Part 3: Heading toward One Street Down, eternal wilderness, open road
The summer—no sweeter than ever;
The sunshiny woods all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the hill.
The strong life that never knows harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness---
O God! How I’m stuck on it all. By Yukon Poet Robert Service
How do Service’s words touch you? Do you feel the eternal spirit of the wilderness? Feel the sublime joy of smelling fresh mountain flowers? How about the clean scent of pine, the subtle “white music” of a river rushing past your campsite? What about the energy you gain from stretching your muscles on a hike or bike ride? Does your mind feel alive? Does your skin feel the magic of temperature changes?
Whether the wilderness in the Yukon or the Rain Forests of South America, I love the “lightness of being” in the wilds. Some call it “grounding” where you touch the Earth with your bare feet and reconnect with the vibrations of Nature. Whatever it is about immersing myself in Nature’s arms, I feel at peace, balanced and vibrantly alive.
Given a choice of a motel or a tent by a river—what would you choose? Do you like the sound of a microwave cooking up your dinner or the sound of your stew simmering on a campfire crackling with energy?
Have you ever sat by a campfire;
When the wood has fallen low,
And the ashes start to whiten;
Around the campfire’s crimson glow?
With a full moon high above you;
That makes silence double sweet,
And the night sounds all around you,
That makes the spell complete.
Tell me were you ever nearer;
To the land of heart’s desire,
Than when you sat there thinking;
With your face toward the fire?
Maybe you have guessed my choice. Tell me yours. Let’s get out there into the wild to really feel our lives. Let’s express the energies within us that yearn to speak to the wilds.
The sun rose through a gray sky while we packed our tents. Quickly through the 46 degree morning, we cranked east toward a new pass. We pushed hard on the pedals to move our bikes over the summit. We passed more skeleton trees piercing the sky. When it burns in Oregon, it razes everything down to gray wood. We watched lots of woodpecker homes holed into the dead trees.
As always, Nature finds her way, does her thing and makes everything work. For certain, we need massive forest fires at intervals to keep a balance within the woods. The suppression of fires in the USA for the past century has caused terrible damage to ecosystems.
Again, our lungs heaved and our breaths came hard as we pressed on the pedals. While we cranked a higher percent grade, we covered the altitude gain in two hours to reach the top by noon at 4,617 feet.
As we wrapped ourselves up to keep warm on the ride down, three huge snow-covered mountains popped up behind us. Stunningly beautiful!
We pedaled on a road titled “Over the River and Through the Woods” of Oregon. You can imagine that we pedaled along a river and through deep woods. Heck of a great title for a road! In Colorado, we have the “Peak to Peak” highway that takes folks along a stupendous number of peaks along the route.
As we pedaled, my legs felt the burn of the climbs and the joy of the coasting downhill. My mind pursued the climbs and it also felt the “glee” of the gravity power of coasting. A triumph no matter how big a pass or how small releases a sense of joy throughout my mind. It sparkles in every cell of my body. All triumphs represent effort over time. Celebrate yourself in the corridors of your mind.
We headed toward Redmond, Oregon and the One Street Down Café experience.
Part 4: The amazing One Street Down, eastbound toward Idaho
Laugh, love, pedal, eat voraciously and live it up,