Day 1: Getting Gone

Late start today caused by an amazing last evening in town thanks to a few key people, a hardcore show at the local skate shop, and an after hours dip in a neighborhood pool. I'll admit I found it all a little overwhelming. The air was electric with the vibe of hometown humanity and my own tense anticipation. Still, it was memorable, one of those moments that will gleam complete through the blur of my mind, a story forever ripe for picking and sharing. Every time I retell it, I'll take a big bite of my life and savor it. Much thanks to any and all who made an appearance in last night's festivities.

I went to church for the first time since the winter solstice this morning. It was the only local community that's felt like home to me I hadn't said goodbye to yet. Going to church almost always works out remarkably well for me. Today they read an egyptian fable about how confronting your fears can show you how small they really are. A large part of this trip is about overcoming the fears that have been instilled in me, to some how prove that my inner competence is far more powerful than the outside culture of fear and control. Perhaps it's juvenile, but I still need an ultimate act of defiance to claim myself as an independent adult, to break the last of the unnecessary bonds.

After church, I finished packing, and headed out to Maryland to pick up some gear my aunt and uncle have lent me. I am now the proud borrower of a camping stove, cooking utensils, and a head lamp. Now I can look forward to many cheap and healthy meals of oatmeal with cranberries and almonds, and coucous with red quinoa. Simple food always seems to taste the best after a long day.

Today's roads have all been achingly familiar. I've been traveling out this way to West Virginia for over a decade now. Nostalgia clings to each mile. Tomorrow I will go whitewater rafting, as I have done for years. It will be the familiar sort of adventure that hopefully is also comforting.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T