Awaking sometime near the 8 o'clock hour, Kerri placed Tula on her leash in the house to again avoid any trouble. I made some tea while she and I discussed what we were going to do that morning.
We opted for a walking tour of the arts district on Haywood and a stroll in the West End area. Still, we would need to jump in her VW to get there.
Before our jaunt, I caught her up on my life story from high school to present day in about 30-minutes. When she heard my story, she confided that my motorcycle journey made more sense to her. Derrick listened patiently to my ranting.
Now... for the Asheville quick and dirty tour.
French Broad River: CHECK.
Arts District Walk: CHECK.
West End Be Seen Scene: CHECK.
Along our tour, Kerri and I discussed everything from the lack of affordable housing and the lack of diversity in the area.
Here's what's popping up in the way of housing.
We also went on about how fickle the real estate market is and continues to be.
We wondered -- a where are they now moment -- about some of our high school classmates.
Although, we were just acquaintances during our high school days, I discovered how connected Kerrri and I were on "big picture" issues.
Later, we stopped by a grocery co-op for some hydration and refreshments.
Then, we headed back.
It was approaching noon, and I wanted to be on the road for my next stop.
Before leaving, Kerri insisted that I make a meal, so I whipped up some soft-boiled eggs, rye toast, and cut up some mozzarella.
She helped me with my destination to Horse Shoe, North Carolina by printing out the directions for me.
(Luckily, Dave and his girlfriend Stacy were less than 25-miles away.)
I carefully maneuvered my cycle down the steep driveway BEFORE attaching any of my stuff on the cycle.
Again, Kerri assisted.
Derrick watched of this all go down from their awesome front deck; apparently, he enjoyed the motorcycle show.
Just before 1 p.m., I hugged the two of them goodbye and headed for 25 followed by 240 West.
Off I went to Dave and Stacy's home...
The ride was somewhat congested on my way out of the city.
Too many lights.
Too many commercial zones.
Then, I passed the airport (it was on my right).
Finally, I reached a nice stretch of rural landscape on a four-lane road (plus an extra suicide lane).
When I pulled into their house, I saw four cars in the driveway and thought I was coming upon an NFL Sunday football party.
I did not.
I knocked, and Dave answered the door.
If I was to venture a guess, I think I had not seen him in close to a decade.
My old college friend offered me a hug and let me inside the house; I shook hands with his girlfriend Stacy.
Shortly after my arrival, she seemed to disappear into her room to talk on the phone. Dave and I fumbled our way around each other until finally a calm had settled into the space.
I unloaded my stuff while Dave got back to work on his MBA schooling.
Within a few minutes, Stacy came out and asked me if I was interested in going for a hike.
Before we left in her big, black, beautiful Jeep, I called Kerri to let her know all was okay.
Stacy and I were off to the DuPont State Forest.
We spent nearly two-hours on a gorgeous hike around waterfalls and a covered bridge.
We exchanged family stories, ex-boyfriend stories, yoga stories, and travel stories.
I enjoyed her energy, her optimism, and her authenticity.
Here I was waiting to see Dave, and instead, I end up bonding with his amazing girlfriend.
On our return, Stacy asked me what I wanted for dinner: quiche or pork tenderloin?
I chose quiche and quinoa.
We arrived back in the house, and began dinner preparations while Dave did his school work.
She cooked while I diced up veggies.
Later, Stacy poured me a glass of wine and a warmth filled my heart when I saw her message; I gave her a big hug.
Who does that?
Dave took a few interruptions to chat with us, and he reviewed my route for the following day.
When dinner was ready, he offered a special prayer for my safe journey home. During our meal, Stacy observed at how Dave and I both utilize external verbal processing... i.e. we talk to ourselves.
Dave went on a civilized and well-focused rant on the importance of social interaction between humans, and how talking to oneself may function as part of that lost interaction; hence, why the homeless talk to themselves.
It was a college flashback for me -- a Dave moment.
Later, we loaded the dishwasher while Dave went back to work.
Stacy offered me her room and bed in the way of sleeping arrangements, and I accepted.
Unfortunately, I had to say goodnight to her early because she would be up at 5 a.m. for a yoga boot camp session followed by work.
I opted to retire shortly after her. Of course, I showered; then, I laid my sleeping bag on her bed.
Although I had forgotten to say goodnight to Dave, I knew I would see him in the morning, so I drifted off to sleep.
Until we meet again, my friend.