The Sermon In The Tent - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

July 7, 2014

The Sermon In The Tent

Erving State Forest, MA

It was nice and cool this morning.  My coffee was perfect.  My campsite is set among tall maples and elms and pines and it's beside a rushing Deerfield Creek.  It is a great day to worship at my new church--The Church of the Great Outdoors.  It is the 6:00 a.m. service.  I celebrate the trees and the grass and the lowly weeds.  I celebrate the robins and the wrens and even the crows that were squawking at first light.  I celebrate the busy little chipmunk, the dirt and the dew and the day.  And I celebrate the opportunity to get back on my bike today and ride. 


Another thing to celebrate. Amen.
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It was a day of ups and downs.  Highway 2 did literally go up and down a lot, but no long climbs like the previous two days.  Figuratively speaking, there were ups and downs as well:

  • UP:  The weather started out cool and dry.
  • DOWN:  By noon the heat and humidity was back.
  • UP:  Route 2 started out with decent 3-foot shoulders.
  • DOWN:  Twenty miles later the shoulder disappeared completely for the rest of the day.
  • UP:  I knew exactly where I wanted to camp tonight--the Erving State Forest campground.
  • DOWN:  I had a terrible time trying to find it.
  • UP:  Once I did find it, it was great.  It was perched above a little mountain lake called Laurel Lake and every site was isolated from the others.
  • DOWN:  I didn't get to soak in the beauty for long because within 20 minutes a thunderstorm was raging.
  • UP:  I LIKE thunderstorms.
  • DOWN:  I couldn't cook my food outdoors and I was hungry.

Oh, the ups and downs of life on a bike.  


The storm passed and I was able to make my dinner.  I met a young couple and their 6-year old son.  They were hiking around the camping area and so far had spotted something like 160 salamanders.  I walked with them up to the water spigot and I couldn't find a single one.  They kept finding them where I could not.

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The dad asked me where I came from and where I was going on my bike trip, and when I answered his questions he said, "Man, you're my hero.  Let me shake your hand cuz you're gonna be on the TV news, man!"

"No I'm not," I said.  "I'm just riding my bike.  That's all.  I'm just riding my bike."


Today's ride: 40 miles (64 km)
Total: 1,659 miles (2,670 km)

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