By 9am, I had broken camp, repacked, returned with water & coffee, and hoped to quickly pass Elmira, which Julia had aptly described a bit “shady”; a vibe I’d noticed both with Alex and in ‘09 with Chris & Stacey. It seems the best of Elmira's attributes is that it is a gateway to either New York or Pennsylvania!
Since leaving Port Townsend, the core energy and vibe of these little travels had changed. From Andre to Wendie all the way to Ray and my relationship with Chris, everything had taken a distinctly different, sometimes sinister tone. I had cultivated doubt in myself and my own beliefs as I dissected those of others, particularly after the Don Quixote manifesto, and now, particularly since Brian’s this summer. All the old ideas of universal synchronicity, even the 'Side Car' & 'Sit Down & Shut Up', sounded deluded and ridiculous when trying to articulate them. It was as though I’d performed a Broadway version of the R.E.M song Losing My Religion! I had hoped that this trip, to places unknown, would rekindle my sense of wonder and adventure; reignite what I’d lost and missed terribly: belief in a purpose and, to a great degree, myself.
Levon’s father is involved in politics in some capacity, is himself is a passionate small-government Libertarian and, if I recall correctly, not a fan of The Alaskan Road Whore & her Teabagging Minions. That meant we got along beautifully! So well in fact that he offered me food, his number, and a ride to Erie, PA if I somehow became stranded and in danger of missing my Ohio connection. I like these New Yorkers!
Soon enough, I was in the car with “G” and on my way to Corning, famous for it’s glass making and home to CorningWare! “G” was in his 50’s and really nondescript but offered some great information on where to hop a train if I decided to AND drove me thru the pleasant little town that seemed a good place, since it was getting late in the day, to camp until Wednesday morning if needed.