I awoke to the smell of warm dough and lemon on Monday morning.
Charese had prepared some fresh baked berry scones with a lemon icing.
Warm, crumbly deliciousness.
It seems there's nothing Charese can't do. This woman is a massage therapist, a baker, a french press barista, an artist, a gardener, and an outdoorswoman.
Both Charese and Steveo greeted me in the kitchen. Who knows how long they had been up.
I had two scones and a strong coffee and caught up some more with the couple; then, I went up for a quick shower.
When I returned downstairs, I could hear Paul and Charese laughing.
We shared more stories, and I was shown two books to review.
Charese had a client coming to see her around 10:30 a.m., so our time with her was limited.
Paul, Steveo, and myself walked around the garden, the small apple orchard, the wildflowers, and the woodshed.
I ended up running all over the yard with Riley -- boy, can she jump high.
A few times she nearly knocked me over.
When the "boys" left the woodshed, we gathered around the garage to say goodbye; many hugs were exchanged.
Charese had finished up with her client just before we left, so we were able to hug her a second time.
Paul and I got back on the road in the early afternoon; it was drizzly and gray.
We had a few errands to run before my departure: post office stop and sleeping bag stop.
That evening, we had leftovers; I did all my laundry; we watched the presidential debate.
Nearly the entire household retired around midnight.
Paul offered to make me breakfast on Tuesday morning; instead, I had toast with jam and had Paul boil me some eggs (for later).
While I packed and bungeed my bag to the bike, he focused on the eggs.
Later, he filled up my gas tank with some of his reserves, and off we went.
Paul escorted me out of the city which was a huge relief. He took me onto 19 South near Lebanon.
He pulled over into a gas station where we hugged and said our goodbyes.
My next stop would be the Audra State Park located just outside of Buckhannon, West Virginia.
It was a perfect riding day: slight chill, crystal blue skies, and scarce traffic.
Driving through Washington required a few strange turns to stay on 19 South, but after that city, the road offered gentle hills and curves with a few straightaways.
I drove through rural Pennsylvania, then, I came upon Morgantown (home of WVU). The college town had a bit of congestion; here, I would pick up 119 South, and I was on the lookout for it.
I stopped at Sheetz to refuel.
While there, I met a homeless man named Bobby. Hearing his accent was pleasant because it was soft on the ears, and it confirmed the directions: South.
We spoke for a bit about my motorcycle; he asked me to be careful.
I ate the hard boiled eggs Paul prepared for me.
Shortly after my return on the road, I veered left at a V-intersection onto 119.
Winding roads -- sometimes gentle -- sometimes unforgiving.
One spill, and you might as well call it the drop dead plan.
Along I went on 119.
Small towns -- police radars -- Jesus saves -- sweeping valleys -- bright goldenrod -- pouch tobacco barn signs -- cliffs.
An Audra State Park sign appeared, and I made a left.
More rural landscape -- trailers, estates, stables, and deer.
I pulled into the park and set up my tent in a part where the creek gurgled.
(The attendant would be by to pick up the money.)
Tent up, I checked out the bathroom facilities.
I sat and reflected for quite awhile on that creek.
(Later, I spoke to a ranger and received an IOU for my campsite. Internet was down, so I could not use my debit card.)
Dusk hit earlier than usual, so I retired early.
As I retired, two cars pulled up to the site next to mine. Slamming of doors occurred throughout the night. I tossed and turned -- this time due to human noise.
Still, my sleeping bag was cozy; I felt like a little caterpillar.
Camping alone was far more tolerable now.
Until we meet again, my friend.