He Is Leaving The Life He's Come To Know He Said He's Going To Find What's Left Of His World The World He Left Behind Not So Long Ago He's Leaving On That Midnight Train To Georgia
Gladys Knight And The Pips
I decided, after I checked in and The Dude headed on down the road, that going for a walk would be a veteran call. Threw on a pair of pants, powered up the Garmin, and out the door I walked under a blanket of twinkling stars. Two highlights would be finding a twenty in the back pocket of my pants and falling asleep to the crocking frogs in the distance.
Portola , Ca:
I woke up early and my hotel room was filled by the aroma of Ponderosa Pine pollen and fresh mature Cedar trees. I walked down to the local coffee shop for a breakfast that included an egg burrito and a cup of fresh Joe. And then pulled a Forest Gump and went for a walk around the little sleepy old railroad town. The house below was our neighbors The Popish Family and they build the only flat roof house in all of Portola back in the day.
I met up with my step sister and The Dude at 10am like scheduled. After that meeting, The Dude And I drove out to Bill And Jan's place to meet up with the realtor. The realtor explained her concerns and asked if we address some of these issues before the house goes on the market. Overwhelming for sure but its only one project at a time. And lucky me, Country Radio was playing from the boom box, only FM station available high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Anyway, The Dude and I shot over to the local small, I mean very small, True Value for supplies. Let The Games Begin
Keep in mind, my step sister and her family removed TWO, not just one but two, 18 Cubic Yard roll away dumpsters of trash from inside the home. They also had the emotional burden of cleaning out those personal items and asking themselves about what to do with... This was all done months before my arrival.
That night, we supported the local wood fired pizza place and enjoyed a pitcher of fresh Wheat, Oats, & Barely. I was pretty tired and stiff but once again found myself walking the dark streets after dinner. All in total, walked 14 miles / 22km on the day. Day one - 3.8 miles / 6km - Day two 7.9 miles / 12.7km. Walking And Processing
Friday morning was a wash, lather, rinse, and repeat. Breakfast burrito and a hot cup of Joe, off to Bill and Jan's place, touch up paint, nailed down an oil line from the tank to the heater unit inside, sweeping out the garage, cleaning the windows, checking on the completed list, and then hosing off the house. Yes, pulled out the garden hose and washed the decades of built up dirt off the siding of the house. It was raining mud and the white was almost too white. I am very proud to be leaving the house in better shape than when we found it. Yes, I wish I had another week because I would love to pull the carpet, roll the walls with a fresh coat of paint, and cock the window jams.
Saturday morning started off with my arm completely numb and under my pillow. I struggled to roll off of it, used my other hand to pull that frozen stiff arm from under the pillow, and lifting that dead arm up felt so bizarre and heavy. Sleepy and a completely tingling dead arm wasn't the ideal situation for navigating my morning.
As Bryan and I descended from Rocky Point, sweeping into view not all that high above was a Golden Eagle. It had a monstrous wingspan of a flying dinosaur. Its powerful talons trailing behind. Its feathers spread with the fullness of a parachute, they stalled the air. These domed wings suddenly occupying more space than the both of our own bodies combined. With limber figure skating grace, it landed on an open branch of a might Ponderosa Pine. The wings remained out stretched for a moment in time, this Golden Eagle teetering for balance. Then they closed tight to the body, in control, surveying the landscape of possibilities of fishing the crystal clear flowing waters of the Feather River. My shoulders dropped, my breath was effortlessly full again, and my nervous system was claiming. Finding myself here in Portola, My Birth Home. I Could Breathe Again - I asked everyone in attendance to take a deep belly breath - Bill & Jan loved their animals. From Sammie the bird to Chrissy to Buddy. I have compassion for all animals. Bill & Jan were captivated by unique automobiles and hot rods. I am an avid enthusiast of capturing the sexy lines of exotic sports cars at a street rod car show on Main Street. Bill & Jan were rail roaders and traveled countless thousands of miles from Orville to Winnamucca. I have driven coastline to coastline in everything from a rental car to a school bus and once drove a dumbstruck across the beautiful state of Colorado. The Reed's can drive anything anywhere. Bill & Jan were talented with their own mediums of art and their creativity still shines on today. I have been painting and sharing my acrylic pours for years. Bill & Jan were friendly with everyone that they came in contact with. I still take pride in opening doors for others, greeting strangers with a friendly hello, waving to officers of the law, and treating my fellow human without judgment and genuine respect. Bill & Jan religiously watched NASCAR Racing every Sunday afternoon and cheered on Jeff Gordon throughout his career. I have had the privilege of traveling the world to attend F1 Racing Live and a handful of Indy Car Races around the US. Bill & Jan created gorgeous rock walkways, archways with stones, and various flooring over the decades of marriage. I throughly relish fabricating patio features with flagstones that were created from deep within Mother Earth. Bill & Jan rifled through numerous computers. I unfortunately house four dead MacBooks on the back shelf of my closet. Bill & Jan instilled in us the magical board game of Cribbage. Bryan and I are avid Cribbage players and enjoy a non competitive game of crib, even while we are vacationing in ViVa Lost Wages during opening week of March Madness. I am now going to honor all the friends, family, partners, and lovers that discovered Portola because of Bill & Jan - ( I listed off 14 names and wrapped it up with the world travel twins Dennis and Rob for 16 names ) - I leave you all with these thoughts. You are never too old to set goals. So stay adventurous and adventure on - Peace & Love
The Dude & I hit the road before the sunrise Sunday morning. In all, we drove 1790 miles 2880kms. But it wasn't the miles, it was the journey.