SEA TO SHINING SEA: The beauty of quotidian life

July 1, 2013

DAY 48 - "Back in the saddle again.  Out where a friend is a friend."

We finally put Walden behind us - friendly, dusty, quiet Walden. At the Moose Creek Café, which had become our unofficial headquarters, Becky polished off eggs and bacon and toast while I filled up with oatmeal, toast, apple juice and tea.  Still deferring to my stomach which is about 90 percent now.

Here's what I have to do to complete the circle and get back to 100 percent: Knowing with hearty certainty that the young woman who poisoned her father with strychnine pie is still mixing her spirit with mine, my duty now is to report that after she checked into the Wyoming penitentiary, she became a model prisoner.  And, when she left, she never had any further problems. She did what she had to do.  She paid her debt. There; now she can rest in peace and leave my stomach alone. Onward and upward.

We made 61 miles today, surrounded by mountains and sage and forests that rose as we made our way up toward Willow Creek Pass. We passed through vast sections of dead trees.  Jane, who picked us up in Hot Sulphur Springs and carried us to her and Mike's home near Divide, explained that the pine bark beetle is wreaking havoc.  I'd heard of the bug, but seeing the effects brought it home.

We're staying with Mike and Jane a couple of days.  Then we're off to Colorado Springs where we'll rent a vehicle to transport ourselves and bicycles and gear across Kansas to KC.  From there we'll work our way to the head of the Katy Trail, at 250 miles or so the nation's longest rail trail.  We'll ride it across Missouri to St. Louis. From there we're going to improvise a route up to Pittsburgh - Trish's fair city - and work our way eastward on the Great Allegheny Passage over the mountains to Cumberland and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath trail to D.C. At least that's our thinking for now. I'll let you know how it works out.

Oh yeah - quotidian.  When we went to Portland, Oregon a few couple years back for Nora and Jeff's wedding. Nora told me she wanted the ceremony to focus on the quotidian aspect of living.  Celebration of the simple activities of day-in and day-out life: hanging out with friends, pruning a tree, watching a cloud formation, feeling the warmth of a child's smile or sharing the pain of an owie, pedaling a bicycle.

Keep to the simple.

Our total mileage now is 1,898.

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