Everyone comes to the redwoods with a sense of adventure. Some happen to arrive with substantially more then others.
I heard Helena before I saw her. She was riding a hog (a massive Harley-Davidson that weighed many times her own weight I’m sure) and she was lost, the revving of her cycle’s engine coming from up and down Monument Dr. I’ve helped many a lost driver so I took off on a run, hoping to guide her in that last 100 yards. I found her headed down the wrong driveway, no way to back up, and just a little bit concerned — as was I. This bike was huge and the driver was utterly petite. My, my… But the spirit of adventure was totally present in Mette Helena (and I would learn that spirit could kick more ass than any piece of hot metal ever could).
On a swing through the western US, a sort of celebration journey after buying and learning to ride the Harley, Helena was in no mood to further pound the pavement. She holed up in the bnb, read, wrote in her journal, surfed the web, and took time to soak in the hot tub. It was as if she was on vacation from her vacation (go figure).
We had plenty to talk about as Helena once owned a B&B in Norway (note the flag in the photo). We talked about the highs and lows, the fun and the work. Just as I was revving up for this new life, I sensed Helena had no regrets at having put that chapter behind her (although I like to think she appreciated her stay here a tad more then most given the perspective). I have no illusions that owning a bnb might not pack the same punch as other career choices (my own, past tense, included) but for the life of me, I was feeling alright with the world — sharing the table, cooking meals, chatting, and all the while being able to call it a business model.
Helena and I texted and emailed over the course of her next 1,000 miles — the long days, the crummy motel rooms (one she thought was haunted!), the inclement weather, the near misses, the adventure of the road. No idea where I go tomorrow. Too many choices, she emailed after leaving Hiouchi. Damn, I thought. A true adventurer.