Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 6:30 p.m., Mentor, Minnesota

As the sign says, we’re in Mentor. Dairy Queen, grocery store, bar and bank. A complete, modern town; with a campground without a shower but with a toilet that only the jointly fearless and desperate would enter, much less experience the actual use of. They say every tooth has its own ecology, its own bacterial flora, that they have established a homeostasis there, and I figure if that’s true then the toilets in these little towns have their bacterial homeostasis as well and there well might be previously unidentified bacteria that could take hold of those of us from a different climate and whop us around intoto or in isolated body areas worse than Tacy did in Wolf Point with that deep screamer massage. She took us by the feet and slammed us on the floor and against the wall and called it a good thing, and I suppose she was right because we are here today. Got us used to continuous intractable, no-solution pain, if nothing else. Bike ride as continuous child birth.

We rode 75 - 80 miles today and have penetrated deep into the flanks of Minnesota. So far, there have been no National Guard units to oppose our advance. We are spending money at the convenience stores and bars to pacify the locals and so far, so good.

A flat tire was had by Dave today. A small wire from tire road debris laid his tire low. It took tweezers to remove it. Why we had tweezers cannot be explained as we had off-loaded all heavy items while crossing the Cascades. It may be a case, again, of the unlikely falling on the undeserving which is why we flagelate each day to keep this type of outcome coming. Why leave things up to chance with so much at stake everyday you roll out of your tent. Flagelation, incidentally, is much more likely to get results than rain dances unless you are a fillopino because they have worn that particular device out trying to twist the universe in their direction. Might still work for flat tires - I’m not sure. We did fix the tire - with much effort. I had, just earlier, remarked on how remarkable it was we had not had a flat. Now you tell me, was that related? Did my comment bring on the flat or was it the wire or did we get the flat because we voted democratic or have a fundraiser going for Slobodan Milosevic. There are slippery slopes everywhere. Enough to raise fear to tread, much less roll a tire across the country.
We pitched our tents but sheltered under a nearby tin-roofed pavilion
as we are partial to shade, and shelter in this climate unpredictable. It occurred to us, and maybe to you, that we have lived outside almost seven weeks now. That couldn’t happen in the south - in the summer, of course, we would have been well done - cooked through and through, our skin 100 percent melanoma or squamous cell cancer. Here it is possible and let me congratulate Dave - throw a bone to his fans, so to speak - on selecting our route. If you can tolerate hail, lightening, freezing temperatures and head winds, this route is a piece of cake. The rains came to the plains and do remain since our arrival. Didn’t keep us from a walk to the local pizza place - filled with locals. Saw a bunch of late thirtyish women drinking beer and oohing and aahing over cell phone pictures. Assumed children. Wrong! Dogs! Some things are forever.

We have three days to get to McGregor where we will visit with Sherrie’s cousin, Zondra, She is avoiding my calls, but it will not work. She cannot stand the political and existential truth that I intend to bring to her and immerse her in. There’s hope for everybody. We just need to throw out the information we are and start completely over. Only good can come of it. And that includes “W” but you didn’t hear it from me. This is a politically-neutral journal, and I have better things to write about.

Pat Sewell

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