Friday, September 30, 2005

Crazy Weather Patterns


DCP_0097
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I've learned that the Western slopes of the Cascades (in addition to your prayers) are great protectors from the rain. They deflect much of the moisture-laden winds of the Pacific upward. The town I'm in now, Okanogan, only gets 12" of precipitation each year (it's all sage brush like in this picture). But 100 miles west of here they get 100" of precipitation. The mountain passes are lush green pines and then you descend into desert-like conditions. Interesting stuff....I've never experienced anything like it.

Passin' On


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I camped out the last two nights in the valley and it's been unusually warm and no rain. I've found that when it's warm in the morning I'm much more motivated to wake up early, which allows me to prolong my morning rituals. Yesterday I stood outside the local gas station drinking coffee, waiting to wake up. There was an old man next to me having a smoke. We had one of those classic early morning conversations where you oblige one another with small talk but use as few words as possible...the type of conversation that you often happens over a bowl of cereal. Ours went something like this:
"Where you going?"
"Towards Tonasket."
"You going up Sherman Pass?"
"Yep."
"It's a long pull."
"So I've heard."
"Got your rain gear?"
"Yep."
"Good luck."
"Thanks."
And then we were able to safely resume to our coffee and cigarette.

Well, I made it over Sherman Pass and it was a long pull. But I didn't need my rain gear...thanks for all the prayers. I also made it over Waucanda Pass,,,2 down and three to go. I spent the night in Tonasket. Shannon of Shannon's Homemade Ice Cream lets bikers camp out on the side of the store. The highlight of the night was when a guy passing on the street offered me his leftover pizza. Food always tastes better when it's free.
Tonight I'm hoping to meet up with a couple who are friends of my mountain man friend Digger. They live near Twisp, WA and were also at Rabbitstick.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Follow the Water


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Lately I've been guided by waterways as I cruise the back roads of Washington. This picture is of the Pend Oreille river which I hugged all day yesterday.
Speaking of water, word on the street is that rain is on the way. Having been such a dry summer, I can't remember the last time I broke out my rain gear. But I'm bracing for about three days of wetness...I guess that's what the Pacific Northwest brings. Keep me in your prayers because they're calling for snow above 5000', which will affect me on those mountain passes that I mentioned yesterday.
Tonight I plan to stop in the Kettle Falls area.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where I'm Going


pic 2
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This map shows you my route for the last stretch to the West Coast (click on the map if you want to see a bigger version). I started a little bit outside of Sandpoint, ID this morning. I will be spending the night here in Ione, WA tonight. I'm about a day away from the Cascade Mountains, which will challenge me with a mountain pass a day for about three days. If I'm feeling frisky tommorrow I might go for the first one, which will be 4000' over 30 miles. Keep me in your prayers.

Where I've Been


pic 1
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I thought I'd post this map to give you an idea of the route I took with my parents. We started in Missoula, went through Glacier via Going to the Sun, then up to Alberta and over to Fernie, BC. We connected Fernie and Eureka, MT via route 3 (which isn't highlighted on the map). I parted ways with my folks in Eureka and cycled 150 miles to Sandpoint, ID (which is where my next visual aid starts).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hey Ho I'm in Idaho

(The title of this blog was adapted from the Idaho spuds jingle I remember as a kid.) I spent Sunday riding with the Kootenai Reservoir on one side and the forest on the other. I passed through Libby, Montana and thought about everyone I know named Libby. I found some free camping in some national forest outside of Troy, MT. Troy is known as, "The lowest elevation in Montana". I think the people there have a bit of a complex because everyone I asked for directions made sure to point out every hill that I would have to go up.
This morning I crossed into Idaho and the Pacific Time Zone...which makes the west coast seem near. This will likely be my only night in Idaho before I hit Washington. I plan to eat a potato-rich dinner.

Digger

As I was coming out of the the laundromat in Eureka, MT I bumped into a barefoot buckskin wearin' fella. It happened to be the infamous hide tanning guru 'Digger' from Rabbitstick. He didn't recognize me but I told him I had seen him the week before. He's one of the guys you could tell is the real deal...his bare feet look like tough leather. He immediately offered me a place to stay. He lives out in the woods, but he was passing through town on his way to visit some friends. He invited me to come along to the potluck/drumming party. He was with his friend Starlight Kompost and her son Tarin, who I also met at Rabbitstick. The three of them are in the picture above.
It was a great night of conversation, food, and music. After we ate we gathered in a room with all kinds of drums and people jammed out together. I felt very comfortable with everyone...I just grabbed a drum and banged along.
I stayed at Digger's outside of town. He gave me a spot in his hut to lay my sleeping bag. He lives completely off the grid...no electricity, no plumbing. He drinks "wild" water from a spring on his land. He even uses dried moss for toilet paper and his outhouse it not much more than a hole in the ground.
When I woke up there was a fire going outside and Digger was emerging naked from the nearby mountain stream. His whole body was steaming...there was frost on the ground. He says he does it year round, even if he has to break the ice. Like I said, this guy is no joke. He cooked up some beans and tea on the open fire and supplied me with some dried fruit for the road. When I looked in the bag later, I discovered he had given me $100 for Camden...quite an offering from a certified mountain man.
I found Digger to be intriguing as all get out. He lives more simply than anyone I know, yet he kept asking if I needed anything. He said, "I have more than enough stuff if you need anything." I asked him about his name and he said his given name is Doug. But he realized it was past tense (dug). He likes Digger because it's present tense and symbolizes that his life is a process. I like that.
There are certain people you meet who embody the way of Jesus and they may or may not call themselves Christians. I find that I meet them in the strangest places. There's a lyric in a song by the group Over the Rhine that says, "Last time I saw Jesus I was drinking bloody marys in the South...she wore a dark and faded blazer." Interestingly enough as I was leaving the laundomat on Saturday I was going to meet Jesus at the 5pm mass up the street...but I believe he met me before I even got there.

An Ode to my Folks

Well my parents have come and gone. They came prepared for the worst (as you can see from all the gear they had to pack)...but everything turned out perfectly.
It was important for me to be able to share the experience of this journey in more than just words and pictures. I think it was appropriate that my parents were they ones to share it with me. They seem to understand me about as well as anyone...probably more than I realize. I don't take this for granted because I don't know many people who can say the same about their folks. I think this is largely because my parents have not only supported me in everything I've done but they've also made an effort to enter "my element", embracing even the details. I remember the first time they visited me in Camden they dressed up for our Halloween party, slept on a futon in my room, and biked down Broadway with me and my housemates.
I don't know if I've ever thanked my parents publicly for being my parents, hopefully this won't be the last. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Unexpected Century

Friday morning we woke up thankful that we didn't get the rain/snow that was predicted. So we set off for the 77 mile trip to Fernie. Thanks to a misreading of the map on my part, it ended up being an even 100 miles. It's one thing if you make a mistake when you're on your own but it stings a little more when other people have to suffer the consequences too. But my dad got to go home with his first century...so he's got that going for him. We treated ourselves to a stay in a hostel/hotel for the night. I think I actually sleep better in my tent, but it was nice to be warm when we faced the early morning cold. I took a nice walk with my mom in the evening. Fernie is literally surrounded by mountains, it's a big skiing and mountain biking town.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oh Canada


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Today we crossed the border into Canada. The border patrol guy joked that I need a new passport photo because "I look like the lead for Jesus Christ Superstar". I have long hair and a beard in the picture.
As you can see in this picture the fall colors are in full swing here. There's something comforting about the feeling of fall.
Tonight we're camped out in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Tommorrow we head for British Columbia. Keep us in your prayers because the temperature is dropping and they're calling for rain.

Last Stop Before Canada


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

We camped in this spot, which happened to be behind a gas station. The sign said "Last stop before Canada." Props to my mom for being cool with the shady set-up. She actually commented that she liked it.

Hiking at the Summit


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

My mom met me and my dad at Logan Pass (the top of Going to the Sun). We went on a nice hike, which included some beautiful sights and some mountain goats.

Going to the Sun


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

We made it to the top of Going to the Sun Highway without a problem...thanks to beautiful conditions, determination, and an extra bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It starts to really climb 12 miles from the top and doesn't let up once. The highlight of the ascent was spotting a black bear only about 20 feet from the road. He was feasting on a berry bush. We would see him get on his rear legs and pin down a branch and then we wouldn't see him again until he was ready for another one.

Number One Pit Crew


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This has been a typical scene. My mom can make PBJ sanwiches on a car trunk like nobody's business. She always has a creative comment when she passes by too. I'm too embarrassed to write most of them on the blog.

The Team


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I've gone from a solo rider to a part of team...we've even got our own uniform. I'll take this 53 year-old teammate any day. He doesn't let me slack on the uphills, he's got a few good stories and he even buys dinner at the end of the day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Riding With the 'Rents


Riding With the 'Rents
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

My parents flew into Missoula on Saturday, stocked with their camping gear and my dad's bike. They rented a car and met me up in Helena. We spent some quality time with Kev and Amy, including an evening walk in the hills. We fattened up on some good grub and a good night's sleep... anticipating the journey north.
We started in Missoula on Sunday and are in route to Glacier National Park. It was a bit of gamble because there was over a foot of snow on Going to the Sun Highway last week, but so far we've been gifted with perfect weather.
It's been quite an experience having my parents alongside of me. On the first day it occurred to me that for the first 4000 miles of this trip (that's right I'm way over my projected distance of 3000 miles) I haven't had anyone ride with me for more than a few hours. What's great is that my parents have been very intentional about following the same patterns that I've had all along. I've got my dad decked out in one of my 'Heal Camden' shirts and we start each day with The Prayer For Camden. My old man is pushing me every mile of the way, in fact we clocked a solid 80 miles together yesterday. My mom has been our support car. She meets us at lunch time and stocks us with peanut butter and jelly...she even cuts them in half like the old days. My parents have even embraced the early morning chill. They only thing they've fought about is who gets the better sleeping pad to put under their sleeping bag.
Right now we're only about 20 miles from West Glacier. We plan to camp at McDonald Lake tonight, which is shown in the picture above. Tommorrow we'll ride Going to the Sun Highway, which a friend of mine said changed his life when he biked it. If the weather holds out we'll continue north into Canada to Waterton National Park through Alberta and British Columbia then loop back into Montana.
Keep us in your prayers, in paricular for the weather staying nice and for our big climb tommorrow.

Heading North


snow
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I still don't know what's wrong with my camera so I'm using pictures from other web sites. The picture you see here was taken last week on Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. My dad and I will be crossing the same pass tommorrow...3000 feet up over a 20 mile stretch.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Primitive Little Ones


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Some folks brought their kids along for the week. I've never seen such a hearty group of little ones. There were kids (the age of these girls in the picture) running around with bare feet on the early morning frost. Babies ran around naked. Kids half my age were experts at building friction fires and tanning hides. It made me appreciate the different lifestyles and skills that we are raised with. I may have a masters degree but I was likely the most remedial student in all the classes I took.

Buckskin Galore


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I saw more buckskin this week than all my years combined. Most people had hunted the animal, tanned the hide and sewn the clothing themselves. People adorned styles ranging from pre-historic days, American Indians, and mountain men.

Gathering Around the Fire


rabbitstick2
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

All three hundred people gathered on a piece of land for the entire week at Rabbitstick. People set in up their tents, tipis, and the occasional RV. It would get cold at night so most of us would gather around a big fire in the middle of camp. There was a host of talented people who entertained one another with story telling, drum circles, dancing and singing of all kinds.
I had the opportunity to spend the week in beautiful red tipi. The tipi belonged to my cousin Kevin's friend 'Par Flesh Bob'. Par flesh is a form of art that involves painting on raw hides. Bob makes his living by hunting elk and deer, tanning the hides and then selling them at art shows. Hanging around Kevin in his buckskin garb and Bob in his beautifully adorned par flesh accessories definitely increased my 'coolness factor' around camp.
At night we would retreat to the tipi and build a fire inside. We layed on buffalo robes and had meaningful conversations and a lot of good laughs.
We also took nightly canoe rides as the sun was setting and the near-full moon was rising. We encountered a baby moose, white tailed deer, a grey horned owl, night hawks and several slapping beaver tails.

What Do You mean Primitive Skills?


rabbitstick
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I have just returned from a week of participating in a gathering focused around the learning/teaching of primitive skills. Over three-hundred people came together to form a unique community ranging from folks who sustain themselves by living off the land, to ethnobotanists, to college professors, to nomads, to an assortment of blue and white collar jobs.
I took a class called Abo 101 that gave me a lot of perspective on the skills that people were learning. In the class we pretended to go over a million years back in time. It was set up so that we would run around camp finding items in the same sequence that technology evolved. We started with a big stick and rock. We then found a softer rock and hit it with the big rock to form a sharp edge. We then found a fresh elk leg and used our sharp edge to cut off the hide, tendons and bone to use as tools. Then we gathered a plant called dog vein to make rope. Lastly we gathered cat tail leaves to make a basket to carry it all in. The class made me appreciate the technology we have today, but it also gave me the perspective to realize that throughout most of history people have had a relationship with the earth that allowed them to see where their resources/technology were coming from. Whereas, with our current 'throwaway cuture' we never have to think about where our resources come from or the impact it is having on the earth. Even with such a diverse group of people represented at the gathering, the common denominator seemed to be a care for the earth and a desire interact with it more intimately.
Courses were offered in areas such as hide tanning, painting with natural pigments, knife making, basketry (as seen in this picture), survival skills, friction fires....to name a few of about a hundred classes.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Rabbitstick Rendevous


Fall 2004 050
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This picture I chose was actually taken about a year ago when I was visiting Kevin and Amy here in Helena. It gives you an idea of some of what I've been doing since I've been here. The steps to tanning a hide include soaking it in water and ashes to soften the fur, then scraping off the fur, then softening it with animal brains and finally stretching it until it's dry (which is what we're doing in this picture). The stretching step can take quite some time, pending the amount of sunlight and breeze. I have some nice blisters on my distal phalangeal joints (the 'knuckles' closest to the tips of your fingers) from curling my fingers under the hide. It gets a little competitive to see who can pull the other person over. Kevin having a bit of an older brother complex has yet to allow me to knock him off balance...it's amazing the strength that pride can produce.


I leave tommorrow for what's known as the Rabbitstick Rendevous. A rabbitstick is a hunting tool that some native americans used. It looks like a boomerang and when thrown low along the ground it can kill a rabbit. This 'conference' is a time for people from around the world to gather and learn about primitive skills from instructors who are gurus in their field. Some topics include: fire by friction, tipi living, desert survival, tracking, flintknapping, back strap weaving. All of the instruction is outdoors. Kev and I will be staying with his friend Bob who has a tipi. Check out the web site if you want: backtracks.net


So I will again be off the radar for about a week. When I return next Saturday my parents will be meeting me here in Helena and then we will continue on together for the week.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hunkering Down


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I've really been enjoying myself the last couple of days spending time here in Helena with familiar faces. As I was hanging my laundry out to dry this morning, my cousin Kevin noted that my shirts flapping in the wind are symbolic of being at base camp for awhile. So I thought I'd send that visual aid to all of you...some shirts and a lot of ragged socks. It doesn't take long to dry in this dry western air, although I did take them down just before a nice storm passed through.
Otherwise I've spent a lot of time tanning deer hides in their many stages. I'm going to be Kev's assistant at a presentation he's doing on hide tanning for a local school this evening.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Connect Through Relationship


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I haven't mentioned anything on this blog about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. I think the main reason for this is that it still doesn't seem real, being that I was isolated in the woods as it was happening. At this point I've only seen pictures in the paper and on the internet.
I've been asking myself and God how I can help in the healing of the places affected...especially because I am so disconnected. But I learned today that my housemate Andrea and another friend named Jon from Philadelphia are going to Baton Rouge with the intention of building relationships with people who are in the midst of these hurting places. They will then be communicating tangible needs back to those of us that care. They will be communicating through this blog site: camdenhouse.org/katrina I will be marking it as a link on my blog so if you are interested please check it regularly as relationships are built. Lord have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Push to Helena


jer
Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

It was nice to have a bed to sleep on at the hostel in Bozeman on Monday night...but I forgot how high those darn things are. As many people know, I'm what I like to call an "active sleeper". True to form I fell out of bed in the midst of a dream. I bunked in the basement of the house with a woman from Florida. Luckily she was still half-awake when I came in for the night because I was able to give her a disclaimer on my sleeping patterns...so I didn't have to totally explain myself in the morning.
My original plan was to cover the 100 miles between Bozeman and Helena in 2 days. But when I woke up I felt good and I was so jazzed to see my cousins Kevin and Amy that I decided to cover the distance in one day. I waited for the local bike shop to open up at 9am to get my derailleur bent back into shape and then hit the road. I found out that although my resolve and my legs were strong...my sitting tolerance wasn't up to par. That week out of the saddle in Yellowstone "softened" me so to speak. During the course of the last 20 miles I found myself having to stand up every few pedal strokes.
But I made it to Helena and finished with long climb up a steep gravel road where my cousin lives outside of town. It was a hard core way to finish a 100+ mile day, but at least it distracted me from a sore bum. I was welcomed by congratualatory signs in the bushes and Kevin and Amy running out to meet me singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow". My camera is currently not functioning, but Amy took this picture of me and Kev when I arrived.
Kevin is 10 years older than me and over the years he's become the older brother I never had. He's always made an effort to share his life with me via letters ever since I was a kid. He and Amy are botanists by education but more accurately Kevin is a naturalist. He says he can't talk about plants without talking about the animals that share the same ecosystem. Kev and Amy team up to do field work for most of the summer. In the winter Amy concentrates on antique collection/sales and Kevin teaches in a number of venues on primitive skills, plants and animals. Kev and Amy live more intentionally and passionately than almost anyone I know.
Kev and I share many things, including a high metabolism...so I've been eating very well since I arrived. When we finished dinner last night, Kev said, "Are you ready for round two" and he cooked up some more pasta. We spent much of the afternoon sqeezing choke cherries into juice. Kev had collected the cherries in his yard. This afternoon we're going to scrape the fur off an elk hide, which we'll hppefully tan this week.
I will be here for over a week. Sunday through Saturday I will be going to what's called the Rabbitstick Rendevous, but I'll fill you in on that later.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Moving onto Montana


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I spent my last day in Yellowstone in the water. There's a spot where the Boiling River meets the Gardiner River...steaming hot mixing with icy cold. I spent almost three hours in the water, which I think is a all time record for me. The ice bath/hot tub combo was good therapy for my ailing ankles, which are feeling much better (thanks for all the prayers).
The woman you see in this picture is named Fawn, a fellow traveler that I met. We ran into eachother at a ranger talk entitled "The Fairy Tales of Yellowstone". She joined me on Sunday at the Yellowstone Music Festival in Gardiner. In fact she was nice enough to give me a ride to/from my campsite in the Gallatin Forest. She worked this summer up in Glacier National Park and now is travelling for awhile. I also met up with Scott (from Jackson) and some of his friends at the festival, which included folk, bluegrass, old time, and a kick ass rock band that had everybody dancing by the end of the night.
Today I made my way to Bozeman, MT via a gnarly gravel road. To add to the challenge I took a wrong turn at one point, which added 25 miles to the day. Bozeman is a heck of a town...a place that would be easy for me to live in. I'm staying right in town at a hostel with interesting folks from all over the country/world. They have a great food co-op and everywhere you look there are signs that say "buy local". It seems like everyone is commuting/shopping with their bikes or has a bike strapped to their car. It's also home of Montana State, so it has a laid back college town feel. However, word on the street is that it'll be the next Boom Town in about 10 years, similar to Boulder or Jackson.
So it's 100 miles to Helena, where I'll spend some time with my cousin Kevin and his wife Amy. It feels good to communicate with everyone at least virtually after to "disconnected" for a week. Thanks for all your concerns and prayers.

Kindred Spirits


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

On Friday I discovered that the valve on my rear tire was leaking. I was constantly filling it and I feeling a bit trapped because there were no bike shops within 50 miles. In the afternoon some Yellowstone employees were hanging outside the general store and they saw me constantly checking my tire. One of them was this fine man Jerry that you see in the picture. He rode from Houston to Seattle to Maine last year. He immediately acknowledged a kindred spirit between those of us who cross this country on our bicycles (which I have already enocountered with Jan in MO, Kurt in CO, Kari and George in WY.
Jerry did his best to fix the valve but it didn't work. So he gave me a new tube. He then saw that my rear tire was on it's last thread (which was also worrying me). So he took the tire off his own bike and put it on mine...the shirt off his own back so to speak. I asked him how I could repay him. He shook my hand and said, "That'll do." His generosity was a gift that gave me the peace to enjoy the rest of the park.

Culture of Yellowstone.


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

The tourist culture of Yellowstone predominately consists of people cruising the main roads looking for wildlife...and interestingly enough that's where most of the wildlife seems to be. It's funny to watch people all pull over at the same spot. Everyone will compare notes as to what they've seen, "We've seen a wolf and a bear but still no moose." I've found that it's just not sane for me to be sharing the road with monster vehicles when their minds and eyes are distracted by their surroundings. As such, I've spent a lot of time wandering the backcountry, which has provided nearly complete solitude. The wildlife hasn't been as abundant but everything I encounter seems more like a personal gift.
With it being late in the season, the majority of the folks cruising the roads seem to be retired---enjoying the Park now that the kids are back in school. They're always friendly towards me at the campgrounds because I'm "the biker with the trailer" that they've seen on the roads. I've been amazed at the way some people camp....pimped out RV's with all kinds of contraptions, griddles that have 20 pancakes cooking at once, with strawberries and whip cream. I was a little jealous at times when I'd be eating my peanut butter sandwiches and dried fruit, but I ultimately I wouldn't travel any other way.

Mindfulness


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

The combination of cold damp air and being just shy of 8000' above sea level made a for a cold first night. I made a fire to warm myself and put on every possible layer before jumping into my tent. It was one of those nights where you bury your head in your sleeping bag and don't emerge until you're sure it's morning. The ranger told me in the morning that the temperature was 28 degrees when she woke up at 6am.
I took nice hike through the Pelican Valley back country, known as the home of the grizzlies...however I didn't meet any. I don't think I ever saw more than 5 people in the back country. Most trails advise you to travel in groups or make noise as to not sneak up on the bears. I decided I would make my presence known by singing as I walked down the trail. For some reason it seemed appropriate to choose a tune that we chant at Sacred Heart during Lent. The words are, "When from exile God leads us home again we'll thinking we're dreaming." As the sun warmed the land I shedded my layers of clothing. The vast openness created a sense of mindfulness with each step. I filled my pockets with raisins and peanuts, slowly eating one at a time as I hiked.
As you can see from this picture herds of bison are very common. I had a chance to hear a campfire talk on the bison, which gave a greater appreciation for them.

Chilly Welcome to Yellowstone


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Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

On Tuesday I climbed my way into Yellowstone. I noticed some dark clouds and prepared myself for some rain. To give you some insight into some of my weird patterns, I tend to bark out prayers in Spanish when I'm riding. I think I do it because it's such a command-orientated language, so you can say things very directly. So in this case I would say audibly over the wind, "Senor protegeme de la tormenta"...Lord protect me from the storm. The storm started with small hail and then turned to snow. It was actually beautiful...almost surreal. I became very thankful that I hauled my wool socks, long underwear and winter hat through all those weeks of intense heat.
Riding through the snow reminded me of the advantages of traversing this country on a bicycle. Choosing to bike is important to me because I'm using my own body to do the work but I'm also sensing so much more of my surroundings...Sweating out the heat waves and shivering in the cold, feeling the change in terrain, smelling the vegetation and the livestock, hearing the subtle change in accents.
I found a nice campsite for the night. In Yellowstone, every campground reserves a spot for hikers/bikers and they only charge $5. After I got settled I hiked up to see a natural bridge that was carved through a mountain by a stream. When I reached the top of the trail I warmed myself on a rock by the rays of the setting sun.