May 29, 2014: We’re back in North Carolina and I feel empty inside. For me, it started three days before we flew home from Cape Town, parting from this group of men and women that we shared so much hardship and beauty with.
Among the participants, there was a very competitive group who wanted to win, but there was not one person who would not stop beside the long rough road to help a car in distress. And there was distress. By the end, five cars had dropped out for more than a day and four were unable to finish. There were tire and wheel problems,
a broken front axle, engine failures, running out of fuel and more. Some of the bonds that were created will never be broken. Bonds that only come from shared hardships. People from all over the world.
We have been home less than 24 hours and already the e-mails have begun describing emptiness and depression. This morning for the first time there was no alarm clock, no start time. I kept looking at my watch but there was no reason, no concern with fuel supplies, tire condition, oil level. Empty, empty, empty.
Many of these people rally together often. But I may not. Eighty is approaching and already Jan is picking up more of the slack, especially at the end of long days. One participant, a year younger than me said it was his last one. I have not quite said that. Not quite.