James Taylor wrote the song while homesick in Spain, so we’ve turned the tables a bit and are in the part of the world he loved so much as we think about our home near the border of Spain.
Let’s roll it back to New Jersey. The last month has seen quite a few ups and downs. Mostly on the undulating roads from New England to North Carolina. West Virginia mountain-top race venues to lovely campsites in the Shenandoah National Forest to the Beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. Janey-Rae handled it all so well, but we have decided to finally get the small exhaust leak fixed, more on that later. From the rivers of New England to a heat wave in New Jersey we have been drenched in summer thunderstorms and covered in sweat in 100 degree temperatures with humidity approaching 95%, but a long and winding road it has been. (I’ll try to stop quoting songs from my youth;-)!
After leaving New Jersey catching up with our friends Steve, Alisa and their kids, then a brief stop to see how being 90 has settled in with my Aunt Mary, we rolled through Mennonite Country touching Lancaster Pennsylvania as well – home to The Amish. We asked a local woman in her horse and buggy if we could camp up at a Mennonite church and she told us it wouldn’t be a problem. From there we went on through Gettysburg where Lincoln made his famous speech, but also a place where many lost their lives in the brutal Civil War which was anything but civil. Battlements, cemeteries and reminders of that bloodshed followed us through amazing beautiful countryside which always brings the mind back to the age-old question of why can’t we all get along just a bit better surrounded by such breathtaking natural beauty.
As we continued in our southerly direction Janey-Rae’s leak was getting a bit noisier. We needed to get to West Virginia for one of Louis’ last races, so we soldiered on and I got used to where I needed to power up the hills, and even the mountains. We made it to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia where we caught up for the final time Louis would be racing with his friends from the Northeast. Chessie opted out of racing as it was quite steep and a bit out of her league. We got there a day early and were given free passes to walk the mountain and take the ski lift back up and to zipline across the top of the small ski village. It was a fun weekend of banter, beauty, roaming deer and lots of mud on the racers.
After the weekend as we glided down Snowshoe Mountain Janey-Rae’s engine was much quieter without the strain of going up. We decided it would be better to get it fixed because we have a long road ahead and the noise was getting bit louder. True the fumes coming in from the exhaust leak made it easier to take naps, but we decided we’d forego that mid day luxury!! All joking aside, we made it to my niece’s house who is in the middle of a self-build house project. So we installed ourselves on the outskirts of a small village called Marshall N.C. which has a similar vibe to a certain Montbrun-Bocage with alternative people getting together to tread a different path through life. A small breath of fresh air as the backdrop of the craziness of the current Presidential election lays heavily on some of the American People’s minds. As election day approaches and we nestle into our nomadic lifestyle for the moment, Angie and I find ourselves once again being part of a lovely self-build house project for another short snippet of time. Familiar ground a world away from home.
Another chapter ends as we are now at my sister’s house near Charlotte N.C. a world away from the mountains of western N.C. both in distance and vibration, but still a nice place for us to share in the lives of my family and enjoy the small and sometimes large lifestyle differences in this the multi-faceted country we are here to explore. As Janey-Rae gets her surgery we will be heading to my nephew’s beach house in North Myrtle Beach South Carolina. The weather is perfect for it, and it’ll be our last (and actually first) dip in the Atlantic before we point Janey-Rae’s new quieted engine towards the Pacific and break the bonds with the east coast of this vast continent.
Hope you are all well. See ya up the road!