I'm back! I'm sleep-deprived and energy depleted, exhausted from the weather and over-stimulated. I'm also re-reading Atlas Shrugged, and nothing sends me into a funk like curling up with a thousand pages of industrial despair. But at the moment I'm somewhat in the mood of Dorothy who finally wakes up in her very own bed for the first time in a long while.
I really got the fix of "somewhere else" that I needed before fall set in. I was so eager to get going that we drove for five hours on Wednesday night after I got out of work and crashed at a desperate little over-Lysoled trucker motel in Kentucky. The point was to be on our way. When it was pouring rain in the Smoky Mountains, JD said, casually, after spending half an hour climbing a narrow switchback road to the campground,
"You know, we're only about four hours from Savannah."
And we drove until midnight to get to Hilton Head and crash in what turned out to be a roach motel. Ok, one roach. I named him Lyle and JD,having faster reflexes than either Lyle or I, squished him with a tissue. But even though it was still pouring rain in Savannah, that rain was pouring on palm trees and Gardenias instead of our tent. We splashed around in the puddles for a while until we hit the Colonial Park Cemetery and the sun made something of a grudging entrance. We made it to Bonaventure and the Riverfront (areas I hadn't visited before) and found the only advertised Cajun restaurant in town. Their jambalaya was something fabulous. After the muggy intense heat in Savannah we had visions of cool misty mountains again and headed back to the Smokies. Thanks to the rain we were able to get a site in the Big Creek campground (they don't allow RV's and the sites are really quiet and private, so they're usually full). We hiked the 5 mile loop up to Mouse Creek Falls, swam at Midnight Hole, made it up the steep grade to Clingman's Dome, got seriously nasty looks for my tee-shirt ("I'm not anti-religion, I'm just anti-hypocrisy"), went to the Cherokee Reservation, and learned to hate ethanol (it sucks your engine's power in the hills; I had to buy premium gas just to get up some of the roads we drove). We got home, spent two packed days of errands, then headed up to my best friend's house for her annual labor day gathering. After another three days of sleeping on the ground, bug spray, ritual, drum circle and good conversation, I'm ready to simply be home for a while. Decompress. Process. Rest. Be still. Quit smoking (again).
I know that description doesn't sound as fun as it all really was, but right now I'm numb to enthusiasm. I suppose this is something of a transition post; to keep my "just one more day" blogging break from becoming another several-month disappearing act. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have caught up on some stillness and be more able to post something substantial.