Today I’m in Medora, North Dakota. My fingernails have grown a lot since I last typed, making the keyboard feel foreign. Long fingernails have been an advantage with Nora bringing in a small army of ticks each day. Last time I wrote was in Michigan and I’ve covered plenty of ground since. Rainy June weather has driven me to rack up the miles as I ran along the southern shores of Lake Superior, then the northern borders of Minnesota and North Dakota. I’m feeling more and more drained as the trip goes on. In the beginning I use to fantasize about being on the road forever, now I dream of a homestead and family of my own. Not that this is necessarily what I actually want, but it seems to be the pleasant dream as of late. I still carry the itch to start cruising on a sailboat and it’s my goal for the end of this summer. Ideally I’ll wrap up my road trip in October, then finish saving for and begin hunting down the right boat. Moving onto a boat, which will be in a fixed location for a year or so, while I prepare to sail, should be a comfortable transition. My physical body yearns for a constant place of rest. Sleeping in the same location for an extended period of time is what I think I’m lacking right now. I sleep in the same bed every night, the problem is it’s always in a new location. I constantly find myself waking up due to disorientation. Always worried about a cop knocking on my door asking me to find a different spot. Last night I tried to sleep through an intense lightning storm in the Badlands of North Dakota. I was the only camper in a small canyon’s rustic campground. The rain dumped, the wind pushed, and lightning flashes burst one second after the other. Considering that some of the latest news I’ve been hearing on the radio was 16 dead in Arkansas flash floods I was scared. Supposedly inside a car is safe during a lightning storm, but this storm seemed to be touching everything. There were no visible strikes. I was in a solid cloud of lightning. As if I was actually up in the clouds as they struck the ground down below, feeling the energy from the top of the strikes instead of the bottom. The other night it was a gas station parking lot along an old highway. I had asked for permission from the owner to stay the night, but still I woke up at 1 and then again at 2, and so on. When I awoke I actually saw flashing police lights. Once I roll over and woke up a little more I could see there was nobody around and it was a bit of my own fiction. If it’s a walmart parking lot at 2am I’m listening to the conversation of the employees changing shifts. I’m ready for a place where the sounds at night are somewhat familiar and my concerns of being asked to leave are not. I am still happy on the road however. The scenery has been spectacular and the people are getting better. I met people on the east side of this country that I cherish, but the west is where I’m most comfortable with other humans. Probably due to the simple fact that I grew up in the west. I’m finally done with the plain lands, which I know now reach from the gulf of mexico all the way up to the canadian border. I’m just getting to edge of the Rocky Mountain landscapes. After the western dakotas I’ll head into wyoming, then down to colorado and new mexico. Can’t wait to meet up with my family in New Mexico this fall. I find myself thinking of this occasion daily now. I’m drawn more and more to meeting people. It’s healthy for me, I’m not interested in relationships just company. I find myself talking more and more frequently. Something has clicked or changed inside of me where I’m no longer anxious and burdened feeling when striking up conversation. The road has allowed me to accept who I am and also who others are. For a long time I think my disability was a burden when talking with others. After I was injured, the problem was that I no longer knew who I was. After 18 years of life it was like being sent back to the first grade playground again. First I had to accept my new situation, with the next step trying to understand how people related to my new situation. Trying to understand how people view me now is still a challenge. What they might think, or how they feel to react, doesn’t bother me. But, I feel that for me to relate to them and understand why their approach may seem so weird to me, I have to try and understand a bit of where they’re coming from. Here’s some thought….
Tall people and short people. Set all disabilities, social disorders, sexes, and physical makeup aside. Just think about everyone as complete equals, except in height and it’s given attributes. I use to be six feet tall, now I sit somewhere under 4 feet. I’ve had a few people pat me on the head, some of them I used to be able to kiss with my stomach. Anyways, it’s literally an order of hierarchy, people thinking differently about people based completely on their height. I often find myself being approached from the angle a child would instead of a six foot tall adult. Disabilities aside I know there is some inherent tendency in people to almost humble themselves to those of a taller stature, and vis a versa, expect the opposite. Who knows where that comes from or what that is. Just a thought…
Basically, I’m tired. I’ve been meeting great people on the road lately. Don’t know if that’s just the luck of my timing or who I’ve become on the road. Or maybe a disability accepted and an old self found.