This must be the place: Instead of insight, maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while

What’s that feeling you get pulling back up in front of your humble abode after weeks away, wandering and pondering?

This must be the place: Could have been the Willie Nelson, could have been the wine

Waking up in the hotel room at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, last Saturday morning, I rubbed my eyes and stretched out in the king bed. Another solo excursion of irresponsible enlightenment, which has now landed me above the border — in the land of friendly faces, poutine and hockey.

This must be the place: Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved

Monday afternoon. Plattsburgh, New York. Grabbing a few things for my intended hike up near Tupper Lake, in the depths of the Adirondack Mountains, I walked out the door of my parents’ farmhouse just as my mother asked where I was going.

This must be the place: Well, I love home, but the road’s got all I need

The alarm on the smart phone shook me out of some foggy, odd dream. Par for the course, in terms of the subconscious realm. Lots on the mind lately, whether near or far from my inner thoughts and emotions. Turn off the alarm and emerge from one’s slumber. 

This must be the place: Set of keys and a dusty suitcase, car wheels on a gravel road

What’s that feeling the day before a big trip? More so, a road trip? Where you’re mulling over what to pack and what to not forget to do before you leave town — your friends and all things familiar now in the rearview mirror.

This must be the place: Time waits for no one, lord, why did I hesitate?

Stepping out onto the porch late Sunday morning, the air was cool. The first sign of an impending fall, even though there’s exactly one month left of summer, at least according to the calendar. 

This must be the place: Ode to the flood, ode to Cruso, Bethel and Canton

Sitting on a barstool at The Water’n Hole in Waynesville last Monday afternoon, I took a pull from the cold Budweiser bottle and let out a slight sigh. Stories and tales were being exchanged all along the bar counter about where folks were and what they were doing during “The Great Flood of 2021.” 

This must be the place: When the west was wild and the land was free, how a western word would travel for a country mile

Once the paved road turned to dirt, I noticed a small pull-off to the right. Putting the ole Tacoma in park, I emerged from the vehicle and could hear the sounds of passing cars on the Blue Ridge Parkway just above me and through the nearby tree line on this lazy Monday afternoon. 

This must be the place: When the sun goes down at night, gonna let you know that everything’s alright

Tapping my smart phone, it lights up and indicates that it’s now 2:34 a.m. Saturday. Sitting on my tailgate in the depths of the FloydFest camping woods, I’m sharing the vehicular platform with my new friend, June. It’s dark, with the only light coming from an illuminated dirt road on the other side of the tree line and the red glow at the end of the joint June just sparked up.

This must be the place: It's all I got to get, it's really all there is

It’s 9:58 a.m. Tuesday. Downtown Waynesville. Back at the office, this week’s newspaper is being edited and proofed before it heads to the printer, onward to newsstands around the region tomorrow morning. 

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