Monday, October 12, 2009

September 24

Today was great. The end.

I realized this trip isn’t about getting anywhere, it’s about going there, and being there, wherever there happens to be. Even if there isn’t the place you were shooting for that morning, it’s still somewhere. And frankly, it is where you are so you’d better be happy with it. I thought I knew that already, but it really clicked now. I get it. I understand.

I was searching for a road that runs parallel to the larger and busier highway than I had hoped for. I was frustrated because this neighborhood was full of dead ends. But I found the road after only 10 minutes. I felt tired most of the day. I thought I was getting sick. I thought I was too tired to ride over 12 miles per hour—a relatively slow speed compared to the 15 miles per hour I usually can average. I realized all these things were a part of where I was and that is something. And that something is where I am so I’d better learn to enjoy it.

In reality, I don’t think I was all that tired today. This was the hilliest 75 miles I’ve ever rode in one day. And to top every one of those hills which I climbed today, this campsite I’m at, High Cliff State Park, is actually on a high cliff. You can get to the top of it, the hill with high cliffs, that is, and you have to if you want to camp here, but you have to work, or have a vehicle that does the work for you. I don’t have one of those right now. Instead, I climbed the hill on the only vehicle I have, my bike. This thing is close to a 30 degree incline for a quarter mile.

After climbing the hill once, and dropping off my stuff, I had to go get firewood, conveniently located at the park entrance, at the bottom of the hill. Climbing that hill with a “bundle” of firewood balanced on top of my rack was a challenge, but I made it. (Ironically, I didn’t use the firewood. Everything else was too wet for this city boy posing as an amateur outdoorsman to get a fire going. Oh well, I’m warm enough in my sleeping bag.)

Today was today—great. High Cliff State Park is great. There’s a cool bench on one of the really awesome hiking trails. And I climbed one of the high cliffs! Yeah!

The bench has a beautiful little poem on it:

Standing on top of this, I just had to climb down it.

The view from below:

I hiked farther down the hill:

I made it down to Lake Winnebago just as the sun was setting:

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