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Saddle Up, Cowboy

Inextricability is frequently misunderstood in life.  Contrasted with the wandering of the autonomous, inextricable lives are obviously entangled with notions of purpose, community, and continuity.  Many twenty-somethings fear the specter of commitment, perhaps not out of loathing for these principles but out of fear for frequent separations.  Yet the inextricable life is inevitable.  Life is an election that you cannot stay home from because you vote with your feet.  We carry necessary anchors with us through life and our bodies grow stronger from the movement.

Beautiful Highway 1.

Minimalism is like moving those anchors, not cutting their ropes.  Humanity drops anchor in wealth, homes, cars, relationships, and careers to name a few things.  There is an important dual lesson in all of this: the first is that we have a choice in where we anchor ourselves.  The second is that we have no choice but to choose.  I remember selling my car in Anchorage three months ago before we began riding our bicycles north to Denali.  That sudden liquidation of my trans-continental transportation left me feeling liberated and proud.  Do not underestimate how liberating minimalism can be!  But months later, the personal anchor of my beloved Honda has been wholly transferred onto the rack of my Surly Troll.  I covet and adore it with the same intensity.  Don’t fool yourself by thinking that you can live anchor-free; take it from three guys with nothing but three bags and a bicycle.  We carefully measure the inextricability of our lives by bicycle, always critically self-aware of our perceived necessities – whether they be your only comfy pullover or the heaping bowl of oatmeal we delight in every morning.  Minimalism forces you to confront and better appreciate your anchors of necessity.

Cool California coast.

Time compels us forward and bids us southward, away from these past days with family in the Bay Area.  Our cause calls us to our fundraising and other personal goals for this journey.  Inextricability is a daily rhythm that binds us once more to a road going south from San Francisco.

Reveling in the Redwoods.


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautifully said. Stunning photos!

    November 8, 2011
  2. Jim and Elizabeth Berg #

    Boys, these pictures rival those we have seen from your posts in Palouse Country and the Canadian Rockies. Wow! Mom, Marta and Carla truly enjoyed their time with you in San Francisco. A big thank-you to our family and friends there for hosting.

    We know you boys are rooted. Rooted in Faith, family and commitment to the cause of this adventure. Your trip is as much a blessing to others as it is to you…perhaps more.

    God be with you as you continue.

    Dad, Mom, Marta and Grandpa

    November 8, 2011
  3. krista #

    Agreed, these images are beautiful. Does that first one come in wallpaper size?

    November 9, 2011
  4. Rebecca Ellenson #

    Thanks for your words. I’ve been reading your blog regularly and have enjoyed reading your reflections. Rebecca Ellenson

    November 9, 2011
  5. Jenni Berg #

    These photos are amazing! I follow your blog whenever I get a chance, which sometimes means reading three posts in a row during my lunch at work to catch up 🙂

    I think about you guys often and admire your good spirits and intentions. Keep up the good fight! Love you all.

    November 16, 2011

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