0123 A Remarkable Encounter (USA 055—revisit)
Hagerstown Travel Blog› entry 1 of 49 › view all entries
Episode 02: Travels with Andrew
*For previous USA adventures go to Blog 2007B, Entry 0087
I wake up and look at my watch and I’m jolted by the reality that 6 weeks have gone by and I can’t remember a single thing about them. That’s the problem with Real Life… it quickly becomes so repetitive that it all blurs together into one constant loop.
And it seems that today should be no exception. It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and it seems that I just got of work. In 14 hours I have to be back at work again. And so the routine continues almost without exception. But tonight for some reason I’ve awoken in Dream Mode. I look in the back seat and, sure enough, there’s the guitar and camera.
But first I’ve got to get some sleep, so I drive down Interstate 81 to a rest stop and sleep a couple hours in the car. Then I continue on to the next unexplored city down the road.
Hagerstown brings back memories from October of 2000, back before I had a car, and I bicycle down here 50 plus miles round trip. It was one of the crazy things I did on an impulse while trying to figure my life out… and it turned out to be a life changing experience—but that’s another story…
As for the city itself, I liked the mix of gritty, urban feel with a flowery Main Street, then a beautiful park built around a stream and lake with a historical building of some sort. But once you get outside the city’s core Hagerstown quickly becomes about as bad an illustration of urban sprawl as you can get with randomly placed big box stores, strip malls, and developments splattered all across the countryside.
I park my car on Main Street and head east, hoping to discover something new. I soon find I’m in a beautiful neighborhood of mansions with the trees all in bloom. I usually don't take my video clip in front of someone's house--but this time I can't resist.
Then a fellow out walking his dog hollers out "Hey! what kind of guitar is that?"
"Oh, it's just a cheap guitar I picked up for 16 bucks in China"...
His face lights up with excitement. “You’ve been to China?! Where else have you been?”
Within seconds we’re swapping stories of our adventures. Scott tells me about when as a young fellow he went to South America with almost nothing in his pockets and just lived with villagers way up in the Bolivian mountains.
It looks like I’ve found a kindred spirit. It’s like a glass of ice water in the middle of the desert. It feels like it’s been forever since I last came across a true world adventure here in small town USA… in fact, it seems it’s been a long time since I’ve had any sort or interesting encounter with a stranger here in the USA.
He invites me to his place for coffee and we continue to swap stories of our adventures and how they had changed our outlook on life and on the world. Even though he’s living in a very nice home, this guy clearly still has the fire inside of him.
Then he got a call on his cellphone--apparently he was supposed to be at a business meeting an hour ago!
That will always be remembered as one of the coolest encounters of my journeys…