May 19, 2010- Leapfrog Idea

Kate Murr

I write by moon, star and firefly light beside the lake at Tishamingo State Park at the end of a satisfying day when the sun felt nourishing and enlightening and made my skin a happy color.

We biked nearly 52 miles today on the Natchez Trace, stopping to play and snack at Twentymile Bottom and Jourdan Creek. I missed my friend Shauna horribly at these and other spots, including Witch Dance and Black Belt: we’ve developed an unparalleled school of interpretive dance for interpretive signs.

I spent the day thinking about motion and soaking in colors. I thought up a few lines of poetry and about some directions to take my work.

I thought of a way friends could join us on our journey without being slowed down by our pace and a way that we might be able to get some support for all our weight for a while: leapfrogging. Say you’re a friend who wants to trek across, I don’t know, maybe North Dakota or Nebraska or the Columbia River Valley. You’ve got this burning desire to do it, but not a whole lot of time, and maybe you’ve not ridden long distances before and you’re a little apprehensive. Perhaps you want to do it solo, perhaps with your buddy, or maybe with your family. Either way, if you drive your vehicle to a spot on our route, we could rally, you could drive 45 miles up the road, ditch the car, then pedal your heart out for the day. We would pick up your car where you ditched it and drive to meet you, enjoy dinner together and sleeps, then repeat the process the next day. This could be a great long weekend adventure, one for the books. You would have to drive a vehicle that could fit in at least two bikes at once, and our Burleys. So far we’ve packed everything into/on a Tahoe and a short bed truck with a toolbox; we are very creative packers. Just an idea, anyway. If you’re interested in working something out, please leave a comment.

We cruised into Tishamingo and raided the Sunflower grocery store. All restaurants were closed for the evening, but we assembled a lovely dinner of rotisserie chicken and ham, spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and kidney beans, pasta salad, and a quart of milk for a tasty pudding desert, all of which we consumed less than twenty minutes after arriving at our campsite.

The simplicity of being able to wash our four dishes, four utensils, our pot, waterbottles, and nearly all of our clothing in the time it takes to set up camp and clean our bodies is brilliant. At home I have a perpetually whirring dishwasher and Mt. Laundry, which is every bit as omnipresent and hulking as my memory of Hemmingway’s Kilimanjaro description. On the road, I lack conveniences and usually stink, but am noticing that all the less yields the aforementioned satisfaction of a day very, very well lived.

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