He wasn’t lost, misplaced or meandering, a better term would be “re-orienting himself.” Bushwhacking wasn’t his forte but he has a decent natural north and generally got where he wanted to be without a phone, map or GPS. Currently the problem was the county road division. They didn’t believe in paving roads. This road clearly was going somewhere or it wouldn’t have asphalt on it. Every time he considered turning right or left he’d find the pavement ended after 50 to 100 feet. Tricked the first couple of times he was now in the habit of slowing and looking before he turned in. A 90 degree turn to the right throbbed in his head. Just a turn to the right before he was too off track.
Another intersection, another dirt road; every mile or so.
He turns down one of the incomplete roads, kills the engine and coasts to a stop. He can hear the wheels on the sandy (soon to end) blacktop. Dismounting cop style he plants his foot and swings his right foot over the seat. He can feel blood flowing back into his knees. Looking around for some sign of humanity, namely a silo or water-tower he thinks about direction. The land is rolling and flat punctuated by heavy brush wherever there is water. He had been taught to follow water if he ever got lost. “Water leads to people because people seek it out. Humans need water!” His father was an outdoors-man and worried about his boy getting lost or eaten by something. “Water goes to more water,” he said, “It’s life. It will lead you down from the mountain and somewhere on it’s bank you will find people.” What kind of people was never mentioned. Pop looked so serious when he’d pass that sort of information along. His eyes were so bright back then. Over the years the frame of his face had changed, become wrinkled and gray but his eyes had always been so very bright. Things change, things fade.
Down the road about a quarter of a mile he can see where a small creek wanders over and bumps the packed gravel. There are a couple of what could be small walnut trees there as well. The image of a pipe clean or furry caterpillar comes to mind as he looks around at the meandering creek. Throwing a his leg back over he fires it up and starts down the road, quickly dropping off the pavement. It is a well maintained “unimproved” road without washboard or washouts. Shadow lay on the road and parking meant keeping away from the shoulder to keep it from collapsing. A junction box cover came out of a saddlebag and went under the kickstand just in case.
Shade felt good. Protected from the sun. Respite. Just big enough to be called a creek and not a drainage brown water rain with modest speed. It was hard to believe that the ground had that much run to it. Rooting around he found his rain jacket and after an inspection for insects or their homes he spread it with the liner up and then sat down and laid back on it.