Big Bend National Park was never on my list of must-visit-before-you-die places. But it should have been.
I swear that I can tell you without reading the signs when I have crossed over from one state to the next. Something changes—the sense of prosperity versus struggle, the road construction, the vegetation, something intangible that distinguishes Florida-ness from Georgia-ness, North Carolinian from Tennessean.
I met a friend in darkest Florida this week. We stayed at an 1870s old-Florida inn on the Baron River in Everglades City, decorated with trophy fish, stuffed otters, alligator jaws. I could almost see Teddy Roosevelt’s reflection in the varnished oxblood floors.
All my life, I wanted to assuage my springtime restlessness with wandering and freedom that came without guilt or harm. Now here I am on a three-month wander, only to discover that wandering isn’t so easy after a lifetime of structured time.