Back to the vortex: Baltimore to Burnsville

The first leg of our trip took us west from Baltimore and then south along the Appalachian mountains.

We left in the late afternoon and drove off into the sunset. Hanging a left as we passed over the Appalachian Trail, we cruised down 81 for hours.

We stopped for dinner at the Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg, VA, where my friend from herb school is a worker-owner. It was nice to give Annie a hug and fill our bellies with delicious sandwiches. Although we were offered a place to stay, we got back on the road, aiming for Burnsville, NC.

As the hour grew later and later, then earlier and earlier, we drove up into the mountains separating Tennessee and North Carolina, up and up and right into a cloud. We saw many deer grazing then scattering out of the glare of our headlights. On the road to Arthur Morgan School, our headlights shone upon a solitary goat standing vigilant, eyes glowing, totally unmoving.

We crashed at Kay’s place (thanks Kay), which was empty save two sweet cats who wasted no time curling up with us in bed.

In the morning, we brewed up a big batch of tea from the herbalist we met in Berkeley Springs and brought down some foodstuffs from our old apartment as a gift to the house. Then we drove into Asheville to do a few errands, as if we never left; the majestic mountain silhouettes welcomed us home.

It was eerie to come back to this town so soon after having packed up for new adventures; we could feel its pull, the ease with which we slipped back into routine. We even had to make a trip back to the old apartment to pick up things we accidentally left behind. After lunch and checking everything off our to-do list, we agree to continue our trek. Otherwise, we felt, the vortex would suck us back in.


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