The photobomb at Glen Echo. See? He *is* adorable. Friday night, maybe 10:40, April 10, 2015. Yes, I am sitting on Cielo.
No photobomb in Floyd, VA. I suppose if we'd waited a few minutes we might have had company but there was a dance in progress so we were on our own. Don't know what time, probably the same time as the night before. Saturday night, April 11, 2015.
Big Celtic Fun setting up at Floyd's new home. Not the same as Dogtown but Dogtown is a bar and contra dancers don't drink. The space is small but the light is beautiful.
Long Lines at Floyd. There were two sets earlier in the evening but by the time I sat down, the new dancers were gone leaving the core which generally stays until the end and then goes to someone's house and stays up until who knows, maybe dawn? playing whatever instruments they have with the band. We were invited, we declined. Something about getting up at the crack of... to climb something. The quilts remind me of Flurry. They almost make up for the loss of the velvet drapes at Dogtown that splashed light by the bucket across the beautiful old wood floor. There is wood under this floor I'm told. It didn't feel the least bit bad.
I've done this backwards. This is actually on the way down I think where you can actually see one of the peaks. It's different on the way up and I don't think I started photographing much until I got through the worst of it except a couple of really notable rock formations which I have failed to take off my phone so far.
This is purely magic. Every time I'm up here I start looking for this maybe a quarter mile into the climb and then I get to thinking I imagined it because something this perfect can't possibly exist outside my imagination - like I HAD to have made this shit up. Get your ticket out, that's the entrance to faery land. For real. Everything changes past that gate, including the nature of the voices in your head. Just make sure you don't eat or drink anything you didn't bring with you until you cross the bridge on the way back out (there is a bridge right down the hill from the Johnson Family farm if you go that way).
The Reason Why.
The summit at Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA. Can't give you a mile marker but it's 84 miles North of the Route 8 entrance just east of Floyd.
Approximately 11:55, Sunday, April 12, 2015. Attempting to contemplate being 51, not really giving a shit, mostly thinking about the view and the fact that my knees were pretty much OK, there still wasn't cell service that could be counted on (good and not so good) and that in a month this view will be completely gone and if you want to see anything you'll have to hang off that rock and part the branches which is something I'll never do on a solo hike.
The Last Bridge -the way out
I really have to learn to start shooting in landscape. This was really just meant to be a short clip I could send to NM as soon as I had a reasonable LTE signal *which* turned out to be a not so good idea because I sent two videos in their original format via iMessage which ate up a chunk of my data plan while I was posting hi res photos to social media. Uhhhhh. Yeah. Well. Mom's got to be the one to blow the shared data plan at least ONCE, right? RIGHT?!
So the thing is, I've tried to write this post four times and been entirely unsuccessful. I've either ended up with 4,000 words and been only halfway there or ended up on entirely other subjects and not managed to get there at all so just like two years ago, here are the highlights so that at least SOMETHING is published. This will do.
One thousand, one hundred, twenty-nine miles with one of my best friends ever in the whole wide world and one of the worst migraines in recent history. Starting Friday morning I would have canceled this trip had it been just about anything else but I did not and that was the right decision. Everything went into triage mode so that ONLY what really mattered happened which means that every last thing that really mattered actually happened. This also means I found out what really mattered.
Cielo, I hope you got what you needed because you sure as hell did a damn fine job taking care of me. And why you have my migraine now is beyond me but I sure am sorry for that.
If I had missed sitting in the sun on top of that rock, would I had known what I'd missed? I don't know. Probably. If I had missed walking through the Faery Gate, would the voices in my head have shifted? I'm a believer. If I had not had the journey exactly the way I had it on Friday and Saturday, would Sunday's experience have been the same? Of course not.
I was sitting on that rock attempting to contemplate being 51 and discovered I didn't give a shit...
I was sitting on that rock nearly zoning out entirely and noticing just the small things...
I was sitting on that rock realizing it was OK that I missed my boyfriend and not nearly so scary as it had been on the way up the mountain and not nearly so scary as it's been in the last six weeks.
I was sitting on the rock and my head didn't hurt and my knees didn't hurt and my heart didn't hurt and my lungs didn't hurt from trying to breathe where there just didn't seem to be any air (that's a self made condition).
I was sitting on that rock wondering if I was right about having approximately 500 miles in front of me (I was) and thinking I'd take the long way down past the farm anyway.
I got off the rock and walked down off the mountain.
That might be my post.
Then again, there's a pretty damn epic story that needs telling too :-)
Yes. Yes I did.
//*And when I pulled into the driveway on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 9:31 there was that car with MA plates... as unexpected as Schrodinger's Cat. It just doesn't get any better than that.*//