Theres a certain kind of peace that comes over you when you drive the blueridge mountains at sunset. Long, quiet breaths, open windows, loud music, good company. Thats what I remember about this drive. Despite being the second time we did this stretch, every corner was just as breathtaking as the one before. I picked up another gypsy traveller a few days earlier and we stuck like glue. Hands down to sites like couchsurfing that make it possible to arrive in a city and greet a stranger in the middle of a drum circle with a hug. A hug that says, ” I’m so glad you made it” and “Its lovely to meet you” and “My name is ___” all at once. We met for a beer and followed it up with five days of adventure together. We drank good beer, we danced to string music, we jumped into swimming holes, we hiked mountains, we slept in backcountry shelters, we geeked out with our cameras. We made a trip to the smokies and gawked at cariboo like all the other tourists. We lit torches and played with fire. We were quiet over music. We shopped, asked each others opinions and promptly ignored them. I often wonder if we would have become such good friends had we met in any other way. We said “until next time” with a genuine hug.