I have arrived in St. Augustine, FL on my walkabout safe and sound. On the way down here, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to see the space shuttle launch as I was driving down the highway. That was pretty cool. I also drove through Jacksonville (for my second time, but the first time I really looked at it). Esthetically, from afar, Jacksonville is a beautifully designed city. The skyline is pleasing to the eye with a curving bridge in front of a very few skyscrapers one of which is made out of mirrored glass and just pulls the eye into it. It was beautiful. It’s interesting to note that while I had trouble not falling asleep on the road during both the drive to Caroline’s and to Melissa’s, I was wide awake on this trip. I think it’s because I’m back on track again on my walkabout and I could feel it.
I arrived at Chris’s house and there was a friend of his with him, Lisa. Lisa and I hit it off immediately and she and I have already arranged to trade services (she is a massage therapist) and after spending the day on the floor doing the tile and then a day in the car driving, I can really use her skills. It looks like I’m going to be booked up here during my stay as Chris and his roommate, Jacob, have friends that they are going to bring around to see me and I’ll be doing at least one toning workshop and then some private work with Chris, Jacob, and Lisa and whoever else shows up. I’m doing my work again – yay! I was really starting to feel like I was just looking for ways to take up time on this journey and I don’t have that feeling at all anymore. It seems that the trick is to go where the universe takes me, which means meeting and staying with people I didn’t know before this spiritual journey started. I had the feeling that this was the case, but it’s crystal clear now.
It is a good thing though that Caroline dinged me on the book though because I’ve already given a copy to Lisa, Chris and Jacob. Many of the questions that they had for me were addressed in the book and that helped streamline the process immensely. Chris, Jacob and I stayed up until 1:30am talking and putting plans in place for the work we would do together while I’m here.
One of the things that came up is that the two of them hiked the Appalachain Trail last year. I expressed an interest in doing this as well since I really feel that a little actual walking is required on this walkabout. But I was concerned about where I could leave my car for that long without it getting broken into with all the stuff in it. Chris solved that problem for me by telling me about a friend of his who bought property along the trail in Virginia who would probably be willing to let me leave the car there and use his house as home base. We haven’t contacted him yet, but I’m pretty sure that this will be a go.
If I do this, it will have to be soon since that part of the trail runs through the Shenendoa (sp?) Mountains and it will be getting cold there soon. So I intend to leave from here and head straight up to Virginia (might stop in to see Scot from Starwood on the way in North Carolina if I need the stopover). So much for spending my birthday with friends. If I do what I’m planning, I’ll be on the trail for about three weeks which puts me squarely on the trail for my birthday. And now that I’m back on track, I really don’t mind at all.
I can’t believe I’m actually thinking about doing this. I know nothing about the trail, so I’m pumping the guys for information. The thought of carrying a pack all that way (the section I’m looking at is about 90 miles long) and the lack of sleeping/bathing facilities seems daunting. Although I just went four days without a shower, so I guess this won’t kill me. It’s not like I’m a miss priss either, but my biggest fear about this journey is that I am woefully out of shape. My back is really sore from spending a few hours on the floor laying tile, what’s it going to be like after a few days on the trail? I do have the benefit of having been hiking a fair bit in the last few years and as I demonstrated with Tra during the cross country trip, I can go a long way on determination alone if I have to. But I won’t have a built-in masseuse like I did with her. And I’ve been in a place where my back seized up in the past when I was thinner and more fit and I couldn’t move for days. It would suck for that to happen out on the trail. Plus, I’ve been told that this is the off-season for through-hikers because of where it is on the trail. I might see some heading in the opposite direction, but not going my way. So I may be alone on the trail for quite a portion of the journey. I don’t think that will be entirely true with the understanding that I think fall happens in VA at about that time, so at least there should be leaf peepers out and about to keep me company. I’m frightened, but I’m also excited. I’m really looking forward to this. I’ll know more after we talk to Chris’s friend, Gnome.
One other interesting side note. The guys have a really large network that they’ve offered to tap for me when I’m ready. So it seems that I may make it out to the west coast after all. I have people to visit in Phoenix and Seattle and I’d love to take them up on the offer.
Wow, big changes in just one day. I’ll let you know what else develops after tonight.
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire spiritual journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.