Walkabout: Day 44, Twenty-nine degrees

December 2, 2016 ~ Friday

6:30a Morning Pages ~ Pisgah National Forest ~ Brevard, NC

I want to drive into Asheville and find a cute coffee shop to begin my day of exploring. My dilemma is that I have a great camp site in a popular location, and I am concerned that if I leave without pitching my tent, there won’t be a site to come back to. I really don’t want to go through the hassle of unloading the car and pitching the tent, but I also don’t want to go through the hassle of figuring out where I am going to sleep tonight.

If I drove back here, all of the sites could be taken. If I look for another campground, I’ll want to do that before dark. I realize it’s Friday night, and I want to experience the live music and art scene I have read about. I suppose I could find another evil empire, but that seems so lame.

So I think, all things considered, my best bet is to write my morning pages while I wait for a little more daylight, pitch the tent, and then I can relax, knowing exactly what my overnight arrangements will be. The sky is already turning from indigo to azure, so I likely will not have to wait long.

In the meantime, I have the car running with the heat on, and I am perfectly comfortable. Though the temperature dropped to 29* last night, I was cozy and snug. I had three layers, my ear cover and beanie on, inside both sleeping bags. I also started with my slippers on, but I kicked them off in the bag before actually falling asleep. I am learned. 🙂

I’m getting really good at this. I have actually had the crazy wondering of whether I even need to rent a place in the near future. If Mom could get a roommate, I could save my money and start looking for a place here, near Asheville. Or I could just camp surf until Edward decides what he wants to do and we are married next August.

I know this is not a practical idea, but neither was the walkabout – at first. Then it became the best and most logical thing I could do for myself.

Maybe I go back to Spokane for Jan/Feb, the coldest months, and return in March? By then my savings will be nearly drained, and I have no plan to support myself. I need a solid income idea. Or I need Edward to decide he can and will and wants to support us. I still have time to hash all of this out. I have the whole month of December. And I will know exactly what to do when the time is right.

I am not looking forward to pitching my tent in this cold weather. I almost wish I would have pitched it last night. I almost want to talk myself out of it now. But a calm and content mind is too valuable. It will feel so good exploring today, knowing I am set for tonight.

Theoretically, I could turn the car around and use the headlamps to illuminate the pad. But I have one more page to write, so I will hold off for now. If it is still too dark when I finish, I will consider it. For now, I will just keep doing what I am doing.

My Mythic Journey book has challenged me to draw a detailed floor plan of a house I lived in before I was ten. I tucked this directive into my mind as I bunked down last night, and I tried to roll it around as I became quiet and content and drifted away. I brought it back to mind as I roused from a dream this morning.

I cannot remember details about most any house I lived in before the trailer in Oklahoma. I believe I was already ten by then. I will let it roll around more today. I could ask Mom for some hints, but I am hoping to access some memories for myself. I know they are in there somewhere. I just need to find the keys and start unlocking some doors.

The dream I woke from was the second dream I recall having last night. The details of the first one escape ne now. In the second, Mom and I are a team in some contest similar to the Amazing Race or Survivor. We have to work together to complete tasks and puzzles.

There is also a weigh-in component at each checkpoint. We are jogging and complete the first checkpoint ahead of the pack. As we weigh in, we are delighted to discover we have lost nine pounds total (together).

We move on to the next challenge. We take a pit stop at Tamara’s house, where she melts snow to replenish the water in our packs. The other competitors pass us as we head for a carnival tent. There are many obstacles, but they point us to a photo booth where we each must sit for separate pictures. Mine comes out with my face next to a baby picture of mine. I think they must have found and supplied the baby picture.

9:45a As I attempted to pitch my tent, a young man crawled out of his on the pad next door. I had heard him coughing and wondered if I woke him up. I was having the darndest time with my tent stakes and had all but given up on them. The ground on the pad was compacted with gravel throughout. My fingers were starting to tingle and go numb, and holding the rock I was trying to use to swivel them in was becoming a challenge.

The young man asked if I wanted help, and he remarked that the tent was quite large. I didn’t want to put him out, but I did appreciate the offer, and his help would make the job easier. I accepted, and we went to work.

He wore a beanie that was black with a white skull on one side. He wore the skull side over his ear, so when he turned his head, his skull was still looking at me. He had on dirty blue jeans and a pullover, and his hands were bare. I thought he must either be a hardened camper or homeless.

Turned out Chris was the latter.

In writing this, I am trying to recall details about his other features. Did he have brown eyes? Did he have facial hair? Do I remember a scraggly mustache but no beard?

What of his bare hands? Did I even look at them?

What of his smile? Did he smile?

Writers, good ones, should notice these things. I offered him a ride to Brevard, where he accessed services. He put on a nice wool-looking duster that cleaned him up proper. He led me to a gas station that offered free coffee.

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