My tent tried to run away the other morning. I looked away for just a second and when I looked back, it was tumbling across a field of corn. I laughed at first before frantically running to catch it. These last five days have been ridiculous. Even before I open my eyes to a new day, I know in my heart that the prevailing winds are not prevailing. They mercilessly catapult the rain and insects due west. They violently rip through fields of grass and wheat as a struggle by. On the only day I've had a tailwind thus far, I told a group of cyclists that I had earned this free ride since I crossed the south in opposition to the clouds. It appears I still have some dues to pay.
Stopping just eight miles from where I began, I come into a rest stop looking to recuperate. Airborne seeds from trees beyond sight whirl about and zip across the sky. The thin, corrugated walls surrounding each picnic table buckle loudly as the wind tries to rip them from their posts. "This prevailing winds thing is total crap." If you want to cycle with a tailwind, all you have to do is tell me to go on a bike ride in the opposite direction and Jebus will take care of the rest. I plop down at the nearest table and collapse into my hands hoping I fall asleep long enough for the wind to die down, but I've already slept plenty and the wind only gets stronger.
This ride is nothing like the nostalgic winter route across the south. The days are long, the landscape is repetitive and there are insects everywhere. Grasshoppers are literally coating the road in some spots and when I come by, they fling themselves into the wind and crash into my body. As night falls, mosquitoes come swarming from their stagnant swamps and force me to ride with my head down so I don't catch any in my eyes. But it doesn't matter, now they just go through my helmet and into my hair. I am going insane. My arms are speckled with little black and blue gnats that got stuck, squashed and now matted against my skin. Their bodies are smeared into my hair. Ughhh. I miss the beaches of the outer banks, the cool desert nights through the southwest, endless cliff against ocean and the ancient redwoods of northern California. What am I doing here?
That's all I've got for now... I'm tired of writing about bicycling. Wind, bugs, people, miles, views... blah blah blah. I feel like everything I want to write has already been written by the old me. Nothing cool has happened lately. Some days I bike a lot, some days I bike a little. It's been pretty brutal and my body aches, but that's how these things go. I'm almost there. I'm too pissed off to take my adventures and carefully build them into insightful stories nowadays. I wish I could be like everyone else and just say "oh well" and go about my life. I mean, pretending live in Tolkien's Middle Earth and ride around on the "Lord of all Horses" was damn exciting. Ahhh... crap. Ignorance was bliss while it lasted. This experiment needs new direction and better introductions to foreign ideas coupled with concrete answers. I'll keep with the photos and videos for now.
Comments to date: 5
August 14th, 2008 @ 10:19pm
Charles Charlie Chuck!
Well, despite the angst, beautiful pictures. Get me a cow while you're out there.
August 14th, 2008 @ 12:18pm
Dude, I have a lengthy email to write you but for now I'll comment briefly and, probably quite pointlessly.
There never WAS an "old" you.
August 13th, 2008 @ 7:32am
you need to free yourself and get back to the spirit of the original tour. yes time has moved on and you have changed but I have sensed that you are rushing to keep to a schedule and reach your destination on time. slow down to stop and smell the roses. don't let the bugs get you down think of them as free protein, just open up your mouth. ha just kidding keep on truckin ct.
August 12th, 2008 @ 7:44pm
Yea I know. I'm having a hard time trying to maintain a bicycle touring journal while simultaneously wanting to talk on truly pressing topics that need attention. With exception to our enslavement through the monetary system, the issues I want to raise require a more thorough understanding which means I need more time to read. If my arguments aren't absolutely sound in every aspect, people will dismiss them entirely because they never wanted to believe them in the first place.
I may just spend a long while off the bike writing without publishing, then take-off on bicycle again and drop these prepared articles into my journal when I feel it appropriate. I dunno. I knew I'd start second guessing this approach even before I started but I can only figure out the best route through trial and error.
August 12th, 2008 @ 7:24pm
Don't give up! You have what it takes to fulfill your dreams. I can sense some negative vibes in this post. I am willing to bet it's mostly from just being tired and bored. Look around you, you are surrounded by by beauty, that should take care of the boredom. If you are tired just take a rest day or two. Everything will fall back into place. No matter what happens, don't give up! Keep going.
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Written by Joe Dominguez
This is the book that freed me from the rat race. If you're unfulfilled with your working life or want to change careers, begin an adventure, or set off to do something personally meaningful, this is the place to start.
On sub-zero nights I'll wake up sweating inside this sleeping bag. Compact and lightweight. Super comfy.