Last night, when everything was getting a little shitty, I called Shelly for a chat. She mentioned Couchsurfing.com, and that closed a loosely connected circuit in my head. It's a shame I can't afford a secretary. I have some seriously loose connections in the cabeza, and too often an obvious hint comes through as an epiphany. Duh, Couchsurfing.com. I've had an account since 2007, and it didn't occur to me that this was a much better way to meet someone with a spare couch and an open mind.
I made up my mind to try to stay in town, because my ankles are shit. My ankles are total shit because I beat them up. To be fully accurate, they're on the verge of feeling okay, but definitely not good enough to trust with confidence on a long ride over the difficult mountains which lay immediately ahead of me. Rest is smart; crushing pedals out of town is hasty and negligent.
I got up this morning and proceeded back to the pedestrian mall to get a coffee and open up my computer. Couchsurfing.com listed 255 potential hosts in Charlottesville proper. Yikes - what was I doing not consulting this resource? I contacted a few promising prospects, and within a couple hours was heading to a house where I was welcome to stay "however long."
Will is an amiable couchsurfing host, and I am proud to be his first actual guest. Actually, there are several guys living in this house, and they all go to the University of Virginia. Actually, Will just graduated a day earlier, so this is an exciting time for him.
I am a lone traveler, but a reasonably social person when it's time. When I don't talk to people much for awhile, I seem to make up for lost time when the opportunity arises. I was happy to talk a whole lot, and I tried not to make it one-sided. It was surprising how much we knew about each other in about ten minutes. Will and his roommate, Hunter, are obviously good people. I seems like that's par for the course with couchsurfing hosts... by it's very nature it acts as it's own filter. How great is that?
I killed a billion hours today happily walking without my bicycle and all of it's associated encumbrances. I bought a book and read it for hours. By the end of the day, I'd read half the book. It's a great book: A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson. This guy is an author. This is must-read material. Yes - I did laugh out loud, and quite a bit. It's about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It's loosely based on subject matter that overlaps with the spirit and nature of the weird adventure I'm involved in. It's a great book.
The highlight of my day was walking in a group of four around the UVA campus. The chemistry building was open, and in the midnight hours we watched the movie "Speed Racer" on the projector screen in a large lecture hall. Hunter got some snacks with the remaining credits on his student card. It was a beautiful campus, and the word serendipity keeps ringing in my head.