Well goodbye Mike. Goodbye Pat and goodbye Kate and Mary
I’m off in the morn with my pack on my back. I’m leavin Tipperary
That’s a couple of lines from old Irish song that came to mind as I journeyed down the long lonesome road. I was heading off out yonder like a tumbleweed in the wind. I had my whole life, my worldly possessions packed in a u haul truck with my little car hitched behind. Off I was to seek new adventures and what the world has in store for me elsewhere.
I felt a bit like a bear coming out of hibernation. Time to turn the page, spin the wheel and move along.
So over the mountains, across the hundreds of miles of wide open range I drove. Through seemingly endless space and time I drove. But at the end of the day I finally got here.
I’ll miss my old friends, environment and routine. But a nomad never stays in one place too long.
There’s a word that means hot in Spanish. That’s the name of my new little town - Caliente Nevada. It sits in a beautiful canyon in the south east corner of the state. Its quite a pretty town. Looks to me like a scene from a Disney movie set with a very lovely background. I think I’ll like it here.
I sit with my morning coffee and drink in the peace, stillness and solitude of rural Nevada. Life continues and life is good beyond the cities, the concrete and freeways. That world they call “civilization” is far off over a hundred miles or more.
Its a simple and easygoing lifestyle you find when you reach the hinterland. The basics of life seem to occupy people’s attention in their daily activities. There’s the usual talk of whats going on in the community and such. But all in all you find people quite well meaning, pleasant and friendly. You say “Hi. How are you?” and shake their hands. There’s something special about small town Americana.
There are stars; I mean those little points of light in the night sky. I see them through my window before I drift off to sleep. They twinkle down at me as though to wish me “Good night”.
Quite often you see deer rambling around town. They are mule deer. Each one looks like a little “Bambi” They resemble large puppy dogs with hoofs. Showing no great fear of humans, they let you get close. When you greet and talk to them they give you a curious look with their ears sticking straight up. They are really something to see. They could perhaps be town mascots?
I wake up to the sound of the morning train. I swear those trains must be haunting me. You see for years living in Lovelock I heard the steady rumble of freight trains chugging through town. In Carson City I lived across the street from the Railroad Museum. I heard the whistle from the old steam engine off and on, especially on weekends. I guess the tourists and kids loved to hear that nostalgic sound.
I live on the other side of the tracks in Caliente - literally. My apartment is within a hundred yards of the rail-line. So recently I’ve been thinking that my destiny must be entwined with that of the lonesome traveling train.
You forget all about the trains after a while, until another one comes rumbling along. The engineer blasts his horn a few times when it passes by as if he is saying “Hi. How do you do?”. Shortly the sound and the shape of the locomotive fades as it glides on down the track. Its headed off for far away places and other worlds.
Dan O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com.