Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh! The people!

Each day I seem to meet someone new. Someone whom I never would have normally crossed paths with in my usual daily existence. These meetings seem serendipitious, often times this person offering me the very thing I need, whether it be food, drink, a stout statement I can muse upon for the next so many miles, or simply some kind human interaction.

I only wish I'd taken more pics! I do intend from here on out to get more photos of the people, as lately, walking down the roadside, though there are still plenty of edibles/medicinals I'm coming across and intend to feature, I find myself writing down more names of people than plants to remember.

Sunset Park and Campground with a glimpse of a good pond for floating in an innertube in, in  the background. RV's and tentsites were just beyond
 Above is a pic of the little RV campground I stayed at in Danbury. For $15 I got a tentsite under a large shade tree, a hot shower, laundry done (thanks to the graciousness of the owner and his own personal washer/dryer), and above all, got to meet some wonderful people. Mr.Davie was my next-door neighbor for the night. He provided excellent company and a friendly smile, and made sure to send me on my way with a pack of gum (and offered a flashlight as well which I unfortunately had to decline due to weight). I met Maryanne as well, while chatting with Mr.Davie and she provided many a good story about folks out in the world exploring and doing what they love, she also helped me hunt down my missing sock (your missing sock is mucho important out here!), find some shampoo, and sent me on my way with a handmade necklace made of beads she'd collected while in Death Valley. Wanda was the caretaker here and made sure I had everything I needed. And of course, Allen the owner and his son were most helpful in making me feel at home as well. Let me not forget...I also had the pleasure of meeting Midnight and Sugar, the two campground kitties, one black, one gray, both with white feet. I enjoyed their company until Midnight decided he was going to swat at my tent in the middle of the night- no damage done.
Mr.Davie, Maryanne, Allen and family, and Wanda it was a pleasure to have met you. You provided a good place to get clean and visit with some friendly folks.

Next, while I was enjoying a bagel with avacado, tomato, and chedder cheese on the bench outside the Food Lion in Walnut Cove, I had company of Utz potato chip delivery man, Ed, and PET dairy delivery man, Greg. Ed kept me laughing and made me feel like a celeb, as every person who came out of the store whom he knew, he'd exclaim, "Tell them what you're doing! Go on, tell 'em!" And Ed, I must say, thank you for the bag of sour cream and onion chips! As soon as I came outside the store and spied your truck, I immediately thought to myself, "now why didn't I buy myself some chips?" Now, the very reason I chose that bench was because Greg's truck was providing some excellent ol' school Michael Jackson tunes (music is a big deal out here when your everyday soundtrack on the road is cars and breeze). I do believe I was literally dancing in my seat. Thank you for the bottles of ice cold water, Greg and all your encouragement. He said, "If I knew your route, I'd drive along and offer you bottles of water as you go and cheer you on!"

Then there was Richard. Richard offered me a ride as I was exiting Walnut Cove. However, as I'm walking the trail, this means I must walk. Though, I tell you, it was all I could do not to climb inside that air conditioned truck and say, "take me to the coast!" I do believe I had about half my body inside anyway as we chatted. He told me all about the dogs he used to show and the dogs he has now, one of which is a search and rescue. I passed onto him my blog and we said goodbye. Well who shows up 7m further down the road that day, as I walked with sweat pouring off of me and dreaming about an ice cold drink at the next gas station? Richard! He came up behind me, slowed down and yelled, "Hey! Want a gatorade?" We sat on the tailgate of his truck, enjoyed the cold drink, ate some snacks and watched the traffic roll by. Thank you, Richard, what a lovely reprieve. It was also a pleasure to meet Rowdy the english shepherd search and rescue dog and Blitz the much loved rottwieler.

A few days before this, while sitting on the bench outside yet another Food Lion, I met Ignacio. Ignacio worked at the nearby McDonalds. Although I speak little spanish, we managed to chat some and what  treat it was to simply share a bench with someone and watch the world go by. At one point, Ignacio disappeared inside the store and motioned for me to "hold on a minute." He returned bearing two liters of ice cold gatorade and a package of chocolate donuts that we shared. Thank you Ignacio.

On the day after I left my campsite at the Blackwater United Methodist Church, I hiked 3m in the wrong direction, not realizing until I came to a convenience store that was not in my guide. However, a nice older man, who played some good ol' Johnny Cash in his car and had gone to school in the one room school house that was now the Baptist Church I'd be soon to walk by, gave me a ride. I never got your name, but thank you, sir. Also, this three miles out of my way paid off, thanks to another man driving a little red car packed to the gills and perhaps on a journey of his own, who gifted me as well, just because he "I've heard of people doin' the kind of thing you are and I think it's pretty cool." Thank you man in the little red car, you helped pay for several delicious ice cream cones.

This same day, I met a man who went by the name of Mac. Mac is an international airplane pilot. Mac invited me into his home, offered me some cold water and regailed me with all kinds of interesting stories about far away places and people he's flown to and from their homelands. His stories gave me good food for thought as I hiked on that day. I also learned about Brut, his ol' rottwieler, whom I'm sorry I never got to meet. Thank you, Mac, if I'm ever in a jam and need a flight, I now know who to call.

And lastly, I'd like to close this blog with the words of a little boy Alexander. As I was walking down the street, watching the stubbly grass, roadside plants, and pavement move beneath my feet, I heard "HEY! HEY THERE!" I looked over to a nearby lawn and trailers and here came Alexander, running up to me wielding a stick as tall as him. "Are you walking?" He asked. "Yes, to the beach." I replied. "Why?" He asked. "I just thought it'd be fun. What are you doing?" I asked him. He shrugged and said, "Just trying to have some fun." We talked a little bit more and he offered to show me his car, but I had to be on my way. "Okay, goodbye!" He said and turned to run back to his trailer. However, as I was just about 25 yards down the road, I again heard, "HEY! HEY!" I turned to see Alexander back at the roadside where we had talked, swinging his stick. "HAVE LOTS OF FUN!" He yelled. Thank you Alexander, thank you for the reminder. I will.

And so I'd like to wish you all the same...whether hiking, working, vacationing, or just plain sure to HAVE LOTS OF FUN!!! Because really, why not?

1 comment:

  1. Heather,

    Thanks so much for the recent update. The people are indeed as important and interesting as the plants. i admire your courage and determination.

    Love and respect, marc