Monday, August 16, 2010
Moments of Perfection...
When I finally arrived at Christina Lake they had a campground with over 100 spots! I went by it to the next one and they charged me 30 bucks for one night with a tent, a royal rip off and insult to a cyclist. This was the most expensive campground I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. I generally try to avoid them for nature unless I'm there with other cyclists. I mean, who really has the right to charge someone to sleep on a parcel of earth. I know, I know, they gotta buy toilet paper and clean the place! But 30 bucks to pitch a tent plus more money to take a shower, plus more money to do laundry, plus more money for laundry soap. I plopped down my debit card in utter disbelief. It figures that a town called CHristina Lake would want more money out of me, given the debt that Christina, my companion for the last four years, racked up. But we're selling our house to pay it off and moving on. We once shared a dream of having a Roadtrek travel van (made in Canada) and just having this mobile lifestyle, but our relationship crashed before that happened. Now I'm leaving the most economical version of that dream possible pedaling across mountain ranges. Incidentally, an RS Roadtrek Agile van pulled up to the campground as I was leaving the next morning!
Showered and laundered I headed for the next town of Grand Forks to make my daring border crossing back to America! When I got to Grand Forks I decided to stop at a cool little cafe and have a sweet salad and chai. After charging my devices I mounted Magellan and road hard for the guards at the border. Since I had mailed a box to Canada before leaving, I had all this extra gear that I was longing to offload and send back home to be stored in my storage locker. After the polite guard welcomed me home, I made my way into Danville, a town that will not be there if you blink on a bike, and hit the post office up for a nice large box. I packed allt he extras in there and realized I had forgotten a whole box in Canada with important stuff like my backup CDs and a game Arian and I like to play called Colonization. Oops! I emailed Alisha and she said she would send it to Seattle! Thanks ALisha!
When I got back on the bike and felt a ton lighter that was my first moment of perfection...I felt like Amalie after she helps the blind man cross the street and gives him an audio tour of the city! A moment of sheer en-LIGHT-enment. I rode down the road through beautiful green country and with hardly any cars crossing the border, it was nice to hear the tranquility of the mountains and the forest, another moment of perfection without the loud rumble of engines flying by you at high speed.
I didn't know where I was headed, just to Seattle. But I noticed a lake called Curlew Lake on the map with a State Park so I made my way for that, hoping they would not ream me, since my finances were getting low, and not only did I have to make it to Seattle, I also had to figure out a bike and gear for Arian by the time he arrives on the 29th, nothing beyond my manifestation powers, but tight on the mind when you still have 300 miles to go over rugged terrain. My strong new spokes that I had installed back in Missoula were indeed doing the job, not a single broken spoke while riding through the wilds of Canada up and down some intense hills. The road that left the campground in Castlegar where I wrote my last blogpost, was rough. 33 Kilometers of uphill grind until finally I crested the apex at Paulson Pass, and began a rapid descent. I couldn't even stop for photos except for when I roared down this mountain and saw the most picturesque blue steel bridge connecting the road on my mountain to the road on the mountain far across the gorge. I was going 40 MPH toward that bridge and it was a hard right turn toward bridge which I had to break to make! I made it across the bridge without the diesel hitting me, and worried that the bridge would collapse while I was on it with the semi. Falling 3000 feet to my death with a diesel did not appeal to me, so I pedaled hard and crossed the bridge and was going slow enough to actually stop and snap a few pictures which I still need to upload to Facebook!
Anyway, when I got to the State Park at Curlew Lake, the kind ranger said it would be 14 bucks and that the cyclist/hiker camp was up at the top of the hill. Problem was, that I had just spent all my Canadian cash, and all I had was debit card, and they didn't take plastic! The guy had compassion. I said, "Well, is there anywhere in the woods I can camp up the road?" But his heart was too big to answer, and just said, "I'm not gonna send you down the road in the dark man, just go up there and camp, it's okay." Awesome! Free Camping at an amazing spot on a beautiful hill overlooking a grand lake! Take that Canada Camp grounds!
Then again I really appreciated the kindness of Canadians. Everywhere I went I found only kind people, despite having my back light stolen in Nelson. I love the Canadian accent as it sounds very British and I love that! If I was ever in need of defection, I know where I'd go now! British Columbia is amazing! And they have a leaf on their flag honoring nature. We have stars and that is cool too, but I could make my own hybrid flag with stars and leaves. In fact I think the fantasy kingdom of Meldran in my novel Brazenwood has that on their flag...
But I digress. WHile I was at the campground at Lake Curlew, people kept walking by commenting how awesome my camp site was with the view from up high of the lake. I stir fried some mushrooms and onions and Thai noodles and had a hot Chai with it that you see in the picture above. Plus I got to do some writing by hand, which was heavenly bliss. Another moment of perfection! Then that old tea bag quote from the beginning of my journey ell out onto the picnic table that said, "You must live for something higher, bigger, and better than yourself." As I was sitting there contemplating those words again two real life skunks walked right by and I kinda froze, wondering if they would spray me with their stinky stuff, but they were just chasing each other along frolicking and didn't even notice me! For a second I thought I was a bit-part in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was swell!
I took some pictures of the Moon in Libra conjunct Venus setting over a mountain in the West but you could barely see the Moon. Then the Sun went down and I got out of my tent where I was resting and just gazed up at the stars, opening my heart to them. Ever since I was seven, I have had a relationship with the stars, one of the defining moments of my childhood that prophesied my calling as an astrologer. As I stood there with my arms over my head embracing my brothers and sisters, the stars, I had a vision of thousands of worlds whirling about the billions of stars all swollen with life and people worrying about petty problems. It was truly a humbling moment of perfection. The sky and its cycles was who I served that was indeed higher, bigger and better. I crawled into my tent after that and my cell phone chimed that I had a message. It was from a client who I had done a chart for. He had written one of those long emails in amazement over the interpretation I had sent him by mp3, especially since it was a new client who I interpreted blind from afar without asking him any questions as usual. I trust the chart and its magical symbolism over the human heart any day. His message began:
Duuuuuuuuude. Sooooooooo good!
I want to write you a longer email in response, but for right now, before too much more time passes, I just want to reply and say that this interpretation was very enjoyable, clarifying, and inspirational.
At one point, you said I'm like a bard, which was pretty cool. But you've actually played the role of bard for me, with this reading. You have sung a song that's inspiring me for the next phase of battle!! So awesome.
I actually did download and listen on Monday night, during the Leo new moon. I know my chart placements and knew I was Leo and everything, but I had no concept that this was basically a "new year" type of event for me, so I'm glad I chose to get the reading at this time! I want you to know that I took your advice to heart about forming an intention and then doing something about it the next day. I actually was feeling ambitious and formed not one but three intentions: one that I had been thinking about all day anyway, and two that were inspired by your reading.
He went on for a page or so...then ended with...
Thanks again, Kelly. This recording is truly awesome, and I hope to explore it more in-depth and maybe get my Gemini motor running by writing to you more about it, if you don't mind! There's seriously so much I would like to say. Pretty much everything you said was spot-on, and I'd love to respond to all of that. (I'm pretty interested in ordering follow-up readings, too. Just so you know.)
I was feeling kinda guilty because I've looked up a ton of your stuff online (and I actually just watched your episode of Wife Swap, too!) and almost felt like I know you. And here I am, just a stranger walking up and asking for an astrology reading, but it turns out you kind of know a lot about me just by looking at when and where I was born. Go figure, right?
That was the next moment of perfection. I love helping clients unveil their authentic selves! What an amazing responsibility to help humanity wake up to their true potential. I love it.
So I went to sleep on that wondrous little magical hill wondering where tomorrow would take me. I didn't know. Just down the road somewhere. The Moon would be crossing into my 11th House of Community so I hoped to meet some cyclists at least. We would see indeed.
The next morning I felt great, even though my aches and pains from riding were starting to complain in unison. But I just kept going and going and riding hard and steady up to a town called Republic in Washington. I rolled into town and parked my bike to go into a hardware store to seek out a fuel canister since I knew mine was low, but they didn't have the right one for my little SOTO stove. I was hungry and asked where I could eat and they told me that the Natural Foods Coop across the street opened at ten, a half hour away. So I bided my time in a cafe with a chai, and then hit the store up for more Thai noodle packets and mushrooms and onions...delicious combo! I ate some sweet potato chips and hummus in preparation for the hard ride ahead. I had decided to veer west up the 20 instead of going south on the 21 because a post office employee in Danville, who was an avid cyclist, told me that the pass was a tough set up three stairsteps where you go up and then flat and up and then flat and then once again, but then it was literally all downhill to Tonasket 20 miles. That sounded like heaven. I would have never believed her if she wasn't a cyclist, but when you hear something like that from a cyclist they are incredibly more specific than motorists who don't know the pain of even 1 degree of inclination!
That lady was right, and the stairsteps were intense but doable and I reached another moment of perfection during the last ascent. You would think that the moment of perfection in cycling would come right after you crested a rise and saw the next horizon revealed and got to coast down the hill, but there are two others that seem more perfect. The first is when you are struggling up a hill for hours on end, or a series of hills, and you reach the last incline and it seems like you will never make it, and suddenly you shift down to your last low gear, and you reach out and place your hands as far forward on the handlebars as possible, you push your butt back on the seat, and you let your legs do their burning meditation on the pedals, and you simply surrender, a wholehearted deep let out the breath surrender! This was even more complete since Sarah McLachlan (a Canadian I think) is singing Sweet Surrender, which happened to me on this particular hill.
I let the tears flow again as I crested the apex and stopped to take a quick pic of the pass sign. My brother once asked me why I cried so much on my journey. It can't be that painful? He said I'm supposed to be enjoying the ride. I think I did all my physical exertion crying in Wyoming when I almost died a few times. Then I did all my emotional letting go crying of my old life in Montana, preparing for the renewal in Canada. When I left Canada with my tail between my legs, a starry eyed romantic with dashed hopes, but richer for it, I did my mental crying. Now I was down to spiritual crying. Shrek once said that ogre's have layers, and so does crying. My heart and soul are being slowly peeled like an onion on this journey. The whole world is experiencing a great transformation according to the great Cardinal T-Cross configuration in the heavens. We are all receiving new marching orders, or in the words of brilliant astrologer Jeff Jawer, an initiation into a new life.
I feel the heart of the planet bleeding and the people continuing on the treadmill of life pretending nothing is changing, or resisting the change, the great spiritual tidal wave that is crashing down on all of us right now! There are other Magi like me out there like my spiritual brothers Peter Roth, David Alexander English, Brett Melchior, and Gary Caton, Eric Meyers and all my astrologer homeys, who are all riding the tide in their own unique ways. Check out their blogs and Facebook for more insights into the journey ahead. The wold is rebirthing and I feel like I don't belong anymore. Something has to give? Do I return to my home amongst the stars, or do I stay and watch the show? For now I think I'll keep enjoying the synchronicities and watch what unfolds. I don't want to help pay rich people who own property pay off their mortgages. I don't want to ever work and feel like a slave with people telling me what to do. I am a human being, and I want to fight for the dignity of all human beings who are involved in this psychic slavery in the middle of of dividing up the rights to land and quality of life. I want to help forge a new path ahead, not some Utopian pipe dream, but a new set of systems for the Aquarian Age that honors the miraculous nature of the individual in his or her spiritually needed qualities and contributions to the community. I want to tear down the walls of fear dividing us as nations and cultures. I want to help people like the client above realize their genius and inspire them to go for it!
So now my tears are for humanity. I'm tired of overhearing shallow conversations while I sense earthquakes happening inside!
Let the earth quake. Let the music play through your soul! Let the creative individual rise up and claim its dream!
There's another moment of cycling perfection and that comes not when you're flying down the hill coasting with natural wind AC cooling your body. Almost, but that's just sitting on an object with wheels and rolling with gravity. The moment of perfection comes when you begin to level out or go back up hill and you start to peddle again and you are in the perfect gear to match the rhythm of the wheels against the road, and your legs turn in perfect harmony with the pressure that's needed to get up the next hill or over that rise. That feels like perfection when it happens. You try to prepare for it by shifting into a high gear when you head downhill, but rarely is it the perfect gear at the perfect moment when you need to pedal again as if your legs never stopped pedaling at all.
As I got hal way down the 20 mile hill I was pleased with the postal ladies assessment. There were a few places where the road slightly inclined, but for the most part, she was right, it was all downhill! I stopped in a little country market to drink a Gatorade and heard that there were cyclists ahead of me in Tanasket, a whole group from my recent home state of North Carolina. Holy Moon in my 11th House. I chased my Gatorade with a Monster and rode like a madman down the last 13 mile stretch hoping to catch them. I heard they were eating at a subway from some travelers who told me this out their window as we sped down the mountain together! I imagined rolling into a parking lot full of North Carolinian cyclists and raising my right hand and giving a great inspiring speech like Aragorn did before the Black Gate saying, " Men of Gondor, Rohan, my brothers!"
Unfortunately, by the time I got there, they had left. I missed them by thirty minutes and they were headed north. I was going south. Boo hoo! Plus they took all the buns, there was one six inch cheese sub left...rough. So I turned my bike deflatedly south and rode for the town of Omak, another 23 miles away, wondering where I would sleep.
When I got to Omak I was exhausted. The shoulder was composed of a strange substance called Chip Seal which is like riding your bike on those rugged gym matts that protect the floor from the metal weights, and your tires sink in and it feels like you have to pedal twice as hard to go the same speed! WHoever invented chip seal should be...no I won't say it. But it's a pain in the legs. SO I asked where I could camp at the first gas station and they directed me to a city park where camping was allowed.
With the Moon really in my 11th House there had to be some cyclists there. I was feeling lonely and needed the communion of cyclists again. Meeting cyclists is like meeting astrologers, we speak the same language and endure the same challenges. So I rode into the park after helping some locals fix their flat tire (good karma I suppose), and there they were: two cyclists who had been traveling the Northern Tier across northern America together since Wisconsin. The elder cyclist, about my age was named Barry and he had incredible gas that you could hear fro two campsites away, and the younger tattooed guy was named Matt and he was outspoken about what he liked and didn't like. They were sitting at a picnic table both working on their little netbooks when I pulled up and said, "Hello fellow cyclists, mind if I camp with you?"
They were surprised by my appearance out of nowhere, a true Magi entrance, and I sat down across from them and whipped out my I-pad to connect to the campground's wi-fi. They were impressed with my digital nomadic flow. And I was impressed with theirs. We shared stories and meals and had a great night together! The city park was sketchy as we had all noticed a certain impoverished neighborhood essence and had spotted some unsavory characters in the wings. Indeed, Barry dropped his guard and left his mp3 player plugged in wih the charger in the scummy bathrooms and had it stolen while he slept. There was nowhere really to lock Magellan, so I laid the bike down next to my tent and locked him to one of my heavy panniers inside the tent and stuffed the hole in the screening with a shirt to keep the bugs out. That way, if someone tried to steal my trusty steed, my whole tent would go with them and I would awaken. From the crazy sounds of the park, I was truly worried. I even prepared my zipper to be unzipped quickly and got my knife out and laid it ready by the tent door. Luckily, the night went by uneventful except for a couple of drunks who stumbled over my fly strings. But they meandered their drunken way onward.
The next morning we all woke up, packed our stuff and sailed on down the road. We parted when they turned to go up the 20 toward Seattle and I went down the 97 A toward Chelan valley so I could go up Highway 2 to come into Seattle near Everett. I heard the 2 had less passes and inclines than the 20, so I naturally chose the scenic easy route. My legs were tired and I had not had a rest day since Nelson. Nevertheless, it was a sweet ride down through the Chelan valley after I got over the first big hill. I was traveling alongside an amazing lake through wonderful smelling orchards growing all manner of luscious fruits. I didn't know the eastern cascades valley was so dry, but should have expected it based on geography where the Eastern slopes are always deprived of rain. But the Eastsiders as my friend Peter called them know how to work that long lake to grow amazing fruit. I wanted to reach out and pluck an apple or pea off a tree but decided against stealing when I could just stop at a fruit stand. Away with you Gemini Shadow side of the Moon. It never gets to live out its dark fantasies with all my Sag truthful honest tell it like it is and as blunt as possible side outgunning i in my character makeup.
I heard the night before that the NFL Preseason football games were on, and so excitedly searched for a sports bar in Chelan where I could catch the game. Unfortunately it was only broadcast on the NFL channel and they didn't have it. SO I logged onto the net at an Oriental restaurant called Bamboo Shoots and got to at least hear the game on KOA radio and chat with my football friends on Bronbcotalk.net's live chat. Another experience of community!
After that it was 7 PM,a nd the SUn was sinking behind the mountains already and the next town was 20 miles away! I didn't know what to do, because the town of Chelan seemed uppity and high class and no parks allowed camping. There was a state park 6 miles out of my way so I had to make a tough choice. Ride hard toward the next town even though it was uphill in the dark or ride six miles north along the lake to the state park, or hide in the bushes somewhere, or ask someone if I could camp in their yard? A very tough decision, but in the end my intuition told me to make for the State Park along the west shores of the lake. I made it jus as the Sun disappeared and found the campground to be full. So I snuck off into the woods behind one of the bathrooms and found a nice stealthy spot to camp, even though the forest rangers saw me pull into the camp. It was a large popular camp with hundreds of campers everywhere. Where could I blend in? After debating setting up in the woods in stealth I decided that I was still a human being, and I didn't deserve to be lurking in the woods with so much beautiful green pasture by the beach wide open for camping. So I went back up the rode and rode Magellan right up to the park ranger and said, "Hello! I just rode from Boulder COlorado and I was wondering where the cyclists and hikers could camp?" He was a very friendly ranger and we talked for a while after he said, "Oh, you can camp right down their by the beach out in the open under the stars!" I was amazed. That was exactly where I wanted to camp, another experience of a moment of perfection! And he didn't take debit cards either and waived the 14 bucks...whew! Perfection stacked on perfection!
So I rode down to the beach and found another cyclist down there that I hadn't noticed before, and set up my tent next to him. He was traveling the forest trails of Washington and just slept out under the stars with no tent. He even showed me a short cut on the map where I didn't have to backtrack 6 miles and it was perfect too. The next morning he was gone already when I woke up, so I brushed my teeth again, splashed water on my face, and headed up the intense three mile trek toward Highway 2 and Seattle. I was excited to see the little Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth that everyone had been telling me about!
IN a few more days, I would be rolling down the bike paths of Seattle to stay with a friend. I had put it out to the universe and to all my friends in Seattle that I needed a place to stay while awaiting Arian, and many answered. But the one that I chose to stay with first (I'll be visiting the others!) was fellow astrologer Kriss Shellman, who has become my astro-mom. She has been following my journey with the heart of a mother, as her son was born the same year as me, and I thank her deeply for hosing me in Seattle. She even lives in Burien, which is right near the Seatac airport where Arian will be flying in. How perfect is that?
There's perfection all around if your eyes are open...