As I was walking back to my campsite at the KOA in Albuquerque, I noticed a car with a Virginia license plate. Having lived there for part of my life, I stopped to ask the young woman who owned it what part of Virginia she was from. “Richmond”, she said. We exchanged some small talk during which I learned that she worked for “a company called REI” and that she was on a cross-country solo camping trip, just like me! Her name is Abby and she's 25. She came to my campsite and we shared a cup of coffee and pored over our National Park atlases like they were the gospel. I shared some of my favorite spots going westward, and she shared some spots she had been to eastward that were notable. I felt such a sense of admiration and pride in her even though I had just met her. Traveling alone. Fearless and driven. It was a magical moment between us- women of different generations both doing things outside our comfort zones.
Abby and I are now Facebook friends and I'm keeping up with her. Safe travels to you, beauty.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.