Tuesday, September 3, 2013

wild roads and feather burns

It's bucketing rain as we climb the narrow trail out of the Linville Gorge. I haven't been in rain like this for years- hard, drenching, turning the trail into a running river. We've been jumping off of boulders into the swimming hole all day, we're already soaked, now the rain just feels warm.
When the lightning comes, Erich and I start talking back and forth about reverse triage and if the heart would really spontaneously re-start after a lighting strike. I am thinking about feather burns and my friend Connor getting struck and thrown against a rock wall as the storm gets closer and closer, or more like the storm has always been there, and we are getting closer to it as we climb higher up the ridge.

Thunder is cracking above us and echoing through the gorge, the flashes of light coming in faster intervals. Finally Dave shouts that we can hike along and talk about lighting death all we want but he's running for it. So we all start running, sloshing through the shin deep water until we're out of the forest and we make a running dive into the car. The road is washed out and gutted with potholes, the wheels spit gravel and grind.
Wild boys on wild roads that lead to wild places. We hiked up the river to a deep, cool spot where no one could find us.
Two weeks deep into my life in Asheville. If you could see the sadness over leaving Washington it might look like faint, feathery red patterns over my skin, but the heart, old soldier, didn't take long to start up again.


Rhett said...

So glad you're finding your way in NC. The mountains of the Southeast are amazing. I'm out in Missoula now and love it here but, your photos make me a bit homesick. I miss those kinds of rivers and the lushness of the woods. I look forward to hearing about your adventures. Have fun!

Erin said...

I was startled to read your use of the word "cracking" to describe thunder...because I just used that word, too. I swear, I didn't steal it from you. I didn't even read this post until after I posted mine. I'm chalking it up to some cosmic connections. Don't make us wait so long before the next one!! XO

Surndr said...

those swim bottoms are super cute! where did you get them?

Sian said...

Yay loving hearing about your move, cant wait for more x

Melina said...

@surndr, I left my bathing suit bottoms in Missoula, so that's just underwear! Victoria secret, the sort of boy-short cotton ones.

cindy said...

oh, that heart, old soldier, that heart. I'm still waiting for the lashings to fade. maybe it's the river that washes it away. Maybe if I follow your lead and just go to the water....With tomorrow comes the surfing lessons with Jeff and Paul. Remember them? Pretty sure I'll be on spin cycle in the giant washing machine somewhere near Topanga Beach. ...Maybe this will do the trick. The parallels, they're still there. Strange, eh?