Woke at 5:15am to catch the sunrise at Dorothea Dix Park. Flipped coins and decided on Boone, NC, booked AirBnb in Todd, NC. Temp. dropped as we inched toward the mountains. Thomas and Johanna are our hosts. An older couple from Florida, they spend their summers here. Their house is a bohemian hideout in the woods. Drove into Boone for a dinner and fireworks. Not sure if I’ve ever experienced such a show. Something to do with the lack of city lights I bet.
We were out the door just after 5:30am. I dressed in a turtleneck sweater. It was already a thick 75 degrees. No time to change. We framed our shot--an anemic sunflower field and skyline. No time for a better shot. Besides, the cards told us to abandon the heroic approach. The camera shut off after 13 minutes. We had to be ok with it. Only two sunflowers of the thousands that are anticipated by the Fourth of July had bloomed. We rested for 45 minutes and then flipped coins. Northwest. Boone. Cried in front of twelve french tourists for fear we couldn’t find a place to stay. We found our route to Boone with the atlas and left Raleigh using the compass app on my phone. We were told, “Happy Fourth” at a gas station and I hadn’t even realized. Our AirBnb host asked us for an ETA. “We’re yard cooking tonight. You’re welcome to join.” Entire families floating downriver when we got to Todd. We arrived to our host’s house shortly after turning onto Zion Methodist Church Road. When we pulled into the drive, a woman was walking a Westie around the property. Joanna. We rolled the window to introduce ourselves. First thing she said--”Aw, you’re cute.”--and then she told us her name, and that Thomas would meet us at the door. They had an orange tabby kitten. Curled up and knotted just like a kneecap. Joanna used to love going to the theater, but there’s never good cinema. She was getting hip surgery the next morning. She told us that nobody will mess with us since we’re attractive. Waited a couple hours for Southern food which, for me, meant rice and pinto beans. Unsweetened tea. Figured we weren’t far from where Herzog shot the ski lift scene in Stroszek (1977). A man was directing fireworks traffic into a gravel lot. I asked if we needed to pay...He said, “No, but buy some ice cream. Park next to somebody and let somebody park next to you.” We were an hour and a half early to the show, but so was everyone. Not too many people seem to know about grand finales. The drive back to Todd was treacherous.