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!