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October 11, 2010
Maine and the Mighty USA
We camped on the outskirts of the Catskill Mountains that night in our degrading tent. We are up to three broken and modified tent posts with about six significant and duct taped tears. Despite this we camped fairly comfortably. The only real trouble I’m having is hip and hip-flexor pain, the other parts I’m used to. The cold seems to get me every morning around 2-4 am but I’m okay with that, it’s a nice reminder. An interesting development is the numbness and tingling in my left hand that’s plagued me for a long time while riding is now completely gone. I’m feeling healthier and more relaxed than I have in a long time. I still get uptight once in a while but usually only when it’s time for a snack or sleep, but that is not new.
On our way through Virginia we stopped for gas and had an engaging conversation with a fellow who loved to talk. He was very interesting to me and I could have parlayed all day with him about world politics and points of view. Caution is of course important and the general rule is no talk of sex, religion or politics, to avoid any unpleasant debates. This however was less sophisticated and when the statement came out about the Second World War and, “If it wasn’t for the might and prosperity of the USA, Canada and most of the European countries would not even exist” I just about lost it. Deya said my face went red when I started to calmly recap history as it happened and explained the political scene at the time that the United States came into it’s own, the reason for the Statue of Liberty and it’s particular importance to the existence of the USA as viable and liberated country in a time when support from a super power, like France, would make or break a place. Deya dragged me away as we were patting each other on the back, though I was enjoying the duel as was he, but his quote is unfortunately burnt into my mind.
Of course in the night when you are tenting you never really know the intentions of others and you are vulnerable. So when the truck stopped and someone got out with a flashlight we really didn’t know what to think. The dark figure lumbered about in the darkness searching around the front of our area, obviously seeing the motorcycles parked in the trees. The lone figure approached the tent, maybe ten paces away, slouched slightly, his flashlight shining on us, a clicking sound and some shuffling in the dirt, so I unzipped the tent and asked if I could help him with something. From the darkness we heard the most surprising thing, the sweetness of a seventy-seven year old woman’s voice asking if we would mind if she camped near us because she was lost.