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Holy Heck Good Gracious.Gratitude for Good Gear. Joy for a Great Ride.

Written on: Wednesday May 20th, 2009

A journal entry from: There She Goes Again!

May 19, 2009


30300. Exactly. So reads my odometer here at Beavertail Hill campground, about 30 miles SW of Missoula. The Clark Fork River, which has been flowing beside under and beside me most of the day, flows on still 50 feet behind me. Not me and Reeb. We are resting for the evening. Got in with a solid hour of daylight, and I am glad. I don't love riding at night. Doesn't make sense to save the hardest most streesful driving for the very end of the day when already a person is tired and sore. My Back just started to really ache 10 miles from camp. This place is just mile off the interstate. But it is so so beautiful, nearly empty camp ground. Right on this river. Montana hills all around. The freeway seems far away. At about 6:30 this evening, when Reeb and I were decided where we would go for the night, whether we might detour a 'ways for some hot springs, I concluded that I got a bunch of my dad in me in that I am quite un-inclined to go out of the way, when there are quite a few miles to make ahead of me. So here we are. And it is totally perfect. A little chilly, but with my layers, I am not cold. We have a great fire. And I have a warm sleeping bag to crawl into. 360 miles today. Not too shabby. It's so wonderful to be riding with Reeb. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world. With the exception of my dad, ain't nobody I'd rather go on a motorcycle trip. And unlike my dad, Reeb doesn't make me ride iron-butt days like my dad would. She's none lacking in bad-assed=ness. Today was the first she has ridden since last September. 360 miles forst day on the road in months. Decidedly bad assed.

So many times today I was so grateful that I had proper gear. The right layers for mountain passes. The right helmet to deflect that piece of gravel kicked up by a semi. Back pack strapped on top for easy stowing of layers shed. Tank bag with paper and pen and water in cooler, drinkable while riding, 2 beers from the Willms farm for the end of the day. I got a great tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag- and I got the motorbike to pack it on and ride to Montana. We had a great dinner, including eggs from the farm, with salt and pepper packets and taco sauce from the gas station in Missoula; more Land Jaeger, and for dessert chocolate from Grand Junction, CO-- home of our friend Lucas Hicks and my Friday night destination. And to top it all, I got this computer to pull out and type it all out. Amazing. My awareness of my privilege is amplified today. I have all these things. All these awesome things, that enable me to DO some real awesome things. Enormous privilege that I did not earn and don't deserve any more than anyone else who doesn't have access to such a selection of empowering possessions. I often think a lot about institutions of privilege and oppression and injustice and history and race and gender and generally the way that some people have a whole lot and most people have barely enough or not enough at all and how it got to be that way and why it keeps on being that way. Like other things that are important to me, I learn more about it when I ride my motorbike a long way. I think a lot about the land. And the history of the land. And what history and what social forces are now at work that enable me to pass through it and affect the way that I do so. Like this is all stolen land. All of it. Stolen by my European ancestors from the native folks who were here before. History we so often forget or rationalize or justify. Like my white skin means that I am met with much more friendly support from strangers I meet along the way than anyone with brown skin undertaking a similar adventure would enjoy. Like my gender means I have good cause to me more frightened of sleeping outside by myself than semi-trucks or deer or weather or taking 50mph curves at 70. And today I am thinking especially of some of my material privilege. Not to mention privilege to have time to ride 360 mile days on a wonderful motorbike. And the blessing to do so with a wonderful friend. I am grateful too, for my learning, all shaped and informed by all the ways that privilege and oppression intersect within my experience. My learning how to ride. My learning how to pack. My learning how to critically consider the gigantic social systems that are at play while I ride through Look Out Pass, when I stop in Wallace, ID, and as I prepare for a night's rest at Beavertail Hill.

I am grateful. And thoughtful. And sleeping. And excited for tomorrow.

may 20, 2009

posting now from bozeman co-op, reeb and I are gonna head south into yellow stone and grand tetons. we are stocked up with rad snacks. Keeping warm in the cold MT winds. No time to write more cause we gotta ride! Hooray!!!


From mom on May 20th, 2009

I would be weak to feel the amazing spirit of the beautiful people who lived here first. Have a moment for me becky and reeb. The history of native americans is heartbreaking. When Lewis and Clark moved through Montana in 1805 and 1806, the blackfoot controlled all of north-central Montana. About 5,200 citizens living peaceful, and abundant lives.