I stop to stretch at a shelter in the country along the Military Ridge
Trail. I bicycle into Blue Mound State Park which has the highest
elevation in Southern Wisconsin. I climb the paved service road
to the campsites. I continue on the park road to the overlook.
I look up from my reading of the spiritual writings of Soren
Kierkegaard to behold the rolling forests of the Driftless Area
to the west. I catch my breath on the staircase of the observation
tower. I open up on the trail to find myself outdoing the path.
I expect a sleepy town, not a Main Street that requires a traffic light
to get across. I hope to bring back a postcard from the Mustard
Museum of an old-time mustard jar. I am helpless. I promise myself
I will give up at the shelter where I stretched. I have no courage
to stop. I feel a few raindrops. Anton calls to tell me there
is a tornado warning. I wait out the rainstorm with no power
of speech. My obsessive mind will not relent that tomorrow
I have to do the same thing over again. Climb the hill at Blue
Mound State Park, ride to Mt. Horeb, get a chicken sandwich,
and try to visit the Mustard Museum.
The next day, Anton wants to drive me on the backroads
with my bicycle. We agree to meet each other back at our camp
in Governor Dodge State Park. I know the patience of a climb
in farmland. Noon finds me at Subway. I don't have to ride
all the way to Mt. Horeb to get a chicken sandwich. I order
a turkey sub, ride back to the park, and call Anton to tell him
we should go swimming. At 6pm we start dinner. I play my new
Bob Dylan CD. My persistence with the fire brings us a second
course of pork and beans. I read Anton and his girlfriend a story
by flashlight from The Sun. My voice finds its way through a circle
of fishermen at Navy Pier and their dialogue. The next morning
I ride to Ridgeway. I walk the length of the sleepy town that ends
in ice cream. I know it is time to draw the white church and a bit
of the side road. I eat an apple and find a spot in the shade
across the street.