By Tom Ehrich

WINCHESTER, VA -- My plan was to "put the pedal to the metal," and that is exactly what I did. I took the two-lane straight to Interstate 81 and drove up the Shenandoah Valley to this city close to the Maryland border, 400 miles in all.

I didn't see much, except for 18-wheelers. But that was fine. I am ready to be home. Not to end the pilgrimage, but to come to a critical point of it, namely, taking everything I have written and the places I have seen, and drawing some conclusions.

In my four cabin days in Townsend, TN, I did some reflecting on God. Now, in the days ahead, I want to look at the nature of faith.

Traveling by Interstate is efficient and comforting. I knew exactly where I was going, how long it would take to get there, what I would experience at interchanges, and how to find a hotel at almost every exit.

It’s also dull and mind-numbing. I saw an 18-wheeler drift out of its lane and almost hit the guard rail. A trucker driving tired. I sympathized. I followed my own advice: stop every hour, drink water, keep moving, don't rush it.

The lure of home is strong, however. I'm singing to myself the old truckin' song: "Six days on the road, and I'm a-gonna make it home tonight."