|Somewhere in South Central Utah|
I believe it was about 3 days in when I had a special realization. “I’ve never went more than 1 day and 1 night without seeing at least 1 person that I know”. At that point, I really knew that my journey had begun. So there I was, driving through Arkansas, en route to Texas, seeing ahead of me 17 more days of this solo travel experience. In my 20th year, 20 days on the road, 20 states, 6,100 miles, 11 National Parks, and 160 hours of sleep in the back of my red Mercury. The idea of it excited me. Perhaps that’s because I’m the crazy dude on the road who talks to himself and dances alone in the car. Whatever it is, I enjoy being alone. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy being with others. Like with all things, there is a time for everything.
I will say this, being alone that long brings new thoughts to mind. Beyond just thoughts, new perspectives, new habits, and new visions come too. All because it’s a new experience. I so often found myself truly feeling another person there with me. After so many nights, I just felt like surely by now there is someone else next to me watching the moon peek over that desert ridge. For just brief moments in time, I would forget I was the only one seeing, hearing, and feeling these currents of time. If you know me, then be assured I thought of you. I thought of everyone in my life. Enough time had passed that I no longer missed one person like you would miss your mom or your closest friend in a certain moment. I got to a point where I wanted to be with every person I’ve ever met. I wanted to hear the voices and experience the personalities. This wasn’t a sad sort of longing though. I only felt a happiness come over me that I suddenly realized everything in this universe is connected. And that is where the water enters my story.
|Ran into a Momma bear and her |
cub 10 minutes after this.
Peaks of Otter, VA
If you drive down the road from Mt. Rushmore about a half-mile there is a lake on the left nestled in the gray rocks of the Black Hills Forest. Walk around the lake going clockwise and you will come to a bridge. To the woods left of that bridge there is a skinny little blocked off trail that leads to a charming little waterfall hidden in the trees. So of course it wasn’t long before I was in the chilly water feeling the slick rocks under my bare feet. There, shivering in the water, hearing nothing but the gentle crash of the stream, I heard the voice of the water. It said, “Cody, I enjoy your company, but you’re really messing up my flow”. Haha okay that’s my only crappy river joke I’ll tell. But in truth, the water did speak to me. It just spoke to me in a language that is beyond the limits of our own words. And I smiled, cause I knew that all this time I was right. I wasn’t alone. I was not the only one seeing the double rainbow form across the prairie land in South Dakota. It wasn’t just me
felt the mist of the waterfall upon my skin in the San Juan Mountains. To take
the words of Alan Watts, “You do not find bees where there are no flowers, and
you do not find flowers where there are no bees”. They are mutually arising.
Thus, they are one in the same, inseparable, just as we are inseparable from
everything around us. The water is a part of me and I a part of the water, part
of the Earth. Connected we are, all of us, all the time. The birds, the sun,
the stars, moon, and rivers. The veins of the universe. Shall we pulse with
|Wind Cave National Park, SD|