At the base of a huge mountain,June Curry the "Cookie Lady" has been letting cyclists stay at her house for free (and making them cookies) since the inauguration of the TransAm Trail in 1976. There is an unofficial museum there filled with memorabilia from all the people who have stayed.
I knocked on her door yesterday and a tiny, frail old woman answered and invited me to sit on the porch. She is 90 years old now.
There was an aura around her, like being in the presence of a saint. It felt like a scene from a movie, when the hero meets the wizard or the aliens, and finally gets to ask his question.
After we sat down, she asked me which direction I was heading, and said, "So, you're almost done."
Then there was a long, quiet moment before she asked, "Was it everything you'd hoped for?"
I couldn't think of a reply.
"I don't know," I answered.
"Were you disappointed?"
"No, not at all. It just feels like..life."