I'm writing to you with great glee from the kitchen table of Katie Shaw, head Fort Worth cattle wrangler and top Coffee Talker west of the Mississippi. We've been another four days on the road and this is the first I've had internet to share with you my first thoughts of Texas. Let's start from the beginning: the Texas State Line.
Duly noted. It was around this marker that I was asked by Brady to help him film the group crossing into Texas using my Go Pro, stabilized only by my hand held out perpendicular to my body. What I captured was seven seconds of Tyler's butt.
We've stayed in Longview, Canton, Mesquite, and now Fort Worth. I've eaten more meals in gas stations than I have at our hosts. Every fifteen miles I am overcome by a rabidity satiated only by corn dogs, soda, and cheddarwurst bratdogs that have been rolling around for hours and days under a heat lamp haze. And so the trend of high family cholesterol shall continue.
We found this gas station somewhere deep into our ride to Canton. The cashier, a pretty redhead with long fake eyelashes, thought Brady, Tyler, and myself quite dashing. I suppose this is why.
Where I can I'm attempting to take legitimate footage. The unfortunate truth about Go Pros is that, unless you're travelling 150+ mph, action shots look super lame. These next forty seconds, at least, are somewhat pretty. We were riding past some equestrian community in the middle of nowhere.
Powerful stuff right there.
So here's the truth. I think this bike trip is making me crazy. There are about four different personalities bumbling around in my head when I start pedaling. There's Reverend Timothy Ebert Abbot, Tony Stallano, Dicky V, and this country blumper that made an appearance on our ride into Mesquite.
These alternate realities I've constructed to cater to my certain moods don't especially concern me ... I chalk them up to mechanisms developed to deconstruct unhealthy emotions. For example, Rev TEA comes out when I'm feeling an abnormal amount of physical and mental stress on a ride. The good TEA vents the hot air and then recedes back into the recesses of imagination from whence he came. TEA doesn't like to be filmed, the other three do.
I think. I'm still fleshing out the country blumper. He told me his name was Clint. How about that.
I'll close with this - every few days I like looking at a map to see where we are in relation to where we've come. This is the most recent update:
That blue dot is us. We're 34 days, 1850 miles into our 9,000 ride. That we are all happy, healthy, and have ridden safely to this point is an amazing accomplishment. That we are continuing to inform and educate people about the national parks of America, that we are inspiring folks from the road ... that is something to be proud of. I am thankful every day for the opportunity to continue pedaling towards our goal another 1,000 miles off the top-left corner of the screen.
One mile, one smile at a time.