My San Diego Connection

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Last April …

Okay, this picture requires a bit of an explanation. Here I am in a Starbucks in the corner of an upscale grocery store in Mill River, NC. Twenty minutes away is my tent, way deep in the woods, in the middle of nowhere, out of cell phone range. Now here I am, fully connected and I don’t mean just to Wifi. I can actually do my business on a real toilet, but that’s probably more than you need to know.

I have with me my laptop and iPad and phone and a book to read. That plus a coffee and something to eat and I’m a happy boy. I’m waiting for Pam to turn up. I had to drive here earlier in the morning to establish contact. She’s currently living in Macon, but we didn’t get a chance to meet up the day I drove through. But she has an uncle in Asheville that she wants to visit. Asheville is twenty miles or so up the road. She gets back to me and informs me she’s on her way.

Pam is someone I met two or so years before in San Diego. She was part of a tribe that coalesced around Mara, a shamanic practitioner. I had run into Mara via my didgeridoo, and she liked having me around. That’s how Pam and I got acquainted. After her move to Macon, we stayed in touch via Facebook. Ah, here she is …

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Okay, we’re not at Starbucks. We’re back out in the woods, enjoying a hike together. Here’s the mandatory didgeridoo pic …

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The only thing better than being out in nature is being out in nature with someone who appreciates being out in nature. I commented to Pam about how wet and green it was in this part of the country. Since Pam had lived in San Diego, which is the next thing to a desert, she knew what I was talking about.

Somehow, I thought I would stay west of the Mississippi the rest of my life. But now I found myself drawn in by the beauty of an entirely new landscape, one that was calling me to stay, or at least pay a return visit.

Time to get into Pam’s car and head for Asheville to see her uncle. To a northerner or Californian, Asheville is the cool place to live below the Mason-Dixon Line. There was nothing about the town that gave me a different impression. We met her uncle at an Asian fusion restaurant. Her uncle – God, his name escapes me – is a competitive mountain-biker, into the outdoors, with zillions of insights. I’m asking all the questions, trying to absorb everything. Oh, and here’s Pam’s pic of her main course. Definitely LA-quality …

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Alas, it was time to go. Pam drove me back to the Starbucks in Mill River, where I got into my car to drive back to my tent one last time. Pam headed back to Asheville to crash with her uncle.

A the joys of human connection. Time for my next adventure …

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