IT WAS 4AM AND WE WERE IN THE CAR headed north. My very good friend had offered to lend a ride to central Oregon where I would begin this trek of the Oregon Coast with prayer and meditation as my only guiding light.
Missed the exit from my planned point of departure and drat, oh well. Let’s continue north to Albany and from there I shall make my way.
I walked the streets of Albany like a newly-born babe who didn’t his way. I searched for a Starbucks or coffee shop or anything from which I might be granted some internet access ot determine my route and bus schedules westward; bus schedules for which I had not planned on relinquishing any part of the $80 I had launched myself to begin this journey of faith with.
I wondered about and finally found THAT Starbucks which would provide with a source of access to information and discovered it was only a two hour walk to the Amtrak/Bus Station from where I would grab a bus to the coast- Newport. I had surmised it would be cheaper to take one bus to Corvallis and continue on another; but the friendly bus driver of the initial charter said he’d take me the whole way for the same price as the other carrier. This was a grand start.
I arrived in Corvallis where we had a brief, thirty-minute-window until leaving for the coast where I met a young travelere with unknown desires and unknown paths. I informed him that I was headed to the coast to begin a “pilgrimage for prayer.” “Where are you headed” I asked. “I don’t really know, how much is it to the coast?”
“Well, I worked out what seems to be a special deal with the driver to take me there for $10, so you might inquire about this with him or it may be a higher fee, one cannot be sure.” He responded, “I think I’ll head that way.” And he did, for a fee which I do not know but was left to the drivers and the fellow’s own devices.
We arrived in Newport and after raucus and through discussions on the bus route with fellow passengers the young man whom I had been fortunate to meet and converse about God and meditation and the reality of Truth in our lives in such short time-frame of relationship yet eternally significant said “I’ll get off at the library” and he was gone. Just like that.
For that is the way of the traveler, the people of the road. We have inexplicable encounters and events with one another that we both fully know has changed us forever, yet we depart from one another’s company and know that will be that. Sometimes contact information is exchanged and we remain informed as to what one another is doing- but that is not of importance. For it is not the length of time of direct encounter which truly measures the meaning of a friendship: it was occurs in the little time we all have on this wondrous Earth.
I departed the bus at City Hall of Newport ready and eyes-fully-wide at this grad adventure that was to unfold. I walked south through what I believe is considered “downtown” and onto the bridge toward South Beach with a nearby campground that was to be my home, my security for this night.