Grab-and-go Maryland trip, Colorado here I come

I’m on the verge of completing the Keith Boyd triangle (Georgia, Colorado, and Maryland) in the same week.  Woo-hoo!  For some reason, that reminds of the college “hat trick” of drinking three nights in a row.  First, a little from the recent past and then a look at the near future.

March 22, 2014

Here I sit on the 8:37 AM Saturday morning Amtrak train from Baltimore, MD to Newark, DE so that I can get the rest of my stuff out of storage. I flew into BWI on the last flight out of Atlanta last night. Even just walking through BWI airport made me miss my mid-Atlantic home a little bit. As much as I have enjoyed my new home base, I can’t deny that I do miss my old one. But I have no regrets at all; I am stationed where I ought to be for the next little bit. One day, I may move the home base again. In the mean time, I will just try to travel a bit and still be at least partially “on the road”.

It is overcast and a little chilly this morning, and Baltimore city, at least the parts that I can see from the train, look tired of the long winter, and tired and run down in general. I’ve been thinking that Georgia in some ways is junkier (I can’t think of a better word really) than Maryland. I’m not sure how to describe the difference, other than many properties in Georgia just seem less well-kept. Of course, Baltimore is a different beast than Fair Hill. Like many cities in the mid-Atlantic, Baltimore has some sections of old dilapidated row homes, but there are also really nice parts of the city. I’m glad to be in a small city like Athens, that has some big city offerings but more of a small town feel.

I’m gonna quit typing so that I can check out some scenery. I don’t want to miss any views of the Chesapeake Bay!

March 24, 2014

After typing the above, ironically I was not in for any pretty scenery for quite a while. I realized that you don’t necessarily see the best parts of an area from the window of an Amtrak train. It is quite amazing how many people’s back yards are completely full of trash and junk. It also reminds me of the “grass is always greener” disease that can take hold of our minds. Georgia, at least parts of it, is junky in some ways. But hell, where isn’t?

Eventually though, I started seeing the sights that I expected. Crossing over the Susquehanna River at Have de Grace. The North East River near…you guessed it, North East (that is the name of a town in the northeast corner of MD, in case you were wondering; apparently the founders were not that imaginative). Even the edge of the apartments on the line between Elkton, MD and Newark, DE (that’s pronounced New-ark, like Raider’s Ark, not like the Newark in New Jersey) where my now ex-wife and I first moved in together. I walked 20 to 30 minutes from the Amtrak station in Newark, DE to the gas station where I picked up my rental truck.

I drove the old beat-up U-Haul junker a few miles down the road to my storage space and began loading the old girl up. I met my ex and my father-in-law for a quick lunch and he helped me load the rest of the stuff. I headed south as soon as I could. As much as I would have loved to stay and see some of the other people that I miss from this area, I had to make it as short a trip as possible. This incredibly short trip confirmed what I’ve known for some time…my heart is split between multiple “homes”. And that’s okay. It gives me reason to travel and to visit and hopefully I can make some more connections in both places. But for now, I am where, as my grandfather here in Athens would say, “I am supposed to be”. Anyway, it has been too frickin’ cold in the mid-Atlantic to camp. Once it finally warms up a bit “up there”, I can go and camp and stay for a little bit.

I drove by my old Fair Hill home on the way out of town. It looks like there is nobody living there. Maybe I should move back! Just kidding. If I could keep that house and place here too I would. But I’m back down to part-time again, so that’s not in the cards. It was good to see the area, and good to hit the road. Even though driving a rental truck is a bear, I do enjoy driving and being on “the road”. It is one of the best ways to be in the moment — I’m usually singing along with the blaring radio and admiring the countryside. That is one of the reasons that I always ended up driving from Maryland to Georgia at least once per year – even though it takes longer than flying, it is just so much more relaxing. I can’t wait to split it up and camp in between. I’m thinking that driving for only four hours per day would be good, and would leave plenty of time for exploring etc. I like driving, but sitting there for six to eight hours at a time is too much.

March 25, 2014

I’m finishing this post up while preparing to go for a four-day skiing tip to Colorado! My place is a mess, as I have some stuff from the storage space strewn about. I am doing laundry for the first time since I moved to the first-floor unit. Roxy is snoozing away on her bed in the middle of the den and I’ve got an Atlanta rock station playing over iHeart Radio. The drive down from Maryland was uneventful. The truck drove like most rental U-Hauls I’ve had – the steering is all over the place, the suspension is super-stiff, and so the ride ends up feeling more like trying to aim a hot-headed bronco than a road trip. Some people convert old U-Haul type trucks into campers, but between the horrid gas mileage and the terrible driving, I am more than happy to stick with my little VW – trailer combination. The first ride in the VW after driving the rental truck over 700 miles was pure pleasure.

Athens greeted my return with spring colors. Yay — the first peak camping season of the year is here! And what better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than with some spring skiing in beautiful Colorado!? I am very pumped for this trip. My friend that lived in Aspen for a while and taught me how to ski (sort-of) will be joining me, and we are going to meet up with my friend who I met out there a couple of years ago (too bad she has a boyfriend now, but it is okay because he can get half-off lift tickets everywhere we want to go). We are staying on the slopes at Breckenridge. We will be skiing there, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and one other, perhaps Vail. I have never skied Breckenridge, Keystone, or Vail, so it could be three new mountains on this trip!!

I am also looking forward to a camping trip when I get back. A Meetup group based out of Atlanta is car-camping off of the AT and providing trail magic to thru-hikers (trail magic consists of doing something to help out the hikers, and providing the types of foods that hikers can’t carry with them is often a part of trail magic). Many hikers will be heading out on the AT over the next few weeks, and I can’t wait to meet some new outdoor people as well as to talk with thru-hikers. It will be pretty rustic camping compared to what I’ve done the last few years, as there will be no electricity or running water. I am definitely looking forward to this. This group also has a bunch of Meetups where they do sections of the AT in Georgia. Unfortunately most of the AT hikes are already filled up, but I’m on the waiting lists. There is another group car camping event that I signed up for in May.

I just talked to my grandmother who informed me that my grandfather had a really bad last night and today. He had been feeling a little better since making it home from the hospital. He just isn’t eating much and so hasn’t been able to build up any energy. I’m going to go see him tomorrow before heading out to Colorado if he’s feeling better. I’ll be thinking about you, Pop! Feel better!

Once this last load of laundry is done, I’m headed to bed. I want to get up early and take Roxy for a walk before I have to drop her off for boarding. She will have to be boarded for five nights; she will be upset at me but will get over it once we get back home. Hopefully she won’t have any issues while I’m gone.

May all have a happy start to spring!

 

Some early Spring color at the apartment.

 

And at the park.

 

“A monk, a rabbi, and a fundamentalist Christian minister walked into a bar…”

 

 

 

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