We pulled over by the side of the road. The streets were still, the houses were quiet. We unrolled our sleeping bags and went to sleep. The next morning we were surprised by early light, a rushing creek, and the gift of wild fennel. I bathed in the river, Katie played the mandolin. Another car had parked in the night, and as we glanced at it, an eye looked out. It was another traveler, a Canadian named Alex. He rose to greet the day and joined us for our morning tea: apple slices and wild fennel.