We’ve been played

I decided to get up and stay put this morning. I wouldn’t say I’m fatigued, but the thought of lifting my little finger seems monumental. The campsite has Internets, no covids, and mostly camouflaged antifas, so I’m going to stay here until noon and then take a brief 25-mile ride up the road to the next stopping point.

As the bacon got to frying I noticed that I had a camp visitor, big, black, and soaking wet from swimming in the creek. No tags but a big, friendly smile, he was used to the ways of camp and flopped down next to me as the bacon fried. I patted his big pit bull-lab head, he wagged his tail and waited.

While the bacon fried I cut him off some cheese and fed him little pieces. He was very well mannered, carefully eating them off the picnic bench, never begging rudely, and certainly not climbing up onto the table to scarf everything down, which he well could have. We chatted a bit.

“You are a big pretty old dog.”

” … “

“I bet you are a camp dog. You live around here don’t you?”

” … “

“Swim in the creek and then come over to the campers before heading home, right?”

” … “

“You are a good dog.”

Tail thump.

Soon enough the bacon was ready and we shared as good camp mates always do. He thought the cheese melted with the boiled eggs was a good touch, and cleaned the grease out of the pan with gusto. Good camp mates ALWAYS help with the dishes.

Next I checked the Google news for the first time in thirteen days, and guess what? Nothing has changed.

Think about that for a minute. You can go two weeks without updating yourself on The Chaos and when you finally check in … nothing has changed. It’s almost enough to, you know, make you wonder, you know, why, you know, you were checking in to begin with. Almost.

Disclaimer: This election is important.

De-disclaimer: Every election is important.

To that point, I’ve known since the last election how I’ll vote in this one. I’ll select a non-Trump option. So what about moving on? Because this morning, seated under a giant redwood surrounded by snoozing campers, hungry mosquitoes, and morning birdsong, one thing is clear: We were engineered to wake up like this.

Our minds and bodies were engineered to breathe in and to love breathing in the smell of trees, clean air, and quietly composting leaves beneath our feet. We grew up a million years ago craving the noise of nature, not the silence of deafening, hysterical headlines.

Here’s another secret. They, whoever they is, want you to forget about the changing of the seasons, the arc of the sun across the sky and the blanket of stars over your head because if you remember those things and drink them in there will be no space left for all the unnecessaries of life. The earth was made to sustain us, take us along life’s span, and redeposit us into the leafy compost, making room for the worms, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the animals, and our progeny. We were made to be succored by those who came before and to succor those who walk after.

Yet that chain got turned into something different, where the earth itself gets ground up into a charnel house that belches out cars, fossil fuels, wars, skyscrapers, filth of every kind, and consumer “goods” that are anything but.

Why be played? Why accept what isn’t true? Why be guided by those who don’t know the way? Especially when the true path is outside your front door, and you know exactly where it leads, which is to the unknown.

As I was pondering these things, my camp mate nuzzled my leg and cast an eye upon the table.

“There’s no more bacon.”

” … “

“We ate it all.”

” … “

“You’re a good old dog.”

Thump, thump, thump.


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28 thoughts on “We’ve been played”

  1. Stray dogs like you so you can’t be *all* bad. Actually, your trip sounds like a more painful one we took in 10/09. We rode our tandem bike from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and it was amazing. Someday we’ll try it Seth-style: south to north. Thanks for sharing and have a great ride!

  2. So, Seth, are you typing up these bike camping installments using your thumbs on a phone? Or on a portable keyboard? Or using dictating using speech to text? Nerds want to know.

    1. I programmed all this into my blogbot back in May. I do nothing now but sit on the porch and smoke my corncob pipe!

  3. Camp mate: Nice pic of me. Maybe next time don’t cut off my head, alright? Now where’s all that bacon…

  4. 5th try for the lying liar to post!

    You’ve missed some much helpful lying, I’m not really sure how you are carrying on.

  5. Did you already know this or did it take several hundred miles of exhaustion to come to it? (I think the former.) Regardless, it’s always great to remember. Your writing always engages me, Seth. Excellent use of succor, for example.

    You’re making me yearn for a bike packing trip and I’m thinking it’s going to be in the spring.


  6. My brother and I rode from Eugene, OR to San Francisco back in 1989. Your bike trip is bringing back lots of memories. So enjoying each day’s adventure; safe travels to wherever it leads.

  7. Thanks for the updates about your trip!

    Enjoyable read for sure!!

    It is so true how we as humans miss the small shit that really matters in life.

  8. Thanks for sharing your wit and wisdom Seth. I’m sharing your blog (few words censored) with my son who’s a couple years from being able to accompany me on a similar yet smaller adventure. It’s keeping us inspired on the riding we do together, visualizing the goal we’re building to.

    I suspect you will complete this adventure, so when you enter WA state…if you come up the Puget Sound corridor please hit me up. Would be nice to meet you with a brief ride-along or a campsite supply drop. If you choose instead the lovely coastal route, then no hard feelings, but you’ll be out of my reach. 🙂

    Glad you’re riding into your happy. Sad for glimpsed or inferred pain you’re riding from. Hope all is well or becomes well!

    Go easy brother!

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