Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The rest of the story

O K here goes, it was June 8th and the aroma of coffee was moving through the house. The brew must have hit the Nomad before I, as he beat me to the pot. This was going to be a quick interesting morning. It was probably about 6:15a.m. The kids had school and my wife drives the school bus and I had to work early. Nomad was to be on the trail early and I was going to drop him off on my way. We said our goodbyes to and I loaded him and his gear into the van about 7:00a.m. We needed to stop at a quick mart so he could get enough food for two to three days, as he would not pass another town, nor a store for at least two. The trail he would be taking was all off road and mostly along the Manistee River. He would be starting his day at the Valley of the Giants east of Hodge Rd. It is a glorious place. I sat in my van at the quick mart waiting and watching. I was still in awe to be in the presence of this man. I continued pinching myself. He would pass by the window and put something on the counter and then disappear for a few more minutes. I wanted to give him a little bit of money, knowing he didn't neccessarily need it, but he would do right with it. I got into my wallet and grab a bill and held it in my hand until it was almost wet. I was trying to figure out how to pass it to him. The thought passed through my head to put it in his backpack, but it would be wrong to touch it. So I put it besides my seat in the small garbage can, and you probably can guess what he said when he seen the money in the can. He said,"so what, you throw money away?" I told him no and what my intentions were and he accepted it. He offered me a breakfast sandwich and I declined. He looked right into my eyes and said,"you expect me to accept your gift and you can't accept mine."It seemed he could have slapped me. I made up the story that he would be needing the sandwich more than I. But really the butterflies in my stomach would not have allowed me to even eat a bite!
So off to the trail we go. It was only a ten minute drive to the trailhead. it was pourng down rain. It was the kind of rain you do not stay dry in. I think both of us knew he was going to be bone wet in the first 20 minutes of his 25 mile day. The trail he would be walking today was mostly single track with lots of foliage. I helped him out of the van, helped pull his rain poncho over his pack, shook his hand and gave him a big hug and that was goodbye for today. I watched him disappear into the woods not before he turned around and gave a goodbye wave. I know he was sad and so was I, but this saddness would not of come if we hadn't be able to spend some very nice time together. I didn't cry on my way to work, but I almost felt like I needed to. I had a lump in my throat, but it was a great drive into work. I was floating on air. Noone would believe what kind of the story I would be telling this day. He did make mention of the poison I may have after today. It is the Nomad's Poison and yes I do believe I have caught it. His passion is his poison, and yes it is contagious. And really by reading this little bit I have written here doesn't even begin to explain this individual known as the Nimblewill Nomad. I call him Eb.

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