Pacific, my princess, waved me in
with unwavering winds.
Innately calm, I am, culminating in
A kiss to her coast, locked lips
Licking hops in a toast:
Cheers! To the sweat, pain, and tears
To Adversity Road
Hotly paved by despondency
Lined and cracked with my fears –
Much better, always
to bespeak future peace
Be here, on this beach.
The brevity of my moment
eclipsed by eternity.
Infinite sand and most loyal sun
when on earth had this journey begun?
I wasn’t I, couldn’t have been
Stark presence, the prescience
Precedes my mind’s eye
Squinting far, scanning wide
Toward the dawn of time.
On that horizon, incessant searching never finds
But in searching ceased, am found
Approaching the aurora of Absolute Truth
Pacific, my princess, waves me farewell.
Sun sinks, and I arise; our-eyes surfacing
On the brink of twilight sublime
where last wink scintillates
across the ocean of time.
Dusk of this journey
sparkles infinitely into eternity.
Cycles of this summer –
Spinning spokes of my youth.
I’ve kept an ongoing list of generosities during my travels, and I’d like to offer thanks now to the extraordinary brothers, sisters, spirits, and sages I’ve had the privilege, pleasure, and honor of intersecting. Certainly, gestures of love have been overlooked and missed, and I apologize in advance for anyone I’ve missed.
Madison, WI: Lucky’s Bar – free cheese curds and a round of drinks from “Captain”
Madison, WI: Sophia and Abbie for opening their homes to Nick, Evan, and I
Pikes Peak State Park, IA: Martín – food and a lodging hook-up in the Big Horn Mountains
Pikes Peak State Park, IA: Bruce – Knowledge, route to Decorah, groceries, use of grill
Decorah, IA: Bill and Jo – Encouraging us to “Say Yes”, use of their guest house
Decorah, IA: Deke from the bike shop – Beers, cooking us dinner, letting us play frisbee with his dog that has a better catching percentage than I do
Farmland, IA: Dwight “Bear Hands” and Ruth – opening their home and barn on a whim, ice cream, breakfast, and lawn chair
Osage, IA: Mark, local animal control officer – for being in the right place at the right time for us and Ninjak
Osage, IA: Tony, Laura, Zoe, and Anna – Opening their Garaj-Mahal, making us Tony’s famous Sunday morning pancakes, and connecting us with…
Mason City, IA: Kyle – Air mattress, homemade pizza from scratch, homemade chocolate-mint waffles from scratch for breakfast
Mason City, IA: Subway Manager for three free foot-long subs and an entire box of cookies
Clear Lake, IA: Random unknown family for buying us cheese toast
Bancroft, IA: The mayor for a free round of the Bancroft Burger and space to camp in the local park where we built a monkey-bar hammock fort
Spirit Lake, IA: Brent and Sandy for treating us to round one of our breakfast at the local diner
Rock Rapids, IA: Lou and Shari’s Kitchen for free breakfast and rain cover
Rapid City, SD: Glenn in Econo Lodge lobby for two Fat Tires, guitar playing, and conversation
Sturgis, SD: Dave for the box of granola bars
Spearfish, SD: The Lynch’s – hospitality, use of tree house for camping
Spearfish, SD: Connection Church and their summer college intern staff – Lunch, conversations, encouragement, geographic balance, laughter, community
Sundance, WY: Reuter Canyon Campground – Mike and Laurie for one of the most refreshing beers, dinner (chicken, brats, potatoes, corn, salad, milk, beer, pecan pie – I mean, come on! I don’t eat this well at home!), company, conversation, breakfast (Egg scramble, ham, pancakes, coffee!), their love, faithful encouragement, and one of the most unique gifts of my journey, a $2 bill scented with oils from Jerusalem (offered with the quick comedic caveat, “It’s not because we think you’re queer!” … y’know, the old saying queer as a two-dollar bill)
Sundance, WY: Reuter Canyon Campground – Paul the campground host for giving me a hitch up to Devil’s Tower and offering quite a tour through the mountains to get there
Wyoming: Cam Navis for the camaraderie, companionship, and camping adventures
Jackson, WY: Motel host for free extra breakfast snacks to stash for the ride
Jackson, WY: Molly for hosting, great conversation, dinner to share, and encouraging me to go up the Teton Pass and to use the Old Pass Road
Victor, ID: Gene for hosting, breakfast, and advice to attend the free music, food, and beer festivities happening in the heart of the town after I came down the Teton Pass that night
Victor ID: Victor Brewing for a great Two-Hearted-esque IPA
Idaho Falls, ID: Carolyn for tent space and the nostalgic joy of enjoying a couple beers on the porch (which consequentially led me to meeting the “only three Detroit Lions fans in Idaho”)
Idaho Falls, ID: Ron (in his Sleeping Bear Dunes shirt) and wife from South Bend for conversation and coming back to offer me $20 for lunch
Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID: Tochel for hitch and revealing a hidden hot spring to me
Fairfield, ID: Randy and Laura for use of their guesthouse and an amazing breakfast
Boise, ID: The Mallea’s for letting me stay two nights with them, achieving sleep like a deceased governor, food, and July 4th fun
Middleton, ID: Jamie, Emellia, and Adam for revealing the Smurf Turf, lunch, conversation, and encouragement
Brogan, OR: Geoff and Jan from Australia for offering me coffee and toast in the morning, the wonderful conversation, and ensuing adventures. Really, there is so much I could say about the time spent with these two new mates of mine. Saw them two more times between Brogan and the coast, the final intersection actually occurring in Florence, on the coast, where I camped with them the night of my arrival.
Eugene, OR: Therese my cousin! Shelter, food, laughter, tours of Eugene, relaxation, and a bountiful bar-hopping tour
Final 10 miles: With an absurd head wind, three London blokes who had ridden from Virginia caught up with me and offered to let me draft with them. Yes, yes I’d love to.
Florence, OR: Beachcomber’s bartender for accidentally pouring Jager instead of Iced Tea (similar spouts right next to one another behind the bar) and giving it to me. Cheers!
Sporadic cities and towns: Thank you to all that sent me letters, packages, etc. I am so grateful and was so encouraged to hear from you. Your words and gifts propelled my journey, and I hope to respond to all letters soon, whether in person or by mail.