The Alto has been liberated from its backyard spot, the hitch is back on the Subaru, and I woke up this morning to this view…
Yes, I’m on the road again. Two and a half months in Gainesville was a wonderful refresher. I caught a few music shows, checked out an arts and crafts fair, borrowed a zillion paper library books, walked all over town, and, most fun of all, hung out with my friends and their friends. More importantly, I had time to think about how I want to go forward, and why, and those were questions I needed to answer before I burned out on the vagabond life. (See previous posts for those topics.)
I had forgotten how much work is involved in hitting the road. Restocking the fridge, packing up the car, getting the last-minute supplies. I felt like a newbie all over again. I’m sure I forgot something, but as I learned when I first started doing this in May of 2016, there are usually stores around, and if not, improvisational skills will usually rise to the challenge.
The last task before leaving Gainesville was to pull the trailer out from under the canopy so we could pressure wash the roof. I say “we” but I really mean “Mike” as he did all the work in the end. Turns out pressure washers work by constantly gripping the handle and I have weak hands. I thought my roof rinse was good, but it did not pass the Mike test, so he finished the job. And then washed the sides, the front, the back, the windows, the tires… He really likes his pressure washer 🙂
Then it was time to hitch up and pull out. I remembered the steps to do that, although I did slow myself down and check everything as I went along and then again when I was finished. It felt like years since I’d done this thing that was second nature just last October. As I made the first few turns out of the neighborhood I had called home for a few months, everything felt a little weird. I wasn’t used to seeing a trailer in my rearview mirror!
My first campsite on the Coastal Images tour isn’t actually on the coast, but it does have some lakes, so I’ll re-introduce myself to my Sony A7 by practicing here for a few days. I’m in the Florida forest, chock full of live oaks and spanish moss, so it makes for lovely scenery hiking around.
I met a group of friends camping next around me, and we had a great campfire last night before saying goodbyes and exchanging contact information this morning. They camp together every month, so maybe in few years when I’m back in Florida, we’ll meet again.
Meeting new friends and having a shared evening was the perfect way to end my first day back on the road. Onward, now, to new adventures, more trees, and the six weeks of the Coastal Images tour.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T. S. Eliot