When returning I often feel left out and lost. Familiar places and people seem different. They have changed? No they have not, but I put then into new light as I come through the crazy time warp from Africa to The United States. So many people tell the African’s what they have is not adequate. Yes they can do with a lot of the goods and services we take for granted. That is not always a good thing. The first shocker is the constant Blair of news streaming from televisions all over the place. It is news, sports, weather, and advertising. Dogs barking and the call to prayer was irritating at best, but I got used to that. I feel more threatened by some comment or twitter than I ever felt by anything in Africa. Including an elephant.
We are also distracted by ongodly choices. I go into a super market to buy salt and am lost in a tangle of scented candles, decorations, funny greeting cards (i liked that) and anything but an organized way to pursue the needs of the kitchen. I’ve heard it from others who come to this country and really experienced this time. It is this constant manipulation through media that seems to be ignored by people.
The car situation has not improved. I noticed on days when the air is fresh and comfortable people actually air condition their surroundings. We’ve evolved from not being able to go anywhere without a car, to not being able to go in a car with out being hermetically sealed.
Then there is the food. Yes, after being away so long, the food here does not agree with me. It takes time to rebuild a resistance to plastic and synthetic preservatives. The bugs and bacteria I developed in my gut don’t like chemicals that have names one can not pronounce. Oh but I long for some Chepata and oats. (not really)
Then there is the issue of housing. I sold my house before coming on this trip. everything I own is in storage and I don’t own a car. Try to tell someone you live out of your bicycle, but I do. It is not that difficult until you try to figure out the address thing. Thank God for internet. I am at least connected.
I am happy to be home and catch up with my family. In all honesty the nation is too pre occupied with tweets, FB, FOX , and CNN. I got sucked into the frenzy myself. I couldn’t even finish brushing my teeth when I would pick up my Cell Phone and start pawing through the latest excitement. I took a vacation from all that starting yesterday Notice that I am up dating my blog.
My life has been changed on a bicycle. I am happy, I am energized, I am instructional, and we are a community. I visited Norway. I met Dag in Africa. He and his wife Vibeke Brattli invited me and others to their cabin in Norway. We traveled by bike around Sanje Island. I returned in the winter as their guest to open what is now called Arctic Camp Brattli. It was amazing. It was also important to experience a part of the world I had Never visited. Rugged, steeped in history, and many connections with my home state Minnesota.
It seems to me that it is possible to build something else that will survive generations and inspire people of the future. We have built great roads, like the Romans. I wonder if we can build something that inspire people to be fit, save their planet, and make their bank a little more happy?
I think I heard this quote along my journey. I don’t know who it belongs to so I apologize. However I believe it to be a universal truth.
Upon the end of any adventure one returns, eats, rests, celebrates and plans the next journey.
So what have I got cooking? In 2019 I am planning on riding from Minneapolis to St. John’s NF. about 2,800 Miles or 4,500 Kilometers. I hope to do it in two months. Why so long? Because I want to stop and enjoy some of the scenery. I hope to go to Milwaukee, ferry across to Michigan and proceed up through Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal and points east All before it gets too cold.
In 2020 I have signed up for short 2,800 Kilometer ride in Mongolia. I am hoping that I can squeeze in some bigger ride but all that takes money and time. I have to work on both of them.
I hope to visit some friends along the way. Who knows maybe a few people will also ride with me. I am not fast, just happy when I ride.
On November 17, 2018 I presented to a group of people at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My topic, was overcoming my fears as I rode through Africa. I was pleased with the results and look forward to perhaps giving more presentations.
I did not think about presenting North America, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Finland.
Please contact me if you or your group are interested in hearing about these expeditions. My contact information is somewhere on this sight.
I am learning how to put together presentations on the MAC. It is a struggle to learn how to do things and still try to say something from the soul. Many people have helped me and shown me what works and what does not. Enough of this. Here is where I am going:
Africa – It means so much to us as a world. There are rare lessons that we have to rediscover in order to remain human. Since I am still processing my experience I can’t give you succinct one line title to this endeavor. Perhaps I can leave it by saying that that love replaces fear.
Next Trip; This summer I’ll head north to Canada, that is if we are still welcome. Off to Edmonton. Then I will fly to Tromso Norway to ride in the midnight sun. Once finished I’ll continue to ride through mosquito infested Lapland towards Oulu Finland. Then home.
Please let me know if you want me to give a presentation to your group. I have lots to learn about what I’ve seen and experienced. I can only share it with you.