After four days of hiking on the hard sandy beaches of the Padre Islands, listening to the waves come crashing in, watching long streams of brown pelicans fly maneuvers over the gulf, feeling the weather change from misty and windy to clear, sunny, and windy, I am ready to move on down the road.
Ready for whatever comes next.
Today marks four weeks on the road (though I haven’t actually spent much time on the road. Ten days were spent visiting friends, and several days were strictly camping with no traveling at all).
I have enjoyed all phases of my journey so far, though some of Texas’s back roads got a bit tedious. Mostly I just coasted along at fifty-five miles an hour and let the road warriors fight for supremacy among themselves.
Surprisingly, I haven’t been as alone as I expected. At most campgrounds I ended up talking to people, some for quite a while, even exchanged blog information or telephone numbers with a couple of people. Since so many of us at this particular campground are leaving today, we had a farewell bonfire on the beach last night. I felt sad to leave my newest friend, though we are so simpatico, I am sure she and I will meet up again someday. But the journey beckons, and I have a new new/old friend to meet in Austin. (The visit in Austin is with a sister in grief who has been my support during the past six years. This will be the first time we meet in person, a meeting that is long overdue. I’ll also be meeting another Indigo Press author — Norm Brown, who wrote Carpet Ride.)
It is funny that people are both the best and the worst of this journey. There are great folks who are eager to learn about others and share the journey. And there are those who have no care for anyone but themselves. They run generators and use bright lights all night despite strict rules against such usage, and they think leash laws don’t apply to their nasty little beasts. Luckily, these folk are in the minority, and I haven’t let them ruin the wonder of my adventure.
And what an adventure I am having!
Even better, there is more to come. I’ll check in when I can. And when I can’t get in touch? Know that adventure is coming my way.
(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)