New design! AND IT IS ON SALE!
What is the deal with the Couch Pickle? Watch Goulet Pencast Ep.44 Time Stamp 1:35:00 to catch the reference. These guys crack me up all the time. Drew Brown (same name as my husband) has a son around the same age as ours. He was gifted/allowed to bring an inflatable pickle home from a friend's house... where it now lives on his couch. LMAO when I was watching and I knew I needed to put it on a shirt and a mug!
I just love these raccoons! They make me so happy and crack me up! I created them for a fun caption activity in April and I've up-cycled them into matching gifts for you and your bestie. I love that you can go matchy-matchy on the color or mix it up.
Personally I don't connect with the classic image of besties: a cat and a dog curled up together. But, raccoons eating out of cans while they have a casual conversation: ABSOLUTELY!
Turns out this is a Muscovy duck which is invasive in Florida and not easily frightened.
Originally Posted April 24, 2007
Westville - 51.18 miles
The decision to keep or not to keep the turtles is a difficult one. First there is the concern for the health and the care of the turtles. I'm not sure if they're getting enough to eat. Then there are all the symbolic implications. If you have turtles are you actually going to live somewhere long enough that moving them isn't a hassle? If you keep the turtles why don't you get a bed, a mattress, kitchen appliances? They are all linked and sooner or later you are up to your elbows in potpourri and you'll never travel extensively again. I got rid of a ton of stuff before leaving on this trip and I still have quilts, baskets, clothes, books, and outdoor gear in my parent's attic. The alternative is to rent a furnished apartment and keep it simple. To turtle or not to turtle... that is the question.
Oh and while Florida is quite pleasant with a nice shoulder, nothing stands out. So I press on. I went to a Baptist revival tonight and the preacher was quite a strong preacher. He used an illustration involving a clockmaker that made a clock with 13 hours instead of 12 hours. Then the clockmakers wife asked him what time it was and he said that it was later than it had ever been.
11.1 ave - 31.0 max - 2650.3 odo - 4:35:41 time
Originally Posted April 23, 2007
Crestview - 58.1 miles
Today was eventful in an uneventful kind of way. I bought soap and replaced the dead red water bottle. More pipe insulation was added to my handlebars and the bolt holding on my front rack was replaced on the right side. Yesterday it sheered off at the fork. I didn't take any pictures. I put in my miles and didn't talk to many people. I have 7 - 9 more days left. I called and asked Raven when the most convenient time for me to get picked up would be.
10.9 ave - 27 max - 2599.1 odo - 5:18:12 time
I just love how beachy these houses on stilts are! I'm not sure how much sense there is building right on the beach with all the storms that come through here... but it does look like a happy place.
Originally Posted April 22, 2007
Pensacola - 57.29 miles
Happy Earth Day!
Florida came with its condos and white sandy beaches without a welcome sign. I struggled to figure out when I finally made it. I felt like more than enough people stared at me awkwardly today. It was especially the teenage beach bums. Pensacola is nice enough on a Sunday evening. Tomorrow morning I get to replenish my Magic Soap at the natural food store down the street. Only 533 miles to go if I stay on route over ten riding days. But if I take a more direct route I can cut that down to 9. This is tempting.
9.1 ave - 22.8 max - 2541.0 odo - 6:14:41 time
Originally Posted April 21, 2007
Dauphin Island - 55.03 miles
The moral fabric of this country is torn. That's what Jim, a Gideon heading up to the prison for the day, said. The prisons are breeding grounds for Islam and they turn out radicals who go to mosques right after they get out. The only way to solve the problem in Iraq is to blow the whole place up. This all I learned from the man who used to go talk about oil drilling at Berkley but not too often because they'd come after him. The whole west coast is radical.
Then I rode to Dauphin Island where I was met by Brown Pelicans, a nasty headwind, and Anne from South Dakota. My neighbor for the night fed me dinner and showed me around the island where she used to live. She took me to the west end where all the foolish people are rebuilding their houses on the sand. "the rains came down and the floods came up and the house on the rock stood firm". After showering, Anne and I watched A Good Year. Nothing like a classic-vineyard-run the girl off the road-try to drown the guy-fall in love-Russell Crowe-movie to cap off an evening.
9.7 ave - 24.3 max - 2483.7 odo - 5:39:19 time
Originally Posted April 18, 2007
Poplarville - 0 miles
I was reading the Adventure Cycling magazine at the warmshowers in Poplarville shortly after watching their 16 year old make blue flame in a coke bottle. The article titled "Carfree in the Cowboy State" detailed the state's decision to ban driving for the week of July 16-22. People who want to drive in Wyoming will be limited to Interstates 80, 25, and 90. I'm curious and wish I could be riding there that week. www.carfreewyoming.com
In the same vein as my 15 year old post, I set out to be nostalgic. I stopped by a taco truck in Purdy near where I used to work. There were beautiful blue skies and it was lovely to watch the folks come and go with their burritos, tacos, and sopas.
Originally Posted April 15, 2007
St. Francisville - 51.76 miles
Today's riding was absolutely pleasant. 95% of the time the roads had nearly no traffic and the scenery was scenic. Part of the time I was following some series of signs that mark the MRT bicycle route. I don't know what that is for though. I was anxious to see the Mississippi, so before my crossing I stopped to eat peaches. I took the short road over the levy to a ferry route that wasn't running. I was immediately sucked into memories of the Yukon River. I was quickly pulled out as I waked because I startled a gator down in the swampy section between river and levy. But seeing that I was far away and no threat, it climbed back onto its log. I continued on to ride past what seemed like hundreds of cute little white churches with adjacent graves. There were some cattle and some corn fields. With perfect timing, I caught the ferry that took me across the Mississippi to St. Francisville. The ride was quite reminiscent of the Dawson ferry rides. It made me want to go on a canoeing trip. The town is quite pleasant and I look forward to exploring the grounds of the Episcopal Church where they were gracious enough to let me sleep in their church hall on sofa cushions. They also let me use their shower and do something normal like drink a Wisconsin Amber while watching baseball.
9.9 ave - 28.2 max - 2266 odo - 5:11:52 time
I am still a little congested from my cold last week, but isn't really holding me back from being productive. I got this little turtle painted tonight and I still have time to take care of a few more things... or just get to bed at a decent hour.
Originally Posted April 12, 2007
Big Cane - 0 miles
Though still congested, I don't feel half as ill as I did a few days ago. Drugs work wonders, but the bite on my thigh is still hot, red, tender, and 5 inches in diameter. And people worry about mosquitos in Alaska. I think I may force myself to rest one more day before I take off. I've been anxious to leave since I got here. But my hosts have been the kindest anyone could ask for. To be honest I'll miss the buckets of live crawfish that rest and surprise me on the kitchen floor and the baby turtles in tupperware on the counter. With any luck they'll find that second one that climbed but before they sniff it out.
Originally Posted April 09, 2007
Thankfully, my hosts don't appear to have any intention of kicking me out on my congested bicycle ass. They offered to take me to the doctor tomorrow. But I'm sure in due time this will pass. In light of recent events, St. Augustine doesn't appear to be quite as palatable of a goal as before. We choose our goals quite arbitrarily sometimes and I've always been more concerned with the time I'm having than the time I'm making. So if I don't reach the Atlantic, please do not be that disappointed. I'm not. I've been to the Atlantic before. It's not that exciting.
15 years ago I had a head cold, but (spoiler alert) it was actually something worse: an infected spider bite. It ended up keeping me off the road 6 days!
Flash forward 15 years... I actually have a head cold. No, really, I tested and it is not COVID.... we did that in January. Since it is just a cold it is not going to derail me for 6 days. It will make the laundry pile up. On the up side, it was unseasonably warm here (75°) so I went out to enjoy our tulips.
Originally Posted April 07, 2007
I woke this morning in South Park to another humidity free day. I wasn't able to get a hold of the Warmshowers in town, so I tried to keep warm in the windy chill while packing up. My head cold had worsened from the day before and a stop at Papa's Potatoes was needed to warm me up. "We specialize in Stuffed Potatoes" but I had hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, sausage, and what I would call a real southern biscuit. The motivation of the Warmshowers in Simmesport pushed me on. It's exciting to be back on the ACA route. In Big Cane at the grocery, they know my story and I signed their book. Claudia offered me a room that the headwinds and 40 degree temps made hard to turn down. Here in Catholic country all the families are getting together for Easter weekend renting fun jumps for the kids to play on. We went a couple houses down past their crawfish traps balancing carefully on the levies in their big truck to her sister's house for gumbo. Apparently I was quiet because they kept on asking me if I had siblings. They were a bit loud for me. But I contentedly observed the inner workings of a Louisiana family gathering and worked on the newspaper puzzles.
9.0 ave - 16.7 max - 2181.9 odo - 2:34:47 time
I probably could have drawn this imaginary woman with more intense eyeliner... better luck next time perhaps. I love the details that I saved in my blog post 15 years ago:
Originally Posted April 06, 2007
Stopping in Eunice at the DQ for some ice cream, I ordered from a woman who could only be described as wearing intense eyeliner. I was only just into Louisiana when I broke down. Perhaps there is more eyeliner to come. I left Kinder without much fanfare. I rode past fields of crawfish through the cool spring air, Good Friday is in observance today and there were few out pulling their traps in their shallow paddle wheel boats. Other observations of Louisiana include varying conditions of shoulders but usually with glass, large bullfrogs added to the repertoire of roadkill, and honkers. I don't understand how they don't understand that under no circumstance is honking a nice thing. Please understand that you are loud. I can hear you coming. I am not any more likely to get out of your way if you honk. Where do you expect me to ride? You are the one polluting with your gas guzzling truck or SUV. I think I'm done ranting for the day before I start getting mean.
9.3 ave - 15.7 max - 2147.7 odo - 5:23:26 time
Freshwater and Marine Image Bank was the source of the reference photo of the fish.
Originally Posted April 05, 200
I woke for the third time with an attempt at a comforting feeling that tomorrow I'd be on the road. Fortunately, this time, Dean was able to saw and tweak my tandem wheel to fit. After only 8 mights, I will continue to Opelousas. There isn't much else to say except that it only takes about a week for your patterns to change. I can hardly remember the lifestyle on the bicycle. At least I got to observe the time old tradition of scaling the freshly caught perch caught in the pond out behind your mom's house.
This evening for a little rest and relaxation, I am drinking some mint tea. The leaves are from my garden. Mint grows like a weed here, so I keep it in a pot.
Also, to follow up on a post a little while back, we now have a working fan and light in our bedroom. The first time in about 5 years!
Originally Posted April 02, 2007
Perhaps everyone should have a TV like the Mitsubishi widescreen in "The White House". It turns off and on at will. So just when you thought that you'd be vegging out watching That 70's Show Season 3 Disc 2 for the next several hours, you're not. You go for a walk. You attempt to communicate with the locals or you sketch potential tattoos. For those wondering about the pictures, I was able to pick up my parent's camera today. It did feel a little strange intentionally going out into the humidity to take pictures. Normally it is my excuse to stop. I found that by looking up MY SPACE MUSIC pages I could listen to my favorite artist anywhere. Laundry will be done tonight or tomorrow and Steven has agreed to pick up my wheel tomorrow. He is a Mass Communications major over there at the college in Lake Charles. So he was going down for class anyway. Both he and Justin have been very kind to me during my time at the Kinder spa of rest and relaxation. Take a load off cause you're not going anywhere and there's nowhere to go.
Today gas is $3.99 a gallon at Texaco in Nome, TX. In Port Orchard, WA at this 76 it is $4.95.
15 years ago at that Nome Texaco it was $2.41.
Originally Posted March 27, 2007
Beaumont - 60 miles
bottle the cracked white line
and the sliding shadows
drop in the sweet scent of the purple vine
and the water on my nose
cram in the soreness of my palms
and the numbness in my toes
snatch the deepness of the clouds
and the thunder quickly; it goes
bottle it all it won't happen again
but I guess it could who knows
Michael is going to quit smoking next week. After talking to me for half an hour he didn't even light up. His youngest has him wrapped around her finger and she gets on him every day about it. With the promise as he says he will "glory in your spunk," he drove off in his minivan.
Sitting at the Texaco with my feet apart to avoid the pain associated with chaffing, I decided to rest for a moment. My dyslexic cashier, Anitra, sold me a pint of raw honey for $1.79 instead of $7.19. When she told me the total of $3.21 I'd questioned if she'd gotten the honey in there. With an impatient careless air, she assured me she had. I'm not one to press. In Nome, TX unleaded is $2.41 9/10. I have no idea if that is good.
My perception of the world has changed in the last 15 years. I feel like it is less safe. Is it less safe? Or do I just know more? Is it possible for me to un-know the things I know? I have more questions than answers.
One poem I memorized on my bike tour was by Wendell Berry: The Peace of Wild Things. These few lines really stuck with me:
I come into the peace of wild things
Originally Posted March 25, 2007
Houston - 0 miles
Those of you that know me know that I like to take in a film from time to time. Aside from the Sitka Film Society selections that I try to attend, I shoot for films like Music and Lyrics. Since I'm stuck in the big city for the night, I thought I would take advantage of it and try to find a smidge of normalacy in my life. The bike has been cared for by the good folks at REI. They are everywhere. I drank an Orangina which seems to hail from somewhere in my past at the potbelly deli. How is Orangina pronounced? Can you get it at Trader Joes? These are the concerns that filled my mind after biking the several miles to the AMC. These are the kinds of concerns I should have.
At one point in time I was discussing with a dear friend our school's lack of heat situation and terribly unhealthy food. As usual I tried to find the positive focusing on the opportunity for students to advocate for change. Students did seem a bit fired up. But he pointed out that those are not things students should be worried about. They should be focusing on their studies and advocating for fair trade coffee in their spare time.
When you are touring your concerns are somewhat skewed. You wonder where you will sleep and what you will eat. They truth is: that's not something to dwell on either. All will be provided. This belief is quite contridictory to the sentiment that one gospel man in Oakhurst tried to instill in me. He said, "You know the world's not safe anymore right?" I quickly agreed because I didn't want a lecture. But really what do you believe? What kind of world do you want to believe you live in?
I remember spending a lot of time taking pictures of this Cecropia Moth. I must have been transfixed... or bored. It is a giant silk moth and the largest native moth in North America. In its adult moth form it only lives for a couple weeks because it lacks the ability to eat and digest food. The adults emerge from their cocoons after a bit of warm weather and this only happens once a year. So it is a pretty narrow window when you can actually see these beauties. They also tend to live in the eastern half of the continent... not so much in western Washington.
Originally Posted March 21, 2007
Independence - 30.86 miles
Feeling sticky with humidity and lack of shower, I rose to take pictures. The most interesting feature I've discovered on my camera is the light balance feature. today it featured a moth. Someone who knows moths should tell me more about it. Waiting for the RTC(Round Top Cafe)to open, I stopped at the new coffee shop. I chatted with someone who'd lost his home on the coast to Katrina. I learned that Katrina hadn't hit New Orleans, but a failure of the levies did. Course I'm sure all of you knew that. I think I'd decided to remain aloof to the news surrounding it. It was just another story of how the government had failed its people. I also learned that a father son team on bikes had passed through yesterday. And four days ago a very Australian man with a blue bike loaded down came through. One could only guess it was Jon. This is the first I've heard of him on the route. Then I went to wait the last half hour on the RTC porch with classics like "come on people now smile on your brother" coming from the dirty white speaker above my head. Steve commented that he's not allowed to change the radio station. Imagine listening to the same hundred tunes for years on end. The Royer team bustled about making the final preparations for opening. The chocolate pies arrived. Tara, the owner, offered me lunch. It was quite generous and I ordered the cafe burger and began flipping through the RTC book. Poor Tara has baby pictures in the book. She said the book needed updating. I quickly became full on fries, onions, and local color. I took the pie to go. I couldn't leave with out it. They ship it everywhere. Passing Memory Lane, I noticed it was a dead end. Let that be a lesson. But I suppose someone lives there. Shortly after Gay Hill I stopped to delight in the apple pie. It was as good as pie can ever be. I'm glad I waited. The birthplace of Texas came quickly and I stopped at the Independence Store. Apparently all the bikers stop here. They keep a log and Jon was here on the 18th. I feel like I'm following a ghost. For the cyclists that come through, they offer a spare-still working on moving out of- apartment. I took a cold shower and played solitaire while listening to the daily philosophical discussion of the watering hole.
9.2 ave - 30.2 max - 1745.1 odo - 3:20:26 time
Round Top - 18.49 miles
I quickly sped past the smallest Catholic church. I did not stop. I was on a mission. Today was the day of Round Top. For months I've heard constantly about the Round Top Cafe's pie. I arrived and it was closed. As a consolation prize, they offered me beer. I accepted and decided to wait until 11 the next morning. I better not be disappointed. In the meantime nothing much else is open in Round Top, the smallest (77) incorporated town ?in Texas?, on a Tuesday. I went to the library and uploaded pictures. I wrote a few postcards. I horned in on a cub scout meeting. In an essence, I've been bored. I want to get on the road, but I've already waited this long. Jeff Budd better not have built this pie up too big...
8.5 ave - 26.8 max - 1714.2 odo - 2:09:24 time
the wind and I decided to go different directions today
I've learned the hard way (repeatedly) that it is better to say things the nice way. Am I a polite person? Some would say yes... others would say no. I get feedback sometimes. Part of the problem is that I used to think honest meant telling the truth all the time. But when should you just not say anything? I've always had a much harder time with that. These nuances... these social customs often escape me.
In elementary school I told my Sunday school teacher that I didn't like his class and that I didn't want to go anymore. I have never really forgiven my mom for forcing me to apologize to my teacher for (in my opinion) telling the truth. I really ought to let her off the hook though. If this is my main grievance with her, then she did pretty good.
More recently, a friend of a friend was giving us a couch. While I was picking it up I noted something about the way she dressed. I meant it as a more of a nostalgic nod to a style of attire I used to adhere to... but it turns out her husband felt that it was a bit rude. I was oblivious.
I absolutely bothers me still that someone out there had a negative experience with me. Did you know that there are loads of people out there that just move on? They don't actually care if there are people that don't like them. I'm not trying to say that I want everyone to like me... but I'd really like things to be neutral at a minimum.
So I will not be going into politics and it is a miracle that I can even perform my day job (emotionally speaking). The only way I get away with that is by often going to excruciating lengths to manage expectations of customers. I give people more information than they are asking for. I try really hard to listen for when I might be taken a way I hadn't meant. It helps that I often have the same conversations over and over. Practice, practice, practice!
It is just a little hard to believe that some people don't have to work so hard to achieve the same results.
Originally Posted March 19, 2007
LaGrange - 41.15 mile
I imagined so many seemingly poetic things to write as I was riding. Something about clouds and wildflowers, but I can't remember now. The songs I sing while riding range from "Let's get it on" to "The Hallelujah Chorus". Howerver, usually it is a blessed Regina Spektor song stuck in my head. Bastrop and Buescher State Parks are worth the ride if you've never been and live in the Austin area. They are the home of the lost pines. They just don't know how they got there. A couple of local teens greeted me at First Presbyterian Church and pointed me in the direction of the parsonage. Unfortunatly Mrs. Lee has bronchitis and appologized for being antisocial, but I set up my tent hidden behind the building with the help of the two girls. I visited the house to get cleaned up and then ate and chatted with Walt. He was surprised I knew about the PCUSA, but I did just graduate from a PCUSA school. I've just been updating in the church office and I checked my google analytics account that Jake hooked me up with a couple weeks ago. That's right. I'm watching you. I'm particularly curious about the 6 visits from Europe and the hit from Bancalari. Just as I was done with my usual check in's on the nephew pics, the computer decided it had had enough for the day. Poor old computers. I should head to bed so that I can wake up in the morning. I remember what I was going to say now... "the wind and I decided to go in different directions today"
7.6 ave - 32.8 max - 1695.7 odo - 5:20:57 time
It is really impressive to have a collection of something so massive that you have to warn people about it before they come into your home. Nancy had a lot of stuffed bears. I described them as an arsenal lined up on her couch. This made me consider what kind of a war the teddy bears are fighting in. Teddy bears, stuffed animals, and the like fight to bring many comfort. It doesn't make any sense and it makes all the sense in the world. There are so many things and rituals I have in place that I draw comfort from... a favorite mug... a crocheted bunny my mom made me... a sunny spot to write...
I think my 21 year old self thought this Nancy to be a bit crazy... but I think she'd just figured out what she needed to make it through the day... and that's a good thing.
Originally Posted March 18, 2007
Bastrop - 37.78 miles
When I entered Nancy's apartment, she warned me about the bears. I was expecting large dogs. Instead her couch was lined with an arsenal of stuffed animals. I commented that she must not get many visitors. Her husband died five years ago and she spends most of her time at Bastrop United Pentecostal Church, where I met her. I rolled up to inquire about camping after traveling the 30 miles to Bastrop with Oscar. He took his last picture of us and rolled back via 71. I kept going and the youth were having a potato dinner fellowship after church. By the way Karen is just the sweetest 12 year old that I ever did meet and I hope she stays that way. Nancy was kind enough to invite me into her home and let me shower. I'm clean. I'm riding again. I haven't looked ahead to see where I'm going tomorrow.
4:17:47 time - 8.7 ave - 20 max - 1654.6 odo
So... my art has taken a bit of a fast and loose vibe lately. Probably not a good thing... but I like my more "careful" work less. Now my friend Megan Biffert who heads up our Bremerton Urban Sketching group, does fantastic detailed drawings. She has a passion for sketching/drawing the Pacific Northwest and for helping others to bring their interest in art to life. Every time I see her she compliments my loose (non precise) style. "I could never do that," she says. I can say the same about hers... so fun how different styles develop and evolve over time.
Originally Posted March 16, 2007
Austin: Day 3 - 0 miles
Austin is littered with bands like Frightened Rabbit set up in bars, cafes, bookstores, and parks, trying to get discovered. SXSW has given the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah t-shirt wearing students of UT something to do over spring break. Suddenly its become ok for men to wear tight clothing again. Stopping by REI, I used my dividend to splurge on $19 sunglasses. Suddenly my eyesight has improved. As Oscar, Blue, and I hopped into the truck to deliver Jennifer's forgotten lunch, I was warned it was chilly. She's attending a personal development seminar and she was vocally not looking forward to it. She wanted to play with us. Maybe it's like brushing your teeth; you don't look forward to it, but you like the slick clean teeth.
After soaking up the local color of SXSW, I turned onto 30th. This is where the Hudson's live on seminary campus. They confided that they let themselves be somewhat confined to their tiny community and that they miss Sitka. Well of course they miss Sitka. They've had two Alaska Day parties. Billy, their jack-Russell and baby step to the coming baby, sat quietly next to me on the couch. With Alaska paraphernalia on the walls, they scoffed at the Austintonians who think they are kayaking in their Town Lake (don't tell them it's a river). It was good to reminisce about the naming of The Leak, the steam pouring out of Jeff's window, the countless maintenance repairs done with Keith's belt, what's his name the financial aid guy, and the heat. SJ is a special place. Those were good times. Eventually we faded and I hugged them good-bye. It was good to see Keith and Laura.
I think we've all learned a lot about taking selfies in the last 15 years...
Originally Posted March 15, 2007
Austin: Day 2 - 0 mile
Sometimes I think I spend too much time on the computer. So much of my life is on the screen. Jennifer thought my link to Wells Fargo was for a sponsor. I just bank there. The bulk of my day was spent cleaning and fixing up my bike. No one worked harder than John. I don't think I can remember my drive train being so clean and shiny. The rain hadn't been good for the gunk buildup or my shoes which spent and hour soaking in detergent-sudsy water. After removing my crappy fenders and ensuring the bike was polished to John-level satisfaction, we brought it to the bike shop he races for. At 360 Cycleworks they discovered a crack in my rear rim. It's all just part of the process. So Madeline is going for a sleepover and I should be able to pick her up on Saturday. In the meantime I'll be chillin in a free-spirit house in Old East Austin. Oscar, the triathlete in the video back on the Lost Maples post and his girlfriend, Jennifer, are putting me up in the front house with the claw foot tub. It's just a few blocks from down town and a few miles from the Hudson's where I'll visit tomorrow evening.
I've always loved some good weather. When I mean good, I mean: interesting, dramatic, and forceful. It is Saturday and the weather report as we approached the weekend called for large amounts of rain. My husband's work day up at the train park was even canceled in anticipation. As we started the day, the rain was slated to come in the afternoon and the blue skies made me optimistic. I even decided to put air in my bike tires and catch the foot ferry to Bremerton. This is actually really impressive because I was completely drained from a week of working, parenting, and being alive. I even considered staying home and gardening instead of being amongst people and sketching. In the end watching a submarine come into the shipyard, visiting with my sketching friends, and enjoying the fresh air on a bike was a good choice. I decided to do a couple quick sketches this time and I put them in this post for you.
I recently acquired The Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and Drewdrop by Tristan Gooley. It brings back a forgotten richness to the human experience. Taking some pointers from the book, I didn't put too much weight in the weather report. So when I got home (and recovered from cycling up 170 feet of elevation gain) I weeded my sunny garden and unloaded a yard of dirt. There was a point in the afternoon when the winds picked up from the south, clouds were looking more serious, and it rained some. The low pressure system did indeed move west across the Puget Sound. None of it slowed me down too much though. I hope that the more I read of this book, the more I'll understand my local weather patterns and how they actually impact my life.
Originally Posted March 12, 2007
Sisterdale - 36.28 miles
I had a fitful night dreaming that the Germans had occupied the states. We were held down ladders in compounds where we were supposed to be happy. They pretended nothing was wrong. Ah! but I knew better. At one point I was wandering around a market on a cell phone trying to get a hold of the underground while feeling like I was being watched. Maybe not the most pleasant way to start the day...
Then I talked with Lesa, the church secretary. She was surprised to see me. She let me check my email and blog. I'm still thrown off by the daylight savings change and I didn't leave town until around noon. Course I made a stop at a doughnut shop to get coffee and an apple fritter. That's fruit. It's good for you. I took my bi-monthly stab at a crossword that I wouldn't finish and avoided the sections of the paper that revolve around crime, war, and sports. So I really only worked on the puzzles and checked the weather. The low pressure system is in town and it's a thundering again tonight. After yesterday's rains the Guadeloupe is swollen. Two of my crossings were barricaded. I went anyway. The first was under a couple inches at the most. The second was more like 6 inches, but it wasn't moving. I was already wet. Then Ann and Nancy were walking picking up trash. What they didn't know when they started out was that they were picking me up too. They live east of Waring on a one lane road. They made fish they caught on the coast. A bunch of their family lives around here but they live elsewhere most of the time. This is a shared family vacation home.
3:45:27 time - 9.6 ave - 28.3 max - 1546.5 odo
In a previous life, I was a singer songwriter and I worked the open mic circuit in Sitka. I even once opened for Sean Hayes. I know. You're impressed. Well my poem about rain that you can read below reminded me that I wrote a song in 2005 called The Rain. Writing songs is not really a part of my life anymore. All that youthful angst that fueled my writing is gone... I imagine that I could find inspiration for songs still. I could write one about the school's struggle to effectively communicate parking/student pick up. Would you want to hear that?
Originally Posted March 11, 2007
Kerrville - 46.19 mile
Just because the time "sprang" forward an hour doesn't mean I lost any sleep. Since Jon went ahead, I've lost most of my traditional sense of time. I wake up when I want to or when I hear rain on my tent and wonder if everything is tucked under far enough. I walked over to see the triathletes of Austin. They greeted me with shaven legs, Ironman tattoos, and coffee. This was excellent coffee made by a marine transportation major. I didn't know such a thing existed. In the daylight I had to relearn what they all looked like without the cloak of darkness and beer. Johnny fed me and sent me off with plenty of accelerade packets and his office machine company card. Everyone has a day job.
droplets dribble on my nose
the road becomes a reflective pool
I love it when it rains
layers soaked through and through
familiar squish between my toes
I love it when it rains
babble begins to ice the street
riding against a river
I love it when it rains
a crying out within the dank
shivers flash lightning against the wall
I love it when it stops
I'm at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. I'm inside eating freshly baked peanut butter cookies and lean cuisine, listening to the rain. I'm glad I'm sheltered, considering the thunder and lightening that's picked up. My clothes are slowly drying on chairs here in the parlour. I've never known a church with a parlour. I'm not sure if I've been in a parlour. Instructed to keep the lights low so I wouldn't attract the police's attention, I'm sleeping on the couch. Perhaps the most adventurous part of this trip is never knowing where I'm going to sleep.
9.6 ave - 32.8 max - 1510.2 odo - 4:45:43 time
On my way to the Lost Maples State Natural Area I met a ton of triathletes just out riding the hills for fun. One such cyclist was Oscar Lainez who was later one of my hosts in Austin. I recall that it was nice being around people who shared an interest in cycling... but overall touring cyclist and racing cyclists have about as much in common has runners and through-hikers.
Originally Posted March 10, 2007
Lost Maples State Natural Area - 20.21 miles
I woke late today because I'd been up late uploading pictures. But it needed to be done. I ate my leftover pizza and rolled on down RR337. It wasn't long before I saw cyclists. Then there were more. One, Oscar, stopped to tell me that they were all from Austin and staying at Lost Maples. One motorcyclist flipped his visor sheild open to tell me that I was cheating. It was good humored, but sometimes motorcyclists need to shut up. I was walking my bike up the hillls. They call it hill country for a reason and it is extremely beautiful. Course the only pictures I took today were of a cave like formation on the edge of the road. I made it to Lost Maples and they were booked up. But I asked anyway and then lingered. Something opened up and by four I was hitting the showers. The humidity has increased. Then I napped. I was tired. THe twenty miles really took it out of me. At 7 I rose to see if I could find the group of 30 cyclists... how could they hide really? There they were, all skinny, making fun of the skinny guy. They were primarily triathletes. They do Iron Mans and things like that. One also liked to throw beers. The one that bounced off me as I noted I was heading off to bed, burst into a fizzy mess. I was amused. He was Candadian.
8.0 ave - 44.3 max - 1463.7 odo - 2:30:56 time