The Charlie Bravo Story


Dad here; with everything else that’s been going on around the Casa, I have neglected to spend as much “me” time with Charlie as she would like, and it shows. Just like a motorcycle ride doesn’t qualify as such until you’re on your second tank of fuel, Her Highness doesn’t consider it a “date night” until we spend at least one night on the road.

So, last night we took the Mini Van Gogh camper rig out into the Flatside Wilderness to hang out with some motorcycle knuckleheads that were camping out there as well. As the sun dropped behind the Ouachita mountains, the temperature followed suit, and the camp chairs began to creep closer and closer to the fire. As Orion revealed himself in the southern sky, the overwhelming desire to follow the direction of his left hand towards the west hit me so hard it was like a stone in my stomach.

It is said that the inexperienced traveler seek a destination, but the seasoned(a nice way of saying “old”) traveler seeks only a direction and an excuse. We have no problems with finding excuses; 1059 miles to Chama, NM to get a burrito at Fina’s Country Kitchen is a prime example of a past excuse, and finding direction is not a problem either…

…just about any of the four points of the compass will do, as long as they start with a “W”.

Eventually the fire began to burn low and I made my way to my cot in the van, but I had made a rookie mistake; I let Charlie get there before me. When she is allowed to stake her claim to the sleeping real estate, an Act of God and a stick of dynamite will not budge her. I honestly believe that she has the means to amplify her gross tonnage from 65# to 650#, and I have no choice but to pretzel my stubby legs around and over her, as she ain’t budging.

But as cramped as it gets, and as cold as it got, I never sleep better than when we’re out in the sticks, and last night was no exception. I woke to the sound of Charlie’s snores originating deep beneath the quilts and the slivers of a blood red sunrise slicing through the trees. I started to emerge from my cocoon and go poke up the fire; the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. So I instead pulled the covers back over my head, and for once, Charlie had no problem going along with my decision.

When we returned to cell range this morning and I could check my messages, I saw where someone had posted a review of Charlie’s book, with particular emphasis on the word “wanderlust”. Sometimes I feel guilty, being continuously afflicted with this omnipresent desire to “stop, drop and roll”, (will I EVER get it out of my system?), but seeing that Charlie’s words had affected someone else in the same manner somehow made it seem more socially acceptable.

Get out. Go forth. Go “coddiwomple”, “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. Just ask Charlie; life is too short to not flounce freely under an unobstructed sky, to blaze a trail to an open horizon, even to participate in an Airing of the Royal Loins, if the time and place are appropriate.

Or even if they’re not, if you’re Charlie Bravo.

Charke Diem!

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