Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Into the Wild

Let me say up front, I can't speak for the book (I haven't read it), but the movie was easily one of the three best I saw last year.

But I'm not here to review either. This post is about my brush with that world. On the way from Charleston, SC, to Cumming, GA, last Friday, I stopped for gas in Columbia. As I filled the Jeep's tank, I noticed four young people sitting on the curb of the gas station. I think I knew without being told that they were looking for a ride. The next time I glanced at them, the sign you'll see in the photo below was obvious. I was already considering giving them a ride when Susie made eye contact. "Are you headed west on I-26?"

Whether by necessity or purely by choice, as in the case of Christopher McCandless, the four of them are living the life that movie dramatizes. It was an interesting couple of hours. I took the photo when I let them out just before the I-26/I-385 split and sent them on their way with a little green to buy dinner. They were on their way from Savannah, where they'd joined the biggest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the US, to Asheville.

The story deserves better telling than the short shrift I'm giving it here, but hey, I'm doing some traveling of my own--in the space of ten seconds earlier today, I crossed from Colorado, to Utah, to Arizona, to New Mexico about three times each.

I did not stop to set my watch going in and out of Arizona.