i am still alive and i am having a blast. this is an absolutely amazing experience. my mind is blown on a daily basis. exploring america by bike. i have noticed that at first, i would go into a place with judgements about what to expect based on where i was. i can't think of time that my judgements would actually be accurate though. time and time again i have been wrong and paying attention to that. at some point it became apparent to me:
America is amazing, if you don't watch the news.
that is very simplified and the people that i have said that to, get what I am trying to say. my judgement from where ever i was living were based on something that i had never directly experienced before. i have been exploring and talking to people directly and i have had a completely different experience. like i said, my mind is blown right now.
idaho was amazing. absolutely amazing. the people. the scenery. everything. every person that i interacted with on a 'professional' level, took ownership of their position. from the hotel worker that returned an envelope full of cash to it's rightful owner to the fast food worker running around to fill an order. they love where they are. i feel like that has kind of been foreign to me lately. it felt different anyway.
sometimes i forget how blessed i actually am. i was having lunch and talking with the young woman who was working. she had moved to lewiston from san diego and was saving up to move to portland. she has always dreamed of living in san francisco or portland. i have the best of both worlds! i don't take that lightly either. i live in the bay area, shared an apartment with a roommate, and my job is to go to school from 9-2. i know some people in the bay area have to work 2,3,4 jobs to live there. they have much less than i and work much harder. i personally don't get it and know that i have it made right now. i also have a place to go back to in portland. i was so glad to be reminded of all that.
i met another amazing man when trying to leave town. we talked for a couple hours about lots of different things. he was explaining to me about owning land that was zoned for farming. as a land owner, his opinion was that farming was one of the largest sources of handouts from the government. it was a long talk and very enlightening. i won't bore everyone with it though. some of his friends showed up that had grown up in michigan and grabbed an atlas to show me around and gave me lots of facts and history.
that man turned me around and told me i should go a different route than i had planned. was i ever glad to have listened to him! i had met 2 other cyclist that had come from that way, from the opposite direction i was going to be going. they said not to go that way because there was no shoulder and truck traffic. i would agree with them about the shoulder issue. the direction they went, had barriers to keep cars from going into the river. i would agree with them if i was headed the other way. there wasn't much of a shoulder going my way either. traffic was light enough to make up for it.
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SIGHTS!
i will work on catching up on the individual days now that I have interweb access again.
thanks so much for everybody's interest and comments!! please know that it helps keep me going as well!