Questing with the Cultural REcyclists


Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost to Yellowstone!

Hello! (This will be Kevin writing, just for clarification)

I am currently in Cody, Wyoming, 50 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park. Charlie, Amanda, Will, and I have been here for three days now. We are enjoying the time to relax and stock up on winter clothes and delicious non-perishables before heading to the wondrous Yellowstone. We are also waiting for Tina and Chris to catch up with us, because they were helping out with projects in the town of Casper, Wyoming. Our friend Arlo, who rode with us for a week, decided he wanted to leave our bicycle tour to venture down to a Co-op in Boulder Colorado. Soon enough, the six remaining riders will journey into the land of Devil's Tower and Old Faithful.
To recap some of our recent excitement, I will retrace our steps. For the last two nights we stayed with a munificent couple, Denny and Suzanne. Denny was intrigued by our bicycles while we were at the library and we soon learned that he has hiked most of America's trails on foot, and traversed much of the roads by bicycle. He kindly invited us for dinner, where we enjoyed elk-burgers (hunted by Suzanne, skinned by Denny, and cooked by Suzanne). We were gifted many recently expired organic goods from a Natural Foods Store called Mountain High. Due to all the "bear scares" recently, we purchased several canisters of Bear Mace.
During our non-riding time here in Cody we have been able to spend more time "being" and not solely "doing". Our friend Andrew from Fairfield helped teach us the importance of balancing doing and being. I found a copy of one of my favorite "being-inducing" books at a store for only fifty cents. "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle catapults me into the present moment like no other book can. While hanging around Denny's mostly handcrafted home, Will couldn't put "A New Earth" down. Charlie found a copy of "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz which also articulates the importance of spiritual practice. Myself and Amanda have both been working on cultivating a regular Yoga stretching session at various times of the day. I was reading about meditation techniques at the library and have resumed my daily practice of entering a state of "Laos." The word "Laos" is part of the mini-lexicon we are developing as we ride. I define the word Laos as "ones natural state within, which can only be felt, not thought, consisting of peace,calm, and joy."
Back to the activities we've been doing...before Cody, we were in the tiny town of Matittsi (blogger doesn't have spellcheck). This old-western town's claim to fame is that Butch Cassidy was captured here. More recently, one of the convicts who hid in Yellowstone was also caught in Matittsi. We ate a tasty pizza at one of the only restaurants in town, seeing as there was no grocery there. Charlie and a woman we met at the restaurant had a duet-guitar jam session in the park we camped in as well.
Rewind back a town, and we are in the home of the "world's largest natural hot-springs" -Thermopolis. We stayed a few nights at the home of a generous woman,named Chellady's house. Chellady and her family let us use their home computer, where we uploaded photos of all the breath-taking buttes and expansive mountain-scapes we see. We soothed our muscles in the hot springs, which reeked of sulfur, but were overwhelmingly restorative.
The ride into Thermopolis through the Wind River Canyon was absolutely astounding. I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but I can't imagine anything more grand than this. Riding through the base of this natural wonder had my jaw hitting my handlebars!
Before Thermopolis, we were in Shoshoni, which is the name of Native tribe which our culture ...decimated..I mean decided to move elsewhere. We saw some relics of the Native culture in some of the town stores. And we could feel the spirit of the land, embodied in the therapeudic sage scent, and the galloping antelope, adorned with curley Q horns.
Previous to Shoshoni, we were exploring Casper. Within minutes of entering Casper, we had met a myriad of like-minded people at the local Farmer's Market. Our taste buds lit up as we were given free samples of all sorts of fresh peaches, scones, fresh dips, and other goodies. Many vendors were exceedingly generous in giving us crates of fresh veggies to take with us. We stayed two nights at the home of Leah and Brett, who manage the Farmer's Markets. They treated us to warm showers which were graciously accepted by all of us. We met many cool folks around town, some of whom Chris and Tina stayed with to work on community projects.
Overall, our recent adventures have been full of suprise, synchronicity, and bear-warnings. We have had many ups and downs, but we take it all in stride, and are learning new life lessons every day. We appreciate every bit of support and well-wishing, and we strive to reciprocate it. Thanks for reading, and I don't have time to edit, so I hope its ledgible, haha. Love, Kevin May/Phil Osophical and all of the Cultural Recyclists!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life After Linclon...

Happy Monday Loves!

I am currently in Lusk, WY at the Library with Chris. We now have a new member, Arlo Brittan, from Alliance, NE. We are making our way to Yellow Stone seven REcyclists strong. There is a possibility for three more riders to join us in the coming weeks. Check out our Google map to see if we're coming by your town and you can join us too!

I stayed in Lincoln for almost a week. The Sunday we rode into Lincoln, I was hit by a car at the intersection of route 17 N and route 34 W. Chris and I were riding together. I went to make a left turn onto 34 W, then was thrown off my bike by a Chyster Pacifica. I only received some buries, soreness, and a few scraps as my damage from the encounter with the metal beast. However, the beast lost its passenger side rear view vision and got the passenger side of its face busted in, most likely thanks to the Tidy Cat Buckets on my bike. It was a bit crazy. Chris saw the whole event play out.
We were lucky enough that Adam has a truck. He drove out to pick us up with his daughter Sophie. She is adorlable. Adam hooked up the whole crew for the couple days we all stayed. Amanda and Will left Lincoln after two nights, while Charlie, Kevin, and Chris stayed an extra night. I hung out for another night after the boys. Adam drove me out to meet up with Charlie, Kevin, and Chris the Friday after my accident. The boys were originally going to leave with Will and Amanda.
We became distracted once helping Open Harvest manage thier food waste. The Food Co-Op had some figs, salads, bananas, and tuna sandwiches that couldn’t be sold anymore. It was sweet to be hooked up with healthy food. By the time the boys were finishing up at the market if was almost 7 pm. Adam came by on his way into the Meadow Lark. He called over to us, “Yes, you can come home tonight!” So the boys stayed an extra night. We all performed in the open mic at the Meadow Lark that night. I sang my America the Imperial song. Followed by a local folk singer song writer. Then Chris spoke a poem before Kevin’s Semi-Spontaneous Flow Tree Rap. Charlie and Chris harmonized to Surfer girl and teach your children after the rap. Our new friend Elle entertained us with some spoken word next. It was a lovely night.
During my extra day in Lincoln, I was able to film a video that will eventually be posted in four parts about Amy Brt’s permaculture. She is doing some great work! Her site is beauitful. It will be really rocking in a few years once she finishes some of her upcoming plans. I also met Eric. He is interested in joining our ride along with his cousin Sammy. So maybe we will have nine Recyclists before long.
Adam dropped me off in York to ride out to Grand Island with the boys. It was a lovely ride. Loads of wondrous scenery. Chris and I even stopped to go for a swim in a magical lake. I felt like I was living in a fantasy novel. The next day I had to patch a flat tire. Charlie and Kevin biked a head of us to catch up with Will and Amanda. The four of them reunited that night in Broken Bow. Chris and I camped out in Anlsey for the night then rode the last 16 miles towards Broken Bow in the morning. The crew had gotten hooked up at the Tubble weed café for dinner the night before and breakfast in the morning. Chris and I also were able to have a delicious breakfast served by Georgia. Our whole crew chilled out in Tomahawk park most of the day. The heat advisory was for 110 degrees. The idea was to do a night ride around 6 or 7 pm.
We had some group distractions before the concenus seemed to be, “lets camp out here one more night then leave in the morning.” Chris and I were excited for a night ride, so we rode out towards Dunning at 10pm. The night was amazing. We watched at least 30 shoot stars zoom across the sky. Up, down, sideways, over the milky way galazy, star flew everywhere. We learned from James with that a metor shower is in process all week. He also rocked.
The next day we all met up in Tedford. We met a women who offered to cook us breakfast if we rode out to her house in Mullen by 8:30am. We tried to sleep well through the most epic thunder storm of the trip so far to prep for the 25 miles morning ride. It was lovely. The sandhills are a breathtaking site at sun rise. The reds, oranges, and pinks fill the skies and the sands. Glowing, glimmering wonderment filled the eyes of all six REcyclists. We passed into the mountain time zone half way through the ride. We called up Gloria to learn she meant 8:30am mountain time not central as we were orginally intending. This made for a steller early morning.
Our next big adventure came in the form of Alliance, NE. We stayed an extra day because Chris got lost from our crew. I found him riding in a truck up to Carhedge. It was wonderful to know he was alright. Kevin had searched on his bike the night before. Amanda and I looked for him on foot too. Now, everyone has a card with everyone’s phone numbers on it. Although chalk messages may come in handy sometime. We also met Arlo in Alliance. He is awesome and into everything we want to do.
Arlo spent a day with Charlie to get his bike ready while the rest of us rode closer to Wyoming. Yesterday, the seven us of all rode across the boarder together. There will be a sweet picture of his moment on the website soon. We are now at about 5,000 feet elevation. That’s all I have time to tell right now.

Peace & love,
Tina Berry

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome Nebraska!

So i now find myself in Lincoln, Nebraska. The road has been long and arduous, but rewarding beyond imagination. I still have some food from Pittsburgh. We would set our intientions to camp and eat the food that we've been carrying for hundreds of miles, but still have meals provided for us!

Meals provided include:
.Steak, vegetable casserol, Garlic bread
.Sweet corn, peaches & cream corn, homemade Lemon pie, Crunch chocolate bar
.Baked Ziti casserole, cucumber/onion salad with vinegar, squash with brown sugar
.a couple meals hand picked (by the crew and me) from a new friend's garden.
.Cheese burgers, local sweet corn, watermelon, grapes, homemade cookies, homegrown tomatoes, bananas, and peaches (it was a feast!)
The scenery on this tour is beautiful. Iowa has had the best terrain to date. Breathtaking skies, fun rollers (low frequency, long wave length hills), open roads, and great people. The sun would set on the horizon, filling the sky with heartwarming crimson. Then, if clouds were present, the sun's rays would light up the bottom of the clouds with a deep, radiating violet effectively creating a second sunset. Day time travel riveled evening scenes because of terrain, gently winding roads, and imaginative landscapes. Pumping up a 1/2 to 3/4 mile long hill to see vibrant green valleys on either side is quite a spectacle. Something about climbing hills in medium gears, taking in picturesque views, and then rocketing down the other side in the highest gear possible makes for an out-of-this-world magical feeling. Couple all this with less than 6 cars an hour and it's heaven.

Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana scored a little lower: Tractor trailors everywhere! Our backcountry routes were shaken by fully loaded semi's blasting past at 50+ mph enroute to grain elevators. The only change in scenery was soy on the left and corn on the right to corn on the left and soy on the right. Normally, the solitude would be therapudic, but the trucks were nerve-wracking.

Stay tuned for more adventures!