so long since any word here, I know... no real excuses-- though I'm yet to get a single flat tire so maybe I feel it only appropriate that I refrain from writing here. Not an honest excuse.
We're in Santa Fe now, and we have been here since Friday, which was earlier than we expected. It is beautiful, and we are loving the time in Terry and David's house. We wish liza could be here too!
It's strange to write here after so much time has passed, because now I could never think to put a dent in the massive accumulation of experiences worth sharing. But I suppose it's good to try. I thought a simple approach would be to try and share the goings of a particular day or two.
Flagstaff-Leupp: Riding along a small two-lane road we met the infamous Katherine, a 19 year old girl walking across the country. She began in San Francisco, where she was from, and all of her things were stored in the Sears shopping cart she pushed in front of her. We had heard about her first from Phil, one of the guys living at the museum in Goffs where we stayed on our fifth night. Then we talked about her with a man at a trading post in Hackberry I believe. The Swiss couple who joined us for our campfire and their first smores at the Ash Fork campsite knew of her, and then a man whom I talked with outside of a gas station in Leupp had met her, though this last encounter happened after our one and only face to face encounter with her. She was just walking along the side of the road, and she fit all the descriptions people had given, which did not entail much more than a girl with a shopping cart (easy to identify, though I still rode my bike past her and only turned around when I heard somebody shout Katherine! It's Katherine!). I turned around and the interaction was almost like a celebration. Like we were long lost friends. She was really glowing, and she seemed so happy to meet us even though she had never heard of us. We did not exist to her previous to that moment, but still she was ecstatic, and it made us ecstatic, and the whole thing was really bubbling over. She said wonderful things like, "people who think similarly, people with similar minds, they just come together in this wonderful way. Here we are on the side of this road, and each of us could have taken any number of different roads to get here, but here we are! How great this is!" She asked if we had some purpose or incentive to go on our trip, and we said this was a common question in response to which we always, to many people's disappointment, say no, that we just wanted to cross the country. To see the country, and to ride our bikes together, or something like that. When we asked her the question in return, she said that she did not have any cause or purpose... Bill asked if she too wanted to see the country, and to this she said, "Nope. I just wanted to walk." I thought of Lizzy, who also has an extreme passion for walking as a purpose in itself.
On we went, all wondering if we maybe should have gotten off our bikes and walked for the day with Katherine. She said her routine was to walk until the sun was 40 minutes from setting, and then she would go to a door, or find a person wherever she was at that time, and ask them if they knew of a place for her to stay, and she was almost always received into the particular home or lodging she approached. But we rode on toward Leupp.
Once in Leupp, a very very small town on the reservation consisting of little more than a gas statio and some houses, we began looking for a place to stay. We asked in the gas station, and the woman there knew of nothing. A man john willy approached us outside and said to go to his friend Daniel Store's down the road. We went on looking for daniel stores and eventually found a door to knock on. (rushing.. have to go to dinner!).. He was very confused by us, but he said we could pitch our tents there. We felt a little unwelcome there, and it was strange. We cooked dinner... sweet potato cabbage tacos... and then after dinner Daniel came out to our surprise with a heaping pile of fry bread with honey that his mother made. It was sooo good! ok gotta go to dinner maybe more later.