After the overall creepiness of Harper’s Ferry, I’m writing this in a much more comfortable setting. Being on the road, you forget things, like the fact that it’s going to be Memorial Day Weekend and every campground is going to be at full capacity. When we got to Brownsville, MN this afternoon, the Wildcat Campground manager reminded us that we probably won’t have any luck reserving camping spots. So, yeah, we have that to look forward to this weekend. That’s the least of my worries right now, though. I’m too busy enjoying the breeze by the Mississippi River under a willow tree.
The headwind and hilly terrain didn’t slow us down as much as the tune ups our bikes needed. Britt and I successfully changed a bent chain link on my chain, and she re-adjusted her brakes. As much as I make fun of Britt for being over-prepared and planning for every worse case scenario, I really do appreciate her paranoid anxiety – if she hadn’t packed extra chain links, I would have been screwed! Riding downhill definitely made up for all the time lost. 2 miles of trekking uphill was rewarded with pedal-less riding for twice the distance. On one of the descents, a deer crossed my path! And I always thought Iowa was flat… As much as I disliked Iowa (sorry, Tori) for all the crabby drivers honking at us and the eerie small town folk with even smaller point of views, the town of Lansing totally made up for it. But seriously, if it wasn’t for Lansing, I’d claim Indiana as a better state.
On the ride today, I reevaluated previous judgments. I may not understand or agree with those who “camp” in RVs on the weekend, unless they live and travel in them. However, they are enjoying the outdoors in their own, privileged way. Britt and I are privileged in that sense, too. Not everyone has the opportunity to do what we’re doing, and I should appreciate it rather than take it for granted.
Okay, enough preachy perspective. I’m going to eat on the bank of the Mississippi and lookout for any bald eagles. Did you know that bald eagles not only hunt for fish, but scavenge already dead carcasses? They also build their nests with stolen materials from other birds, or just merely take over another nest. Interesting choice for our national bird… It’s symbollic for how our nation acts as a whole, but as for Americans individually, I like Ben Franklin’s suggestion for the turkey. That’s what most of us are anyway, jive turkeys.
PS – Hard water is disgusting. Look at me, complaining about the water, when in parts of India, people are dying from a lack of it. Oh, to be American…