Bend and Break
Synchronization. I was devastated when I spelled that word wrong at the Ramsey County Spelling Bee in 7th grade. The word captures the feeling I’ve had since crossing the volcanic arc of Oregon’s northern Cascades. Things seem to have come together for Bound South, with a shared rhythm despite the brotherly dissonance that makes a journey like this so special. Our MSR Mutha Hubba seems to erect itself when night falls. The innumerable varieties of Campbell’s Chunky Soup have been thoroughly vetted. The clear winners have emerged to take their rightful place in our panniers alongside our rice and rotini.
We rise with the sun and ride despite the wind until the time is right to stop. There are few explicit plans or deadlines and yet we have internalized this southward tempo like some kind of circadian rhythm. How far today? This has become a rhetorical question, an inspiration, and our daily adventure.
107 miles separated us from Bend in Oregon’s high desert, a full day of hard riding from the timber forest of Mt. Hood where we camped. A hard day of riding was followed by some splendid days of Habitat building, photography presentations, and meeting with family and friends. Bend has been the welcome breath between movements that we needed. The seemingly permanent sunshine of Central Oregon belies the cold roads and high altitudes that still lie ahead. We can’t help but soak it in while it lasts.
Every day I like to ask myself whether I believe in what I am doing that day. It’s a simple litmus test to isolate the road ahead from the accumulated weight of the long road behind us. Days of rest have been sweet here in Bend, but already I am itching to get back on my bike and ride south. I love this journey as much now as I did leaving Anchorage in August.