Saturday, August 13, 2011

More American Soil

When I wrote Miles to Cross, it was originally in the form of super rough journal entries, with pen and leather-bound parchment, and I ended up shoving photos, poetry, and pictures taken en route into these journals. The motorcycle quest for America happened 20 years ago this summer, and we called it the Freedom Tour.

One of the reasons why I’m excited about building the Miles to Cross Facebook page is that I’ll finally be able to include the poetry, the photos, but also interact with folks who are lovers of the journey as well. Meet me there!

Here are a couple of American Soil snapshots:

“I sit in a green valley in God’s country, outside Durango, and I am happy. I am also saturated with fatigue, for the last two days have seen many miles. Toph joined me in Victorville, and we cruised the Las Vegas desert together up to St. George. I hooked a right on Highway 9 to Kanub (Toph was heading north to go through Denver for a visit with his lady, Jen), where I spent one starlit night. Right before I went to sleep I had a cigarette. I recently finished Still Life with a Woodpecker by Robbins, which inspired me to start smoking on this trip. I think its cool to watch people smoke. It’s a James Dean thing. I even like the smell of the Camel hardpack that I purchased to learn with. The problem is this: I can’t do it. I cough and hack like Tuberculosis incarnate. It is ridiculous. Plus, I woke up this morning and my breath tasted like I’d gargled with manure. So I think I’ll cut my losses and call it quits. And spare myself the joy of blacklung.
Today the ride was okay until I hit Cortez. Then, I was amazed. Awestruck. The mountains and the valleys and the green of the hills and trees was symphony and majesty to my tired soul. That breeze of glory carried my horse and I to Durango, where I prepare to bed for the evening. A dog barks, the sun sets, I hear children laughing in the distance. I am, like all my fellow journeymen, a wanderer in this pilgrimage of life.”

A couple of nights later, camping outside of Garden City, Kansas:
“A man named Homer gave me a brochure for the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Their motto is “There’s still time to change the road you’re on,” which is a line from Zepplin’s Stairway. In a live recording of that song, Robert Plant sings the lyric, and then in the pause afterward says, “I hope so.”
You and me both, Rob.”

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