July 31, 2010- Full Circle

Kate Murr
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Setting out from Butch and Cindy’s house, we felt cooler and reenergized. This was a very good thing, because we still had a lot of desolate, hilly looking landscape to traverse, and because we had a flat by the time we reached the bottom of their driveway.

Shortly after fixing the flat and visiting with some Pomeroy locals, we met Sergei, a German cross-country biker from the Ukraine who was on the 18th month and 23rd country of his worldwide journey. His bike was light and fast and his travel was so efficient that even his earphones played English lessons that he read along with as he pedaled by stashing worksheets in his front pack flip-up map pocket. Sergei had a grasp on tenacity and geography that defies comprehension.

A few miles beyond Sergei we encountered an enormous surprise: Terry and Linda from Fair Hope, Alabama. Perhaps you’ll recall that before Mother’s Day, nearly 3000 miles ago after a nerve-racking day of travel on sketchy Alabama roads, we met Terry and Linda at a restaurant and they invited us to their home. They served us Southern Comfort from an heirloom green glass eagle and gave us their master suite. They planted cucumbers with the kids, and have since sent us pictures of their growth. They taught me a lot about parenthood, motherhood, seasons of family. And when they passed us on Highway 12 pulling their unique T@B orange and silver camper trailer, we waved and laughed and nearly crashed our bikes with glee.

Terry and Linda had tracked our spot. They e-mailed and left a message that they may pass us, but I didn’t receive either message because of spotty reception. Our surprise reunion was a huge lift, and a huge gift. The pair whisked the kids and some of our gear up the mountain before us and to a campsite ahead while Stuart and I practically flew over the summit on featherweight bikes (funny if you’ve ever lifted a Surly Long Haul Trucker).

We enjoyed dinner and the discovery of HUGE banana slugs and a full sky of stars. Most of all we enjoyed our time together and what felt like a circle and a blessing for the final stretch of road.

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