Walkabout: Day 45, Poet for Hire

December 3, 2016 ~ Saturday

7:45a Morning Pages ~ Pisgah National Forest

I will be a writer. I only need to learn how to do it well. In the meantime, I will practice writing. I will practice keen observation, and I will record what I observe.

I will notice first my own body, feelings and thoughts. Then I will extend the same courtesy to those around me – all living “those” – people, places and things. I will take time to notice and feel into my surroundings and myself.

I wonder what time the ranger station opens. It would be nice to have a cup of coffee this morning as I write my morning pages, then browse the trails and choose a hike for today. They were already full of cars when we passed around 8a yesterday.

Another part of me says no. I have indulged in coffee shops long enough. Time to return to the rough stuff. I have two caffein shots I can take if I want. I picked them up at a gas station. They were in the bins next to the creamer shots, and they looked just like them. I only noticed them because I was trying to decide which cream I wanted for my coffee that morning. I tucked two into my purse, thinking they might come in handy.

I delighted in Asheville yesterday. I spent so much money (comparatively). I just could not stop. I was in heaven, and I wanted to support all of the local artisans I came across. I purchased wonderful food at the year-round farmers market. I took advantage of a sale at REI and got a new hydro-backpack when I picked up my fuel canisters.

Then I picnicked in 50* weather at French Broad River Park with the herbed chevre and whipped garlic spread on romaine lettuce and corn tortilla. (The tortilla was from New Mexico.) Justice and I walked along the river for a good couple of miles, and she romped with a perky chihuahua mix male named Pepper.

Then I drove to the heart of the downtown district. I parked at a meter and walked. I had a hot cup of coffee at Old Europe, which claimed to be the oldest coffee shop in Asheville. I walked to the Grove Arcade, which is actually a mall, full of artisans of all sorts. I purchased four heart pendants made of ocean jasper for mom and us three girls.

Then I walked some more. I followed the setting sun down one drive. I journeyed to the center of a silent protest at the Vance Memorial, where I met my Poet for Hire (story on Facebook and Instagram). I gave him twenty dollars, his top “asking price” as I wanted to bless him and was touched by his spirit and demeanor.

When my meter was up, I drove to Highland Brewery, supposedly the first legal brewery in AVL following prohibition and in its second generation of family ownership. I tasted a flight and settled on a coffee porter as the live music began – guitar and banjo in the front.

I wrote my Poet post and sipped, nearly in rapture. I am home. I am home. I was going to eat dinner out of my basket when I returned to camp, but I wanted to support the food truck parked outside the brewery too. It was a magical day.

I’m still having a hard time talking myself out of the coffee shop. It truly brings me joy to sit and sip on a delicious mug in a local shop. I will finish this there. 🙂 …

My does the price of coffee vary! I paid $3.50 for this cup. It was served in paper with a small pack of Newman’s Own Organic Peppermints. The shop is called “Crank” and it shares space with a bike shop. The smell of rubber tires permeates the place. I kind of like it. It feels raw and sweaty and ACTIVE and full of life and living to the fullest. But otherwise it’s not the best.

That actually isn’t fair. I’m just upset because my phone gave me a message that the system is almost full (storage), and I’m trying to upload my pics to dropbox and onto my laptop, which is low on battery and needs a charge, and the only available outlet is not working. U.G.H.

I cannot risk losing my cell phone functionality nor all the photos I have taken on my walkabout. I keep babysitting it, but nothing gives. I guess I will just keep at it until I run out of battery and coffee and then figure out what to do next. My phone indicates the photos are being uploaded, but my laptop file does not reflect the same.

I found the trail I want to explore, but I need a map. I will actually need to connect two trails to get there, and I think I might be able to access it from my camp. It would be Avery Creek to Twin Falls. But the Ranger Station is closed on weekends, and I don’t want to buy what I can get for free.

6p I went on a beautiful hike today! Eight miles in the Pisgah, much of it along Avery Creek, where the flowing water was music to my ears and soothing to my soul.

I used my All Trails map to guide me, so I had total confidence the entire way that I was heading in the right direction, how far I had traveled, and how far was left to go. It made an incredible impact on my mood and psyche. I felt very relaxed and was able to truly enjoy my moments in the woods.

My only alarm came when I realized that using both All Trails and Runkeeper was draining my battery. Fortunately, I brought my back up, so I finished strong and in great spirits. I shall try for an even harder hike tomorrow!

I returned with enough daylight to reset my car and use my camp stove to prepare a hot meal and two cups of hot tea for the evening. I am SO excited to have hot tea tonight!! Oh I have missed it so.

I used the last of the dried refried beans mix too, added the chipotle garlic and the last of the fresh pineapple. Oh my stars, I felt so crazy satisfied by it. I love having the ability to cook for myself again, with the new fuel canisters in tow, no rain nor wind to compete with.

I also used my new pack today. What a score!! I had more than ample water, with plenty of room for our snacks and extra clothing. I am so tickled at it all right now. All that is missing is Edward. ❤

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