“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”
~ Pat Conroy ~
It is early morning and we are about 150 miles from Atlanta, 200 from Dawsonville, the starting line a few years back. This is when Mother Time knocks on the door and the slide show fast forward takes place too quickly, blur at times, filled with mental and physical images, questions, some answers, realizations. I am surprised how quickly this what I thought was a distant land has approached us almost without a warning. I keep wondering if we are the same as when we left. But I know the answer, we are not. So many changes has taken place within those various stages we have stumbled on creating the many inner and outer discoveries. I have to pinch myself and repeat "we are here… we are really here".
I can hear the roar of the traffic on some freeway not far from us. We have already experienced some of its madness those past couple of days after leaving New Iberia towards first Pensacola, where I renewed my Driver’s License without a hitch, spent the night and yesterday on North. I kept to myself in the right lane at my own pace, cars and trucks buzzing while passing us and of course cutting us off. Must be the game on those roads, on these Eastern Autobahns. Always was. Courtesy does not exist anymore. It is the cell phone to the ear and the pedal to the metal while some I have no doubt are attaining the triple digit on their speedometer. It of course does not phase Spirit.
We use to belong to this scene and now I feel as we do not anymore. Strangers in a strange land is a better definition. I have to pick our time of the day when we cross Atlanta. Mid day sounds good. I thought about bypassing the cluster but I do not want to put on the extra miles. Will bite this bullet today and catch the slower currant through the rapids awaiting. How strange all this is. The comfort is we will end up in Suches at the motorcycle campground after staying with some great friends for a couple of days in their yard. Up the mountain, it use to be called "TWO". Two Wheels Only. It has changed ownership and now is "Two Wheels in Suches". We have many friends we left behind who will join us this coming weekend and I am looking forward to it. I think they all know each other and if they don’t, they will by Sunday. I am also looking forward riding the roads hopefully still familiar.
So we made it through. I don’t get excited anymore as long as no one hits us! The familiar sceneries passed by and soon we were on 400 towards Welchel Rd where we use to live. The left turn approached and I could not help taking the narrow road on which I remembered one night we broke down near the house. We both walked to it, I jumped on the riding lawnmower while grabbing some ropes and we towed Old Faithful! I was so glad we had a sidecar. We lived in an old house quite off the road on 16 acres, which five of it I had to mow. We stopped while there was no car behind us. I saw a couple lawn chairs in the front yard, mine were behind for more privacy as I had also built a fire ring.
We went on finally, made a U turn and coming back I saw a car stopped at the start of the long driveway, someone checking the mail. Checking the mailbox which use to be ours. I honked, introduce ourselves and told him we lived here. I asked him if all the walls were still each painted a different color. He said yes as I added "You have me to thank for that!". The landlord up in age when we left is still alive and has not stopped coming over at times with his tractor and help working the fields. What a sight!
Some restaurants have made it I noticed, some have been replaced. Traffic has multiplied, all feels tight, narrow, crowded and loud. After seeing the house I wondered again about my past decision. The wondering one more time did not last long while thinking about so much we have seen and experienced, acquired so much inner wealth and met our present new friends. We saw many friends from the past at Two Wheels of Suches. Some had come up especially to meet and camped for the night. It all took me by storm. I guess not much really changes when one stays put in one place. The reel is shorter than when having been away for so many months. I am so glad of these times spent with them all. Maybe they will some day come and get their own taste of the West.
Siren and blue lights on…
It only took a couple days and now have to dive back into the proofing of our book which will have its corrections made and then compared to this proofing. It is a long process I must say. It is being done right to avoid any mistakes, as many as possible. Eventually the publisher will print a couple copies to also be proofed. We are right now doing this in Little Rock, Arkansas, while camped right on the river and its beautifully lit bridges at night wishing I could go on the trolley and visit the city. But I am also trying to get through the pages before we reach Valley of the Gods in a few days. Georgia will indeed be on my mind for a while.
Ara and Spirit