Even Lawson seems to have felt the same way on this segment of his journey. First, though, terrain. Lawson said of this portion of the trail, as the Piedmont's higher hills (in the thousand-foot range) diminish to rolling, "We pass'd through a delicate rich Soil this day: no great Hills, but pretty Risings, and Levels, which made a beautiful Country." Hear, hear, Mr. Lawson. I noted on my last trek -- which ended in Julian -- that as I came down out of the hills I noted a couple enormous radio broadcast antennae: a sure sign that you're on the edge of the big hills. This time, leaving from Julian, I never stopped marveling at the rolling landscape -- hills to gently climb, then gracefully descend, covered with green meadows, omnipresent white-and-silver barns, and
It's been vastly hot, too, but I'm tired of talking about that.
What I love talking about right now are the Heroes of the Lawson Trek, who have been out in force this segment.
I started out this segment accepting a ride from Michael Johnston, himself passed on to me from Speed Hallman, a Lawsonian who had read about the trek and reached out to introduce himself and offer general assistance. When I said I could use a ride to help me place my car in Hillsborough, where I was finishing this segment, and then get me to Julian, where I was starting, Speed reached out to Johnston, a pharmacist in Pleasant Hill, not far from Julian. Johnston gladly made the run to Hillsborough to grab me up and get me to Julian before going to work that day.
That's an amazing coincidence, and I look forward to meeting and speaking with Cristin. But I loved hearing how Johnston fell for Lawson: "I just struck a liking for Lawson because of his attention to detail, natural history, his relationship to the natives.
"What I wouldn't give be able to go back and do what he did in an untainted new world," he said.
I couldn't have agreed more.
The next Hero of the Lawson Trek I stumbled onto was Ann Tilley, a seamstress and textile artist who was waiting to get her oil changed at Shoffner's, the service station/restaurant/store about halfway between Julian
I'm closing with a picture of Detario, the dude who helped me get organized to drop bags, get a room, and walk my way to the Hampton Inn. It may be because I'm so glad to be sleeping comfortably tonight, but it may be just because this segment has been a party of Lawson helpers and he's a cool guy. So anyhow, it's nice to have a segment where with the beautiful countryside, the history, and the astonishing elements of Lawson's story, I just got to tell you about the people on the way.