"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Monday, April 13, 2009

4/13: Bus, Bus, the Veggie Bus!

As I awoke Thursday, the realization that we were supposedly two days from leaving was becoming much more real. Chris and I had tried to hash out different options on our first leg of the trip, with an ultimate destination being Nashville, TN. Nashville had become a sort of vortex; a lot seemed to be happening there at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Kim last summer and looked forward to seeing her again, as well as the fact that Thursday was the day that my sister, Shelly, was going to let my father know that she was in contact with me.

Say... WHAT?

It’s a very long story, and one that is going to play a major role in this easterly phase of the trip. Briefly, I met my father in 2000, and have spent a grand 20- minutes with him in my “29”- years. I have only recently been in contact with Shelly as well… “meeting” her for the first time, via Facebook, in late February. I have another sister and two brothers that I have had no contact with whatsoever. I will explain this all in its time… but my father is leaving on vacation on 4/13: to Nashville. For a person who thrives on Synchronicity, you can see the draw!

As I was gulping my morning caffeine, I decided for the hell of it to take a gander at the rideshare section of the Santa Fe Craigslist. Lo and Behold, a post looking for riders to go thru Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, and… all together now… NASHVILLE.

They are taking a 34’ school bus that has been converted to run partially on vegetable oil that they obtain from restaurants. Devin called almost immediately, we negotiated a contribution we’d provide, which was LESS than the Dirty Dog to Tucumcari, and more significantly, we now had an obvious path. The bus was leaving New Mexico on Monday, 4/13… which added another two- days to our stay in Santa Fe.

This set into motion a flurry of thought. To Chris and I, this explained the lack of clarity that we have both experienced when it came to establishing a route out of Santa Fe, and for me personally it snapped me back into the mindset that I was in last year. Trying to remember to sit down, relax, and let life happen… rather than trying to control everything. That’s a very difficult concept for many to grasp. I’ll try to provide myself as the guinea pig as time goes on!

Impatience was now something to deal with, especially for Chris. By Thursday, he had been in Santa Fe for five days, and was obviously itching to get back on the road. We were having conversations about things laying out in front of us at their own pace, and this was, to me, an opportunity to see if it would again play itself out.

Saturday morning, the original departure- plan date, was REI’s annual “garage sale”. Since we were here, we decided to see what kids of bargains they had. Because of their liberal return policy, you can quite often find next- to- new items returned due to buyer’s remorse! I was hoping to find the OR bivy or a backpack, but instead found the shoes I had used last year, which are now discontinued, in my size… and they were ¼ the price I had paid for my Asolos, which I could now return of course! That is… a lot of money. I immediately snatched them up, along with some clothes that were insanely cheap.

I was a bit concerned that I had spent too much money, but not 4- hours after making these purchases, I received an email regarding a camera I had posted on Craigslist in February, and had given up on selling. The guy wanted it, was NOT haggling, and was willing to deal that night… if I drove to Albuquerque. Not wanting to mess around with another CL- flaker, I asked him to cover the gas and Chris and I were on our way. The selling price of the camera nearly doubled the money I had spent at REI that morning!

Ten minutes out of the driveway, my old buddy the Saturn had something go wrong with it. I’m no mechanic, but I know when your car makes odd noises, smokes, and has fluid gushing from the bottom, it is a good idea to get it home! That is exactly what I did. I still have no idea what’s wrong with it, but DO know that it died at the perfect time since after this weekend, it was going to sit indefinitely anyhow. We switched cars and completed our trip to Albuquerque.

The ride home was remarkable. There was a sense of joy that we all remember feeling as children, but for whatever reason, lose for the most part, as we grow up. A sense of excitement and knowing you are on the verge of discovery. I would love to elaborate on that, but the conversation ultimately led to the realization that we are in the audience watching the dramas of our own lives unfold.

Sunday was a wrap- up day, and as I type this, we are about to head out on this long- awaited journey. I’ve been encamped for seven months, and am ready to go. The typical pains of departure are still there, but I know I am on the right track. Right now, the “plan” is to ride to Nashville and see what happens. Kim’s roommate has suddenly decided she would rather not have company this week (after saying it was fine a month or two ago), but that’s par for the course! We’ll see what happens over the next day or two… I’ll let you know... and I still have NO idea what this draw to Oklahoma is!