The toll booth guard looked a bit surprised as I crawled out of the brambles and took my position with thumb pointing south. Actually, brambles are only brambly on the edge of brambles. Once past the brambles, a neat patch of trees usually awaits the outdoor traveler. So I slept well on a flat ground. Looking pert and chirpy by noontime, I quickly fetched a lift.


After a few rides, I was in DC once again, home of national monuments. A car full of African-Americans picked me up, but they did not refer to themselves as African-Americans. They wanted a driver to carry them around while they sniffed coke, but not the cola kind. I told them that I did not drive. I had a license, but not a car, so I never drove anywhere. The fellow driving was also snorting a white powder while miraculously avoiding collisions with other vehicles. It was obvious, however, that this series of miracles would soon end with a big finale, so I exited at the first red light he stopped for. This ride may have been only five minutes long, but it was the scariest I ever had.


Have I delivered my sermon on drug abuse yet? Well, it's very short. So, once more: DON'T! Everyone wants to get high and stay there, but a drug high is a poor substitute for being comfortable within yourself. If you are lucky, you may see a sunset one day that carries you into that extra dimension of human existence where all is clear and time disappears. You may not find yourself over the rainbow, but you won't be in Kansas anymore either. Once you know that high, you will never return to drug lows.


Wilmington ⇒ Baltimore ⇒ Washington ⇒ Richmond ⇒ Petersburg ⇒ Durham ⇒ Greensboro... 400 miles. By evening time, I had made it to my friends' house under the transmission towers in Greensboro, NC.