The Hostess... The Hunter... The Birthday Boy...
Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
61Trip End Jul 11, 2013
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After a cocktail and few aps with Bridger in Winston-Salem (and - no Nancy, we didn't send your son back to class drunk) we were back on the road headed south to Charlotte to hopefully see another old buddy and bar mate from Trav's days.
Steve's whereabouts were somewhat sketch, but with some Facebook sleuthing we were able to confirm his location through his sister and his son, both of whom are also in Charlotte.
Unfortunately we were unable to see Steve, but we did have a great phone conversation and committed to staying better in touch. His "little " sister [ sorry Laura but you'll always be a young 'un to me ] and Steve's son Bryan, who was 7 the last time we saw him, cheerfully greeted us with his girlfriend Kathleen, at their good friend Lee's house, who sight unseen, offered a driveway and an extension cord for us to set up camp for a few days
Once again Mary and I are totally humbled by the hospitality of a total stranger. Laura and Lee could not have been more congenial gracious hosts. Laura even dug up some 30 year old photos and treated us to some local fare at Red Rocks and The Lodge, and Lee regaled us with anecdotes, opinions and stories from the perspective of a true "man's man", not to say he didn't have a soft, sentimental side as well.
We learned from him that the benches in front of country stores are known as "SPB's" [soft pecker benches] for the old guys who use them. He cracked us up when describing the taste of O'Douls beer, which he would never try again because it " tastes like aaassss! "
His house "decor" (which Laura described as "bachelor redneck mess with dogs") brought us back to Montana, the walls adorned with a plethora of mounts, from bighorns to wild boars [shot in New Hampshire! ] and a 328 point Argentinian red stag, a 78 point pronghorn. This serious and seasoned hunter clearly had a soft side brought to light by the three rescued dogs who owned the place and the contingent of semi-feral cats who lived in the sunroom
One evening we deftly timed a visit to Dwayne's & Melissa's house just to the North on Lake Norman to coincide with Dwyane's 60th birthday party. Mary has known him long enough to consider family and we were reminded he was even a roommate for a while back in the 80's. The partiers included their lake neighbors and another old friend from Maryland who flew down for the occaision, YB [short for Young Bill ]. Not long before he has to change to OB, just like the rest of us. We had a great night of classic rock in Dwayne's retro basement reliving the old days and comparing aches and pains, which seems to be a subject that arises way too often.
The morning after, yet another reunion with fellow adventurer and survivor, Kevin, whom I met in the desert of Baja, Mexico back in '05. As soon as we sat down at our new favorite coffee spot, Caribou, the memories flooded back from that incredible weeklong expedition and spiritual awakening we experienced with twenty others on the peninsula
Next stop Charleston, South Carloina where we will stay in an incredible beachfront house on Isle of Palms, a surprise accomodation provided to us by cousins Cliff and Kathy. In fact, we might not go any farther!!