- Bicycle parts and/or maintenance
- More food after that first round of food was eaten
- Camping supplies or replacement parts
Friday, November 25, 2011
Naturally, even better than donating money is getting on your bike and joining me, and second to that is sending a letter full with love and support to one of my varied addresses. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may your days continue to be bright.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Well Howdy there feller Binglers. I been darn busy rasslin them steer and shoowing dem coyotes and haven't had a chance to spin some yarns with ya'll. We've gone from one state to another, traversing not just different landscapes and geographies, but spanning a spectrum of people and ways of life along the road. You see, the world of bicycle touring isn't just all the pretty places, but also the many faces that make the trip such a wonderful, special thing. So sit back by the fire, get yerself some of dem beans over yonder, and let me tell you a bit about some of the past few weeks of my travels...
The Grand Canyon state surprisingly only has one grand canyon. And it's way north. Our ride through Arizona took us from the absolute north to the absolute south, and we only saw one really really big canyon. But, as we left the bitter and snowy environs of Flagstaff, we did descend through a canyon into the mystical town of Sedona, where it turns out if we made $50,000 a year we could have made $75 to listen to people try to sell us stuff. We moosey'd on. Another day off due to passing storms, and we had a long, long climb at high, snowy elevations before getting to the small town of Payson, a nearly 70 mile ride of which 40 was tough climbing. Karma was good and the next day was nearly all down hill through dry arid desert towards Roosevelt lake, yet another constipation caused by man interfering with the natural flow of the earth's waters.
Leaving the lake behind we got our first views of the might saguaro cactus that dominates much of the southern desert land of Arizona. A few days ride had us into the bicycle hopping city of Tucson. We had made it in time for the GABA bike swap, a community driven bicycle swap meet that closes the heart of the downtown. Picking up some parts for Dog, me and Chris swung over to BICAS, a well known bike co-op where the community does it bike work and bike art. An amazing, inspiring place for a well oiled bike co-op that serves as an integral part of the community, cycling and not cycling related. We stayed with fantastic people who made us feel at home, they spun their fire, flew with yoga, played their instruments, and were looking after a cute little dog too. A day's side trip to Saguaro National Park to see more of the same exact environment we'd seen the last few days, and then we were off further south hoping to make our days even warmer. Wrong.
That first night out, camping in a small town's fairgrounds, the air got chilly and we woke covered in a fine frost. Brrr...shaking it off we pedaled for coffee and sat in the sun eating our cereal. We had old westerns on our mind pulling into Tombstone, home of the Earp brothers and the OK Corral. Sadly, our shared history seems to be owned by a select few and they charge money for the privilege of seeing or touching, so we didn't. We left dusty Tombstone for places of greater height, like Bisbee. We had been told by a Swiss biker going from Alaska to Argentina via everywhere that Bisbee was really cool and we could camp for free in town at the Occupy Bisbee camp. We were sold. A long day ending with a long hill and we made the artistic town in the mountains as the sun was setting. We found the Occupy camp and our Swiss friend too, seemed he didn't get enough the first time. A cold night camping, but hot coffee and lots of bike talk in the morning warmed us up.
All downhill to the bottom of Arizona, and we dipped our wheels in the forbidden fruit that is Mexico. Nobody blinked an eye as we cycled into Mexico, and the US custom guy coming out was NICE?!?!?! Are we more wary of our Canadian brothers and sisters? It seems so. We were not hassled once by any border patrol, no matter how blatantly we camped on the side of the road, which we do a lot. We spent the night where Geronimo gave up his last stand before heading into New Mexico, the land of so-called enchantment.
A few days ride through towns pretty desolate where even a tomato could not be had before we found some hint of what the hub bub is all about. After a night camping at a falling down death trap, we had to pass over the Black mountains which loomed ahead. Turns out, a narrow, beautiful canyon bisects it making the climb much easier and super beautiful. summiting at 8,228, a 12 mile downhill had us catching our breath in Hillsboro. An old mining town turned artsy, they welcome bikers to camp at the park, where the town folk cam and welcomed us, and the next morning, after being delayed by hail and lighting, had a wonderful lunch at their Monday potluck and were invited by a ranching couple to come stay with them down the hill, which we did once the skies cleared a bit.
And now, Las Cruces, the crossroads of old and new. We will spend thanksgiving here with a warmshower host before heading east towards White Sands, up up up to Cloudcroft and then down again towards Carlsbad Caverns and the start of the monstrously big, Texas.
The sights are many and varying, the faces change as often as do the lives behind them. But time and time again, I have found a golden thread that clings us all wonderfully together. Whether a cowboy duding it up, an artists growing cacti in the mountains, some guy driving trucks around the country, our hearts are filled with love, kindness and warmth that when given the chance, explodes outward and embraces those around us. Our constructed world and environment more often than not discourages this and frowns upon it, but in those moment when we are most vulnerable and in need of help, the rays of light that make up all life, human and non-human, shine brightest. Don't never be afraid to love, to give, to put yourself out there, to see it, feel it, hear it, touch it, taste it. This planet offers up the most delicious foods for us, and it would be silly not to try a little of it all. And better yet, to do it in some good company.
|our new touring partner, Debra|
To learning day after day what love is, what freedom means and can be, and how incredible each moment pedaling continues to be, happy thanksgiving. Also, you can send general delivery mail to Alpine, Texas where we will be on December 6th.
US Post Office
901 w. Holland Ave
Alpine, TX 79830-9998
Monday, November 7, 2011
I wrote some stuff down, but I think pictures are a better way to try to capture a smidgen of the last 6 months, the last 10,000 miles on my bike. It's been amazing...beyond amazing. From my first mile with Mark and Melissa by my side, to months alone, then weeks with 3 other friends, now me and Chris and soon Brittany, the people and places have kept me in awe of this life and this world. To all I have met on my travels, thank you all. To those who have been with me, on the bike and at home, thank you all. I thank my precious life, this precious world. To life, freedom and love. Here's to 10,000 more, all bingle by bingle.
PS: You should play epic, awe inspiring music to accompany this little photo montage to give it that bittersweet feeling it deserves.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
― Walt Whitman
Thursday, November 3, 2011