Thursday, February 3, 2011

Raleigh to Athens to Houston

Thoreau wrote as part of a rich discourse on the idea of walking that a 'saunterer', someone who meanders with purpose, is someone who has "no particular home, but equally at home everywhere". I often apply his thoughts on walking to traveling in general. Whenever I travel, this idea comes to the forefront of my mind and I realize how at home I feel on the 'open road'. This time around I forgot how much I missed the feeling; to have everything you need in motion with you. Whether that be in a backpack or in this case, in a small pick-up truck. Living off of the land you find yourself in; water from a spring, coffee from a gas station. Sharing food and laughter with friends or strangers.

My travels to Texas led me to Athens, GA to spend time with close friends Casey, Travis, and baby on the way. The three of us know eachother from thru-hiking the AT in 2004. We spent time drinking and eating together, catching up, listening to music, walking and taking it all in. We made a delicious corn and potato chowder Saturday night before I left. It was nice spending time in their space, seeing how their lives are unfolding, witnessing the beginnings of a young family.

In Raleigh, my first stop, I visited my old boss and friend Susanne with her kids Marcos and Jenna. Sadly, no pictures from there. As soon as I got to Raleigh, Susanne and I went for a run in the unseasonable warmth. We all walked just down the road later on to get pizza in a cool place called Five Points. The next day I explored NC State, the bike paths, and the greenways by bike. All in all a brief but splendid visit, with great solo explorations and collective conversation.

This drive South so far has resembled a shopping trip. Going from cool city to cool city, having close friends show and sell them to you. "If you lived here, you can do could live'd hang out there" and so on and so forth. It's great. If and when I head back East, Raleigh, NC and Athens, GA are high on the list.

Today I awoke to the voices and garbles of my sister and nephews. Here in Houston for a week. We'll see if Houston can make the list. Having been here before, I doubt it will.

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