilia, then headed back to the blue ridge parkway and the mountains. when anyone asks me what was my favorite state or what place did we find where i could see myself living.... this area usually comes to mind first. gorgeous scenery, great hikes, friendly people, lots of history and culture.
from there we headed to myrtle beach and met up with some friends from home who were doing a similar journey. it was really fun seeing familiar faces and sharing our “road stories”.
I don’t think I have adequately expressed my sheer joy in doing this (traveling). I’m almost afraid it will go away or end. Right now, I just want it to go on and on. Every day is a thrill. I know I’ll look back at this as the best part of my life.
11-3-01 Linville Falls Campground, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
The gypsy in me loves waking up in new spots every few days and going out to explore first thing in the morning.
11-21-01 Halfway Creek (remote site), Francis Marion National Forest, SC
I’m sitting on a bridge over the black waters of Steed Creek in the Francis Marion Forest. The bike trail follows out both ends of the bridge as far as I can see in either direction. The forest is practically impenetrable on all sides. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Do I wish I was in the kitchen right now as most American women are? (or at work worrying about it!) Certainly not – although I do find myself thinking about all the traditional stuff we’re missing quite often – especially related to Christmas. I think I can handle it – we’ve never been very traditional anyway….
11-23-01 THANKSGIVING Santee State Park, SC
Not your traditional holiday, but we toured the low country of rural South Carolina, looked unsuccessfully for an open local restaurant and ended up feasting on chicken at Santee State Park. People here have made things really festive with holiday lights draped on their motorhomes.
In many ways, this is the perfect life-style for me. I seem to thrive on being in different places all the time – who’d have guessed it? Add to that the almost constant contact with nature and the simplicity of the life and lack of pressure; I am really a happy camper!
and the lows….
11-15-01Falls Mountain Trail, Morrow Mountain State Park, NC
The constant togetherness is getting to me. I need a new attitude! If I want this trip to continue, as I’m pretty sure I do, I’d better figure this out fast.
TAPESTRY 3/17/02I'm not earning any money, don't go to work each day -
I'm not solving critical crises, my career temporarily delayed.
I don’t own a wealth of possessions -most have been given away,
Pared down to the barest treasures, packaged and stored in a bay.
But my life is rich in pleasures, those of the simple type –
Long morning hikes by the river, searching for shells at low tide.
Deciding each day where to travel, atlases strewn all about,
Choosing a place with an interesting name –letting that govern our route.
Stilt-legged wharves and sandbars, a canopy of trees,
Coffee at the picnic table, overlooking the sea.
Picture postcard villages on long winding country roads,
Laughing with some strangers from Las Cruces or Buffalo.
I could go back to the ratrace; take up my duties once more,
But for now I choose just to linger, watch the waves wash up on the shore.
These joys barely scratch the surface of what my life’s about -
But within them lies a secret; of that I have no doubt.
For added all together, they form a tapestry -
A series of precious moments recorded in memory.
And no one can erase them - they’re stored under lock and key –
A balm for future reference, when the journey is not so sweet.