It was a spectacular November morning, the high desert air clear and sharp, the sun ablaze in a cobalt sky. The future was mine for a song.
It was my first day on the road, the beginning of my grand adventure. It was my ultimate break with the past, my rejection of the familiar, and my repudiation of the predictable. There I was, on the cusp of metamorphosis, about to tear through the walls of my cocoon and take flight into a brave new world.
I was terrified.
It had seemed like a good idea, leaving everything and everyone behind to hitchhike across America. But that first morning out, standing on barren stretch of New Mexico highway 650 miles from where I’d started, all I could think of was getting back on the train to Southern California and slinking home to confess my reckless folly.