our reflections on the headwaters of the mississippi

We wanted to have a space to leave our reflections on the river, the people we meet, our journey, biking, etc. We’ll be adding them here as we go, but if you have any you would like to add, please post them here!



  1. after pedaling so many miles, your mind just wanders. about the road ahead, what was left behind, and what it is that we are searching for. the three of us have been talking more about our journey and what we want from it. we are happy to be on our bikes, feeling the air, catching the scenery…but that can get a little lonely. it’s just us three…. we want and need more. so, last night we finally got to thinking further about who we will meet along the way. there are plenty of strangers we are happy to chat with. grocery clerks, librarians, cafe workers, even other travelers who pass us. it’s hard to really engage in a conversation with them since we are all in such transition, moving from one place to the next. but, whether it be strangers or our hosts, we want to engage in something deeper. we have started thinking further about this river and it’s connection to us all. some questions we are considering using to begin this conversation are: who are you? where are you from? what do you do? how does the river affect your life? what or how do you find community in your town? tell us a story that needs to be told (about childhood, river, town, etc). what is your perception of those along the river? how do they affect you and you affect them? i really think it’s important that we start talking to people. so much planning and preparing for this trip has been about the story we hope to hear. i suppose it begins with just letting the road lead us. and i hope that road leads us to a place where we can sit and speak with one another and begin to share that story, even if it hurts to let it out.

  2. Everyone is happy riding a bicycle. It is one of the easier ways to travel and unravel and people love to hang out on their behinds.

    Global warming is a myth. Climate change does not have to be caused by humans. It’ could be rabbits and squirrels.

    If you are willing to talk with living humans I hope that you know about something worth discussing. Do not make the mistake of being too passthefishstick please—start revolting if yal’re rebels. Live green if you’d like but get motivated about it if you’re tryin’ to change anything. And go on and vote for Obamba and eat fake frog meat and soy protein bein’ thankful ya was born producing women chemicals naturally.

    To hell with the ACLU and make ruthless love to any dolphin or whale or animal minority fore it gets kill’t and ate and shat out and turned out to fertalize some quasi-organ-knick bulschshiit opporation to feed the patreoticanarchist likes of naturalistic pagans like the likes of yall.

    Get a yaab, get married and go on contribute to the kind of socialism that starves people of their freedoms and food and religion and gasoline and ultimately the basic will and right to exist as free men.

    Though empires allow evil to exist they will never allow technology to revert to a dark age in the name of nature. Homosexuals may make love and drink herbal teas but if you ain’t burnin’ rubber and contributing to the economy of YOUR motherland then move the phukk to France.

    Seriously, move to Europe. YOU WILL LIKE IT THERE.

    Even more seriously, count the times you say the word “Community” in one week. Communism is an evil scheme. People are screwed up and always will be, there is a natural order if you’d like to eat organic food, think about the organic bugs that bother your organic food. Bugs are not communist. People cannot be either. Buy guns and bibles and poison and tinfoil but do not further the evils of communism. DO NOT use the word Community. Read a phukkking history book 4 christsake and appreciate the hole you were born into.

    Or move to France.

    Ouch, thanks ofr letting a body let it out.

  3. Things I’ve Learned So Far…

    The midwest is not flat

    You can find kind and generous people everywhere

    Grassfed lamb is super tasty, keeps you slim in your waistie!

    Our egos can grow or shrink depending on who we meet šŸ™‚ Some people think what we’re doing is inspiring and awesome. Others just aren’t that impressed and remind us that people bike cross country all the time…over mountains, deserts, and even by themselves!

    You must go uphill before you can come down

    If you are going downhill you will probably be going up again soon.

    Management intensive grazing is great for livestock and makes for healthy meat and dairy products.

    Some people get abnormally excited about removing bodily gunk.

    5 year olds are really smart.

    Lots of people are trusting.

    Road construction is not necessarily a hindrance to cyclists…we can often go where cars can’t!

    We are not ashamed to walk up ridiculously steep hills.

    Don’t trust people who drive cars to tell you how hilly a road is.

    What we’re doing might be totally unproductive and of no value to society.

    Raw milk is delicious.

    It’s impossible to be cheerful all the time.

    Chickens are crazy.

    Racism exists all over the country.

    Biking is for people of all ages.

    Lots of people do crazy things down the Mississippi River.

    Never trust the term “gently rolling hills.”

    Did I mention I’ve learned a lot about biking on hills?

  4. everyone has their own sense of the city. some know it more than others while most know about it through what they hear. as of late, we have been getting some alarming thoughts on entering the big cities from people we have met. we got this both as we entered st. louis and memphis, but generally people were telling us to watch out, the city is dangerous, some even suggested we have guns, or at the least, enough pepper spray to fend off our enemies. one man told me with such force, “don’t go”. these were such strong words. i often absorb their fear and begin to feel that maybe what we are doing isn’t very smart, or safe, or we should go another way. i let their fear of the city (and all it’s crime) weigh me down and i become so torn. it is these stories of stories that become so jaded, passed on by whispers and snears, usually full of racial tension, that are passed on by so many. what do we really know about the city? do we go in with fear, letting that bring us to conclusions? or do we enter, with open eyes, to see what is really happening? yes, there is crime, but what leads to that? conditions of the city are so complex and cyclical that it is dangerous in itself to just stay out. so, we continue on. we want to see it for ourselves so that stories no longer carry misconceptions, but that they carry moments where we are forced to be uncomfortable and shake the fear out of our systems.

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