Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Temporary ecstacy

8/2/11 Booneville to Hindman

Oh, the temporary ecstatic clarity that comes with soaring down a mountain. For about four minutes, my brain allows me to think, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know the meaning of life. I am pure of heart and spirit. I am weightless. I love being on a bike. I know why I do this." However, much like the way memory of pain dissapates without scar, the ecstacy of descent and all the transcendence it brings is just as fleeting.

I told Chris today how I feel like I experience the entire wheel of emotion in one mountain. I must look like an actor, practicing character by mimicking the smile to frown pain chart at the ER. At the bottom I think, "You are tough sonofagun. You are going to tackle this with no problem". Somehow things rapidly spiral once I reach anything steeper than 14%. "F this. Why am I here? Why does Chris have to go so damn fast? Why are my eyeballs covered in gnats? Knee caps can sweat? Why do people ride bikes? This is not natural. I want to go home. Blargh".

I know. I am scary. At least no one has to hear this out loud. Instead, just a pneumatic wheezing.

Arrived in Hindman with plans to call the historical society and find some kind of lodging. Our plans were foiled, however, when we found out at the local artisan cafe, that the historical society has no employees. No camping. No lodging. Ack. Ate a turkey sandwich and wandered around the town like zombies.

"Chris. Where we go? No place sleep. Want lay down. Want food" Coming back from the gas station with dinner of poptarts and gardettos, we discovered Jason. (Our 4,000 miles of hope friend, or as I call him, Beardyguy.) The three of us sat on a bench on the tiny main street looking pityful. A sweet man in his early forties with blonde hair and a tucked in tshirt said we could come wash our faces in his woodworking studio. He is the master artist in residence at a strangely placed studio in the middle of nowhere. Mild mannered Christian man and father. Jason chatted him up while we were in the bathroom. Jason has an awesome Matty-like way of getting people to do his bidding. It's in the eyes. Maybe it's in the beard, I don't know. Whatever magic he used, we ended up crashing in Richard's cozy apartment upstairs.

We sat and read and blogged while Richard unpacked and smoked a pipe. More snuggly moments that make things feel like home.

In the morning Jason cooked a breakfasy so good make youwannasmackyermamma. Bisquits and jam. Eggs and mushrooms. Bacon and cold milk. Like Christmas morning.

Jason left the woodhsop with a free dog-beating stick. (Believe me, it is necessary.) And we left with happy bellies and good spirits, having rested in a stranger's bed once more.

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