Making it happen.Often we will see people from our past at the store, at a funeral, or on Facebook and make promises to get together soon, knowing it will never happen. Not because we do not want it to happen it is just because so much life happens! But sometimes we must make just a little effort to make it happen Thankfully, when Pamela Sitton Rush suggested we get together when she came into town we worked a little harder to make it happen.So last night I had an opportunity to reconnect with a wonderful young lady that I have not had a chance to spend much time with, in 30+ years. My cousin on my dad’s side. She also brought with her a nephew I have never met, Cory.
We had talked about a visit for quite a while but plans did not fall into place till yesterday morning. We decided on a hike on the Mountain to Sea trail. We met at Craven’s gap on the Blueridge Parkway after I had gotten off of work. It was a beautiful pastel spring day poured straight out of a Claude Monet painting. Bluebirds singing and wildflowers bursting forth in tempo with the breeze.
Up the mountains, we headed.But You know me, any adventure can turn into Gilligan’s island three-hour tour pretty fast. For the most part, the climb was gradual but consistent. As we talked and reminisced the old days, catching up with life, discussing the grains of sand that had slipped through the hourglass. We had a semi-goal of Doctor Ambler’s Rattlesnake lodge but as we got closer, ambition started biting, and at some point, we had made it too far to turn back with not seeing it.
It was getting late but we pushed on. As we walked along the old carriage road up to Doctor Ambler’s place we were carried back in time and into a creaking carriage with wooden wheels bumping and bouncing along this old road, looking up as the wind pushed clouds, obscured and then revealed the moon eerily through a swaying oak’s branches. Memorized by we pressed on maybe a little too much? Pam’s hip had flared up a bit so after Rattlesnake lodge we took the trail down to the parkway so our walk back in the dark would not be over such rocky terrain, but as we approached the parkway the pain in Pam’s hip became much worse. Sherri called and said she was just getting off work. Umm ” How about coming and picking us up on the way home?” Talk about perfect timing! When we got to the parkway some guy was setting in his car talking on his phone. He started shining his light at us sort of surprised to see people walk out of the woods in the middle of the night. We exchanged pleasantries and he was back to loving a bottle of wine and his girlfriend on the phone. We waited by a beautiful moonlit waterfall for Sherri. A perfect end to our hike. Or was it? I started hearing tribal sounds, chanting, drums, maybe? At first, I thought it was our newfound friend but this sounded “live” and was getting closer. We were just below Tanbark tunnel I look up towards the tunnel and see a very large shadow emerging from the darkness of the tunnel getting closer, the chanting getting louder and even more fervent. The guy in the car had jumped out at the commotion. Shining his light at this very large person walking in the dark. This very large person mumbled “water” then walked between us, up to the waterfall dipped his hands in the water pulling it to his face and through his hair. He was sort of a peculiar-looking fellow, as I said, a very large person, a white guy but with a high-rise afro and he was wearing overalls. He turned slowly back to us and silently disappeared into the night. For some odd reason, this queued us into telling ghost stories till Sherri arrived. It was a great hike, 4.4 miles and we made many wonderful memories that we will remember forever. The next time you tell someone we need to get together soon. Make it happen you never know what kind of adventure you may have!