Woke up at the decent, but forgettable—what’s it called?—ha ha—Lake Powhatan and packed it up quickly to search for a coffee shop in Asheville. When I told a record store clerk—never ask a record store clerk anything by the way—to point me to an area with “freaky, hippy, bohemian restaurants,” he said, “pretty much that’s all of Asheville.” I would have to disagree, but the concentration is surprising. After a couple of hours at a communist bookstore (always a treat), I hit the road and made the first of two driving errors. Neither one were major, but I was a little pissed that I somehow got off course each time by about 15 miles. I love following maps and, folks, some placees the roads are marked more clearly than other places.
Wait—I’m writing to you from inside my tent at Chester State Park. It’s too fucking hot to write in this tent at 10:30pm. I’ll continue in the morning, if I haven’t turned into a puddle.
Okay, last night was a hot one. At least to be in a tent. What I want, I’ve decided is one of those pop-up trailers. Some guy told me to go to folddowntrailers.com. Shoulda known that would exist.. (ps: it doesn’t. I looked)
anyway, I’m at Waffle House a few miles up the road from Chester. And I’m a fugitive from the law. Yep. Skipped out on my camping bill. Hey, hold your judgment, a minute! It was funny—twice yesterday, the rangers waved me off when I tried to pay. At first I thought they were just being inexplicably samaritanly, but the second time I realized it was more of a laziness (“we’ll getcha later, son…”) So, this morning, I was packed up and showered and they hadn’t “got me.” On the way out the gate, I found myself driving past a ranger, and so I rolled down the window and did my best SC y’all drawl: “don’t y’want want me to pay ya?!” He smled back and said: “We didn’t get ya last night?” Nope, I said. And he mulled this over and said “It’s $14.59.” Aw, man… I thought—because, for some reason, I thought that it was $7. And I knew I only had $8. I fumbled around for my checkbook, half knowing that I didn’t have it. I have to confess: I was secretly hoping that he would say “don’t worry about it; we’ll see ya next time.” But no! Finally, I was mumbling about a cash machine, and allowin’ as how I reckoned I could go down the road 5 miles to the BP, which I meant to do, I really did! Which as you read this, I didn’t do. My rationalization: I can mail it later. I really hope I do that.
This fugitive stuff is exhausting.