Life’s a funny thing. We often try to take it by the horns and force our will, as intelligent beings, on it. That is a waste of energy though. Those horns are built on fundamental rules that this universe created when time began. Change is at the forefront of these fundamentals. Randomness is in there somewhere too. Probably a close second. That’s what I want to talk about. Randomness. What is funny is how occurrences in life happen without a finger on a horn.
This morning I woke with a very solid idea of what I was going to do all day. It was to simply, ride east on I-10 as far as possible. That was it, until a random force intervened. I didn’t spend much time on-line this morning since I knocked out the post the night before, but before I took off I checked my email. Low and behold, I received and email from my good friends Don and Ginnie, whom I met while staying in Big Bend National Park. They were planning to head west on the 10 and Don emailed me once he realized that our paths would cross at some point today. Luckily I got the email just in time before they left Sonora and I left Van Horn. We made a plan to meet in Fort Stockton which was a mid-way point in our travels.
This is the time where I’d like to veer off of where I was going with that and talk about ping-pong balls. I’ll try to explain. Don, Ginnie, and I have kept in touch since camping in Big Bend, but I had no idea when or if I’d ever see them again. Since the time we are born our lives are ever-changing and, like a ping-pong ball that is wacked with a good solid swing, bouncing several times off of what ever is in its way, our lives constantly ricochet off of events or occurrences that randomly appear. Even the event of being born is not chosen. One is incapable of picking the circumstances that they are born into and from the beginning of life, randomness is in charge. (Although some of your more snooty folks think that they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.) After a solid impact and a few decent bounces we can never predict the exact spot where a ping-pong ball will stop rolling if we let it. Since the time I left Big Bend and they’ve left Big Bend we went our separate ways with plans to keep our plans. However those plans, especially for me, change all the time, without fail. The decision to not work in California and instead return home was one ricochet. Going to Nor Cal to see the redwoods at the last-minute was another and yet, receiving that email this morning was another. Like the ping-pong balls final resting spot, I couldn’t have predicted in a million years that I would see these wonderful people again. Change and randomness just happens and sometimes the timing works perfectly.
Back to the story. I packed my things and headed east 118 miles through Texas’s empty desert to Fort Stockton. Don and Ginnie showed up 15 minutes after I got there. While waiting in the parking lot, I met a fellow named Ivan from Harrisburg PA. He has been on the road since Oct. 31st and is doing a four corners of the USA tour. He just retired and had a wonderful spirit about him. Although he was older than I, he didn’t let that hold back his enthusiasm. I mentioned the redwoods and he lit up. It was great. He and I talked for about 5 minutes before he took off. One of the reasons he stated for doing his journey was that he wanted to see things that he hasn’t seen before. That is right up my alley. No doubt, he and I have been living it up since October with all of the new experiences. He is also blogging and can be reached at Ivansjourneys.org. Nice fella and I wish him the best.
Don and Ginnie pulled in right after that. I Goosed it over to their RV to greet them. It has been about two months since I’ve seen them and this time, greeting them, felt like greeting family. Smiles were irremovable, and I even got a big hug from Ginnie. They welcomed me into their RV for lunch. Ginnie whipped up some chili and stuffed pitas. They hit the spot and were a great prequel to the home cooking that I’ll get once I return to WV. Like with the persimmon they gave me in Big Bend, they again shared a piece of fruit with me for the road. This time it was a massive grapefruit that I saved for dinner. We spent a lot of time catching up, sharing stories, and generally enjoying the wholesome company. I’ve been so fortunate to meet folks like them on the road and now feel like I have family in other parts of the US. After a bit we mozied outside. Don noticed the huge rip in my seatcover and wasted no time fixing it with some black gorilla tape. They hooked me up with some bungee cords since my last one was on its last leg, gave me the rest of the gorilla tape, and a pair of sunglasses. While we were eating, they went above and beyond generous by donating a gas card and a bit of loot to help me get home on. If I were not ashamed to admit how much money was left in my account this morning, I would have told them how much they have been a life saver. Guys, (Don and Ginnie) I know your going to read this and I just want you to know that your generosity today couldn’t have helped me more and it came at the nick of time. Things were looking pretty hairy on the, making it home, front. I can’t thank you enough. Eventually with daylight slipping away and many miles to go, we had to say our goodbyes for an uncertain amount of time until the next visit and I was off again, heading east. They made my day and for two hundred miles of high decibel wind noise, I was smiling.
The plan was to make it to San Antone, but in Kerrville I changed my mind and decided to settle outside of the city for the night. I’m becoming less of a fan of cities as I go. I spoke with my good buddy Bob on the phone about plans to meet he and John tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a good day, just like today! That’s all I can say for now.