4.26.2007,4:51 PM
A Road Trip with Bad Mojo: Part II
Bad Mojo Visits Again

Grudgingly I climbed out of unconsciousness, again disoriented and wondering where the hell I was. Something in my head dumped memories of the past two days into my waking consciousness and my left leg felt like it had been run over by a Mac truck and returned to the rest of my body.

“What am I doing here?” I asked myself aloud.

Carefully swinging out of bed and pulling on some clothes, I opened the door to see another gray sky and cast on the shapes and colors surrounding me.

‘Does the sun ever shine here?’ I wondered.

Sipping a bottle of water, I limped out to the bike as it sat there quiet and patient like a faithful steed, dry bags still strapped on its back. Contemplating what to do for the rest of the day, I pulled out my collected receipts from the trip thus far to determine my financial status.

Sitting at the table and adding up expenses, a foreboding realization caught me that I was in trouble. I had realized on the way there my gas mileage was poorer than normal, but now the reality hit me: I significantly underestimated the budget for this trip. I didn’t have enough money to make it home.

Bill was going to be riding in the Dragon area of North Carolina, about 300 miles from where I was staying. We had talked about meeting up there for a ride or for brunch on his way back home on Wednesday. Since neither was an option for me now, I called to leave a message on his phone letting him know.

I limped outside with my cell phone to see if I could find a signal. After connecting with a local network and roaming, I was surprised to discover Bill was home due to a change in his plans. I related my unforeseen circumstances and he offered something that only a good friend would: wire me money to get home. He also researched online for places I could camp overnight on the trip home. And looked into finding where I could pick up a wire transfer via Western Union.

Meanwhile, I decided to stay the day there at the cabin and get some rest for the ride home the next day. Common sense, which I was paying close attention to now, suggested I was in no condition to embark on another long road trip. I was groggy from lack of sleep and food and my left calf was a hindrance in even casual walking. Regardless, my background in physiology overcame my reluctance move; the stretching and movement of using the muscle would help reduce the lactic acid accumulation inside the tissue and slowly reduce the stiffness.

So walk I did. Slowly. I meandered to the park headquarters and informed the park staff that due to unforeseen circumstances I would not be staying the full term I had reserved the cabin for; I would leave the next morning. Then I took the camera in hand and found a trail to shuffle along on.

The grayness left a pallor over everything in sight, imparting a silence and stillness despite the breeze that left ripples on the lake below. The trees and terrain threw me back in time to my years of solitary hikes in Maine and Oregon. It’s an odd feeling as if being suspended between two worlds or in two different time frames.

Despite being away from a similar environment for a decade or more, I recognized old friends and memories surfaced of when I was more intimate with everything around me. I knew their names with their associated smells, colors and textures; their annual cycles of birth and death, and I remembered my life, as it was when I lived amongst them. I was flung back in time to remember half of my life elsewhere. And for a few hours, the present faded away.


posted by Macrobe
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