Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Part X: The Circle of Life

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September 1, 2003: The Long Haul to Washington, DC -- Zen Time

Today I rode from Fontana, NC to the Washington, DC area.

Up and out early. I think I'm the first person to get under way. There are a lot of bikes in the parking lot. It is Labor Day weekend after all. I pack the bike and get going. I have to say good bye to these incredible mountains. I've spent a bit of time here in the past two weeks. I'm going to miss this place.

I headed east on NC-28 out of Fontana Village. It was getting more light out and some of the views were real nice, but one in particular was a near religious experience. Near the intersection of NC-28 and US-129 there is an overlook on the west bound side of the road. I was headed east bound, but the view was so incredible I doubled back to take a look.

Before me was a vista of mountains and valleys as far as the eye could see in the mists. Cradled in the valleys are deposits of fog. The sun was just starting to warm the valleys and the mists were starting to burn off and rise up the sides of the mountains. Hundreds of individual fingers rising up to heaven. Extending their reach. Awakening from another nights slumber. The earth coming to life before my eyes.

I was originally just going to make a bee line for Ashville and pick up the Interstate. Riding along I see a sign for the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). I can't resist. Time for a detour. I went right to the beginning in Cherokee. Onto the parkway I rise into the clouds. It's cold up here, and I can't see very well. It's worth it. I'm sure. The sun is going to come up, heat things up and the ceiling is going to rise over me. That's exactly what happened. God raised the curtain on a new day, and I have front row seats on the BRP. I round a curve and the mountains are smoking. This is amazing. I'm riding in and out of clouds watching the world come alive. I feel so alive. God is great!

Unfortunately my time on the BRP came to and end and I headed onto I-40. This type of riding is Zen time as I call it. Long tracts of straight interstate. The traffic was a little heavy due to the Labor Day weekend, but all in all a good ride. Lots of time to think. Southern VA with it's mile upon mile of pine forests is beautiful. Buck was telling me about riding in a pine forest in Canada, after being in the one in VA I look forward to getting up there.

There are different types of riding, and this trip has had a lot of them. Today was a good riding day. I only got rained on in the last five miles or so, and it was nice.

My friend Mark saw me rounding the corner into his neighborhood and had the garage open so I could ride right in. He put the cars outside, in his words, "bikes go inside," or something like that.

The Circle of Life

The purpose of coming to DC was to catch up with Mark and Keri and meet their new beautiful daughter. Sam is about nine months old. She is amazing. They tell me she's a shy one, but we got along just fine exchanging smiles and me making stupid baby sounds at her. I wonder if infants think all of us adults are crazy. Hmmm???

Mark and Keri had a great meal ready for me with fine wine. I had been thinking to myself while on the road, "I'm having good wine tonight." Keri didn't disappoint. You see she's a wine expert. With impeccable taste and an ability to match people with wines, and they have a depth of selection at home. So, availability is never an issue.

I don't think I would have visited Mark and Keri if it wasn't for the RT. It's weird how a motorcycle, and the things attached to it can change a person. I'm so glad I stopped to see them on this trip. I was so relaxed. So present in the moment. I don't think that would have been the case before this trip, my energies were scattered and unfocused.

September 2, 2003: Catching Up

Today was a non-riding day. I just relaxed and shared time with old friends and their daughter Sam, and well we had to share some more fine food and wine.