It was the International Day of Happiness. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but I read it on Facebook yesterday and I’m believing it. Jo is too.
Shoeless Jo is equipped with a natural instinct to live in the moment. I also believe that he is somewhat able to grasp the concept of time. He knows when he wants to eat, is thirsty, or wants to go outside. However, I don’t believe that he hangs on to yesterday’s events or worries about tomorrow much. He’s just here with me, enjoying his life and he always appears to be happy.
A few seasons ago I was backpacking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Somewhere between McKenzie Pass and Elk Lake southbound, there were two thru-hikers that I had walked with for thirty miles. They nicknamed me Happy. I accepted it as my trail name. Now it’s also my Elf Name at Christmas time and occasionally it’s how I introduce myself to some folks, “Hi, I’m Happy”. Kids love it.
At the moment, I’m really happy, lounging in a hot mineral bath, writing these words out.
Faywood Hotsprings is located twenty six miles south of Silver City. I started from the small mining town yesterday and it’s also where I had met Ernie. He has a stake in this place. It’s a magical oasis in the desert, and he’s invited me to stay complimentary. Before time, it was a scared healing place for Mimbres and Apache native peoples.
I accepted his offer and rerouted off course, going further south, detouring around Emmory Pass, a lung busting 8,300 feet tall. I won’t miss it.
It’s a treat to be camping here, enjoying the therapeutic waters and this enormous sky. There’s nothing out here to obstruct the views. It’s also a bird watchers paradise, or simply, a paradise for the birds.
The ride was mostly downhill, the road, straight as a plank. Signs on the highway gave warning of potentially blinding dust storms; zero visibility. How crazy would that be to be caught up in one of those storms? But today there’s only a slight breeze. It’s blowing towards me, cooling me off and at the same time, providing resistance, making me stronger.
A car stopped and came toward me in reverse. I’m on the side of the highway in nowhere-land. It was Connie and her hubby. They are the guardians of the hotsprings. She rolled her window down and said, “are you Josh Hart and Shoeless Jo?” I confirmed. She mentioned that our names where posted at the front entrance and that Chelsea would be welcoming us. How kind.
After setting camp, Jo and I went on an exploration, walking the grounds. We came upon a couple that closely resembled your typically sweet grandparents, Don and Patsy. They are roughing it in their fifth wheel. The slide out is jammed. Don says “my toys are wearing out”. And it sounds like he is too. He told me he’s ready to trade in his RV for a car and a hotel room. His wife Patsy is wearing the brightest purple blouse. She told me about their travels, visiting every national park.
The sun sank behind the distant mountains, turning the sky and clouds shades of pink and orange as Jo and I sat together on a park bench.
I made us dinner. Mine initially included potted meat. I’ve never actually eaten cat food before, but potted meat tastes exactly like cat food smells. Jo loves it. I won’t eat anymore of it.
Shoeless Jo is now wearing shoes. He has one front shoe and one rear. It’s what I brought with us. Yesterday, Ruffwear confirmed two more shoes for Shoeless. They’ve been really good to us, providing Jo’s pack, leash, dog bowl and of course, the shoes. We’ll receive his shoes by mail in El Paso, just a few days of pedaling from here.
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abraham Lincoln
And now I return to my happy place…