Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 15, June 10 - On the peninsula in Pend Oreille Lake at Island View RV Park

On the peninsula in Pend Oreille Lake at Island View RV Park- but I couldn’t prove it.

Interview with clerk at bike shop, Sandpoint, Idaho - “You guys doing the Northern Tier, huh!? We see y’all all the time. Everybody’s going east this time of year, still happy they survived the Cascades. Later in August those from the east get here. Look pretty beat up. Just hang their head and shake it saying, ‘I just want to get home,’ and they’ve got the Cascades ahead, the poor guys.” “Me,” he continued, “I just ride around here, don’t break a sweat. Don’t understand why you do it, really.”

Why, indeed, do they persist at this point 450 miles to Anacortes and 3,850 behind them? To avoid the asterick! They don’t want to be Roger Maris and die with it. They’ve got to finish on their own power what they begin; a sick situation but human enough. Many is the human folly perpetuated for less reasons.

Each day in microcosm we face the same decision. Get to our goal or give. Today the state park, for which we aimed and carefully measured out our strength, was closed. This led to a search for a night’s refuge. We were first in the town of Hope, then East Hope and finally literally and figuratively beyond Hope. We climbed steep roads so up that the front of our bikes lifted with the effort to climb. Exhausted we arrived at Island View RV and secured a nice tent spot - shady with deep soft grass and a hot shower for 25 bucks. We would of paid $1000 at that point.

Our ride today was on heavily trafficked roads with us squeezed to the side between road and railing. Only route through this area to the east so little choice to the map makers at Adventure Cycle. We were warned several times that “Ignorance prevails around here” and “Rednecks don’t believe bicyclists should be on highway” - our experience would affirm this.

We did see a moose and bald eagle as did fifty thousand motorists.

We continue to meet many friendly, helpful and curious people - many with military ties to Louisiana. Most complain retrospectively of the heat. A B52 pilot from Barksdale. A Special Forces trainee from Fort Polk, Vietnam era, sculpting now with his own gallery, “hated the mosquitoes”, too. We also hear references to our governor, “Boy did he flame out - trying to follow up Obama.”

Still no news magazines to be had anywhere. I feel a need, for completeness sake, to report an overlooked, journal wise, crisis incident involving David’s dental situation. My reticence has been overcome by my sense of responsibility to faithfully record our journey. While in Sedro Woolley, the first night camping, David lost a porcelain crown - front top, third to the left facing him. This caused, at least appearance wise, a 30 point IQ drop and would have seriously handicapped our ability to fruitfully engage those we met. I looked at him, and I was ashamed. Not even his mother would have gone anywhere with him. So we got some super glue and stuck it back on - a little crooked, maybe, but back on. And - so far, so good. I thought of it tonight when I spotted him checking it for looseness.

A tooth from his mouth freely fell
Afterwards, he wasn’t smart, you could tell
We got some glue and stuck it back
His IQ came up 30 points - that’s a fact.

Stopped at Used Bookstore - bought The English Patient, William Trevor short stores, and Gabriel Marques’ Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Don’t need the extra weight, but these called loudly to us.

Read in USA Today that Americans produce 4.6 pounds of trash a day per person. That gives Dave and I a 9.2 allotment to produce our fair share. I think we’re close just with banana peels, candy wrappers, rice wrapping, bean cans and chocolate milk cartons. We’re doing better on the carbon footprint thing except for exhalations. On steep slopes, there is a breath per turn of the crank. That’s a lot of CO2. Figure 3000 cc’s minimum. Then, there is the methane and sulfur dioxide produced by Chef Dave’s diet. We may be an environmental hazard - particularly for those following close behind. We did have a couple, parked here in their football length RV, marvel at how we can carry our world in our buggy. “That’s amazing,” she said. “Look at that,” said he - both reacting to a visit to the zoo.

Pat Sewell

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