Blessing in Disguise | No Public Transport | So I bicycled ~ all night long

The little black boars I saw were all running in the same direction as me….and then I passed them. whew!

I was incredibly delighted to encounter the wild boars scrambling and grunting along the tree-lined highway to the left of me as I bicycled by them not long after midnight. It was exhilarating, particularly when I realized that I was now moving beyond them and they hadn’t charged me. Oh My Dog!

I had arrived in Georgia just several weeks earlier. After other options fell away, I decided to drive a rental car there with the 2-day voucher I had. I plotted my trip by scouting distances along various segments along route 40. I also compared local weather patterns to calculate the driest times en route to rent the car.

I used the internet to plot the various segments, distances, local weather to plot out when each segment was dry. I was also researching Savannah local transportation.

As I was entering the state of Georgia after driving most of the night, as I looked in the darkness at the trees along the highway, I was stunned at their height. I thought I was hallucinating. They can’t be that tall. Thought that it was a reflection superimposed on the windshield from the dash board. It wasn’t.

I was planning my arrival in Georgia while still in NM. Transportation from the airport, what downtown Savannah looked like on a map, where the stops from the airport bus were in relation to the ‘historic district’. After again and again finding no buses between the two cities, I googled ‘shuttle‘ and one popped up; connecting the two Georgia Southern campuses. One in Statesboro, the apartments where I was moving to were next to the campus, and the other in South Savannah. A live human being answered the phone. A young woman confirmed that there are no buses: no local, no greyhound, but that the shuttle which doesn’t check ID’s. I had to drop off the car by 9am Sunday morning at the Savannah airport, the shuttle was Monday morning. The airport information office hadn’t offered the information that there was a public bus from the airport, until I inquired. The bus driver from the airport told me to catch the 14 bus to get to the campus south of town where I needed to go the following morning. He pointed out the road and where the stops were.

I resolved to stay up all night, which I’ve voluntarily done plenty of times, at airports, when visiting a city and having no accommodation. She said the only alternative is an über or lyft, $60 – $70. When you are employed and making $20 + an hour, no hesitation. However, I didn’t even want my housemate (who offered) to pay this. Already sleep deprived after driving across the country, I decided to go for it. Stay the night and map out how to get to the Savannah campus of the university by the morning. I had the schedule. Must say that when one does not have a cell phone contract (I don’t) enabling 24/7 internet access, everything, including the lack of GPS, involved a lot more planning. I decided to hang in Savannah all day and stay up all night. Even CouchSurfing is ‘Covided Out’. They’ve suffered enough to now demand payment for the previously free to join, surf or host. Now one can’t even open their own account, much less contact people.

I strolled to the river front, promptly found a tourist office with a man who handed me a map and pointed out that in the historic district, there are 20 parks, 2 square miles. Wow, cool. After wandering along the waterfront looking at the barges and ships, walking along cobblestone streets lined with quaint gift shops, I headed to meander around the historic district. Gorgeous. Super inviting to pedestrians to walk around and bicycle friendly!

I approached a young woman holding a sketch pad and commented on her drawing and told her I like to do draw too. I was asking her where there’s a local grocery store. She offered the information to check out Forsyth park 12 blocks away. When I arrived there as dusk approached, there was a live band playing good music, outside. for free. People with toddlers meandering around. I was stoked. The mild weather was cozy. The drooping moss off many of the trees downtown, enchanting. It became chilly, but I was on solid ground, alive, well. I could endure.

I managed to catch that the following morning, get to the campus, find my way to the location of this shuttle stop which I also mapped out ahead of time, then saw two other female students also waiting for the same shuttle. I boarded quietly. The driver yelled out ‘hello’ but hadn’t asked for ID. I did it. And was on my way.

Then on the morning of February 1st, several weeks after my arrival in the town of ‘Statesboro Blues’, I was asked to move out. That day. 1st of the month. I decided not to call his bluff. And since I was enchanted with Savannah from the start, I decided that it was a synchronistic timing and an opportunity. Several days earlier I had begun investigating housing in Savannah online. I found a number of super reasonably priced ‘house shares’, that I then realized were each scams. I found that there was indeed a local savannah ultimate frisbee pickup games group page, joined them and inquired about housing suggestions.

Friends in my Providence Rhode Island Alliance Français (now zoom) french conversation group, informed me that there’s a college of art there, that I could find bulletin boards in various departments to look for housing. What first popped up was the Savannah Academy, a K-8/Magnet/Charter school, then the Savannah College or Art and Design. The day before I found a link to the various SCAD departments, with the intention of mapping out the campus, plotting out the best buildings to visit to look for postings, and bringing already created and photocopied tutoring signs to post for language, music, arts. I’d begun the process of applying through a 3rd party for substitute teaching jobs at the Savannah Academy of Art Magnet school, thinking that this is where I could also market my book. I was going to make this trip in a few days, but when on the morning of Feb. 1st I was awoken super early (for me) by my housemate’s computer several feet from my door, I opened the door and complained about the noise. My housemate who is typically very kind and gentle, demonstrated a bit of a temper.  

Now, thinking quickly, I resolved that if I want to move to Savannah, I’ll be more likely to negotiate housing and work, if I am there. I decided that I therefore had to make a move there, today. I’d catch the same free shuttle, take the bus to downtown Savannah from the south side. Now I found a rental car place online. My plan: to to Savannah to pick up a rental car, drive to Statesboro an hour to pick up my stuff, drive back and somehow find a place (apartments/hotel) in Savannah, to move, by 5pm the following day. I discovered the morning of the 1st, online that the entry to the SCAD buildings, was Covided Out. No entry, without a student ID card. No point stopping there to read or post signs. I had mapped out by now its location. I even was going to google a copy shop somewhere, to make signs. 

I was planning all this, having mapped out different places to go and screen grabbing the pic (no WiFi contract, no GPS). Now I looked at the time that I wasn’t going to catch the 1:30 shuttle, unless I bicycle there. The adventure begins. if I am to get to the downtown rental car place before it closes at 5pm, I must take this one. I raced. I have made a point of remembering its location. The bus was still there. I asked the driver if I could bring my bicycle on. No rack, Only two other girl passengers, and me. Now the questions came: do you have a student ID? No. No, I’m not a student. I had to convince him. Said I’m going to pick up a rental car..He was skeptical, an unusual request. Then he got up, walked around the front of the bus and said, “Don’t make me regret this.” I had arrived there within 2 minutes of his departure. I thanked him profusely as I got off at the other end and gave him my card, with Paul Chappell and “The Peace Paradigm” written on the back. hehe. 

A New Peace Paradigm: Understanding Our Human Need

Ok, he’s like a preacher a bit, but he has a very interesting lens (distance in time, which magnifies the present). 

After the shuttle arrived an hour later at the Savannah campus, I inquired in a student housing office about alternative websites to the scam breeding ground of craigslist. There were none, Facebook suggested. A girl in the office below gave me a map with innumerable resources printed on it, among them apartments and housing. Once I found the bus stop to downtown, which arrived within 5 minutes for an hour duration, I looked over the map, ready to make phone calls, and realized I had no cell phone reception south of the city. T-Mobile, can you hear me now? 

The local public bus, unlike NYC closing in on $3 or so, are $1.50. Huh? They have bike racks. I arrived downtown (another hour long ride), realized I was blocks from the address of the rental car place, who never answered the phone, but twice was switched to a Mexican operator, never the local office. I arrived there 15 min. before closing. Everything was perfect, car available, $65/day, regardless of whether you return it in 2 hours or keep it for 24 hours. Then, I went to pay, and had not (consciously or subconsciously) brought my credit card. I couldn’t get the car. Two hours to get there, timing was perfect. No debit, not cash, no card, no car. It was now 5pm. In another hour the last shuttle would depart from the campus south of town. I raced to the transportation depot, found my bus was there to go the hour south of town to the campus, departing in 4 minutes. I put my bicycle on and phoned my housemate (while I was downtown with reception) to ask for an extension of a day. 

It turns out that both the lack of cell phone reception and my ‘error’ of not bringing my cc, were both the blessings in disguise. My housemate’s voice changed. He said, we’ll have to have a ‘talk’, but that I can still live there’. Relieved, now that I could arrange this move in a steady and methodical manner. Now I knew that I wasn’t going to return with my stuff thrown out. (In fact, after he expressed his objection to me having raised my voice, then listening to my desire to move to Savannah, he himself kindly offered to let me pay weekly (accommodating and being more than reasonable). I had to phone him while I still had reception! Meanwhile on the downtown 14 bus, the drivers changed, cutting out precious time. When we arrived an hour + later at the campus, the last shuttle had already departed 15 minutes earlier. 

A one hour drive is approximately a 4 hour (minimum) bike ride.

I don’t have a ‘road’ bike with skinny tires, that roll faster with less resistance and friction.. I had paid attention to where the shuttle had turned in this town, Pem(something). He drove on a ‘back’ road, not an interstate. I found two gas stations across the street from one another. I asked people, looked at maps, found cardboard at one station, made a sign (no magic marker). I strolled back and forth to both gas station on either side of the highway, but no one was going that way. I was actually asking the wrong question; not if they’re going to the closer town, but to the further one. 

I decided to ride. Problem # 1, it’s an interstate bi-pass on the south end of the city, leading to the non-interstate roads. I rode along the shoulder, facing traffic, until I came to a place at a bridge. Abruptly, the shoulder ended, with absolutely no pedestrian place to cross the bridge. I studied oncoming headlights to gauge how much time they took to arrive to the bridge.

The flow of traffic was consistent. Looking along where I’d have to bicycle along a wall with cars and trucks screaming by, was horrifying. I had to make it across this stretch for several hundred yards. I thought of how I had recently expressed appreciation to each of my sisters…and thought, was this a premonition? After the third or fourth time of approaching, studying the  traffic and walking away, I decided that I was not going to unfold the story of my fatality, so I gave up, and walked back to the gas station. There, I spotted a pizza delivery car, a hatchback. I approached the young African American guy filling up his tank and asked if he was going towards this town. “Yes, but I can’t take passengers.” I explained that I just needed to get beyond this point a hundred yards away where I couldn’t cross the bridge. Without saying anything, he then proceeded to take the domino or whatever lit pizza sign off the top of his car, laid it inside, walked around and opened the hatch back, and told me to put the bike in. It was filled with debris, I managed to squeeze it in, pull it above the top of the mound of stuff. I had to trust. He said,”The cashier girl might tell on me, sayin’ that a delivery guy picked up a hitchhiker.” He was a bit nervous about that. When I said that I was moving, he mentioned that “My sister moves, all the time. Now she’s in Atlanta. Ya gotta just stay in the same place.” He did me a huge favor taking me 5 miles. He mentioned NOT to take highway 17 (which had been in my mind) because that will take me back to Savannah. 

I asked him, so where do I have to go? He gestured, just go up that on-ramp over there. At this point the traffic was much less dense. Monday night, close to 11pm. As I bicycled up the ramp, I saw high walls on either side of the freeway, which seemed to approach another narrow bridge section. I then saw a guard rail next to the wall and a tiny walking space within. Score! I lifted the bike and stepped over it, into this narrow walkway. I was feeling safe and proud of myself. And then, it ended at a wall. This google earth photo is the same bridge, but the metal awning running along the length of the bottom edge wasn’t yet added to the bridge when the photo was taken.

So this awning, with a slightly concave slant, allowed space to walk with the bicycle, stretching across a gap between the lower lip of the wall and the ledge.

Choice # 1. go back. # 2. Step onto the road, and hope I can make the stretch with few vehicles driving by.  3. I spotted a ledge about 5 feet above the ground next to the wall. It was wide enough to walk, double the width of a curb (inches/meters). There was a sheet of a metal awning stretching along its base, and angling up a few feet to the wall, closing the gap between them. I went with number 3. I lifted the bike up to the ledge, resting against the wall. Spotted a hand-hold, a gap with a metal strip. I had gloves on. I reached to grab this and pulled myself up next to the bike. It was wide enough to allow me to walk with the bicycle to the right of me, rolling along on the slightly slanted awning. I began slowly. If anyone had spotted me, surely the absurdity of seeing someone up there walking with a bicycle could have itself caused an accident. 

I continue LOL ever since, only because it was exhilarating and it had a happy ending. I managed to cross and to where the ledge suddenly ended, however I was now on the other side, because below once again a guard rail. I lowered the bike down to the highway, then lifted it over the rail, this side even a narrower, and walked the rest of the way. Eventually there was adequate space along the roadside to ride. After I came to and passed yet another freeway entrance, traffic thinned to only an occasional car. 

I rode on the oncoming traffic lane, in the middle, in order to immediately spot headlights from afar. When a vehicle comes, I cross the road to the other side. (No longer a divided interstate). I hadn’t planned this ride and had left my bike head and rear lights at home. The clouds mostly blocked the recent full moon. Once in a while my path was illuminated. However, I felt that I was better off without lights, because I was going through a rural area. As I sat on the shuttle earlier, I saw quite a number of double-trailer homes, properties with junk. There are a lot of jacked up pick-up trucks with loud engines around here. I decided that it was NOT in my favor to announce to cars that there was a bicycle. Didn’t want to give them the time to manifest any  premeditated acts of hostility. My method: ‘see and avoid’. Whereas on a bicycle path with other riders, it is ‘see and be seen’. So, I cross the road to get as far away from any passing vehicle, then go back to the center of the lane of oncoming traffic. There was only one place (later in the morning) when there were two vehicles passing me at the same time. I was attending to the one approaching and for a few seconds hadn’t looked behind me, when as the truck approaching flashed his headlights. I responded by immediately moving off the road, and within two seconds, a car sped by. This person saw this and warned me.Thank you, whoever you were. 

I was alone on the road in silence, with tall trees to the left of me and quiet stillness, when suddenly, I heard grunting. Huh? A lot of it. I swept my eyes to the side of the road to the left of me, and 30 yards or less away, in front of the wall of trees in this thick forested area, were a pack of not 10, not 20, more like 30 or more, little round black bodies grunting. Wild boars! WHAT? I hadn’t considered the potential of ‘non-human’ predators. I continued to pedal, alert to watching what direction they were running, not knowing where I’d go if they’d start embarking onto the road towards me. I didn’t slow down, realized they were running in the same direction as me, and then, I was beyond them. They may have been really startled by my presence, and were  that were scrambling to get away, almost falling over each other, snorting very loudly in unison. That was ‘fo sho’ the highlight of my adventure, only because it didn’t become a misadventure. Wow, exHILarating.

Later, cycling along within an hour of the boar incident, having only dented the 52 mile ride , I noticed an absence of these grand trees. Empty lots, then some places along the highway with a thin row of trees in the front and an obviously hollowed area beyond. In one area I saw a few remaining straggly trees. Lone ones which looked awkward and sickly, as if crippled by being left standing after their entire community was wiped out. I noticed a number of acres with juvenile trees, replaced after loggers cleared the area.. That’s great to replenish, necessary, yet a young tree will not conceivably replace a majestic ancient one, with all of the life surrounding it that coexisted and creates a web of biodiversity. It’s incomprehensible that humans don’t see the bigger picture, beyond profit. One can not replace a forest that has evolved over centuries. These forests are worth much more alive, than dead. Go ask a wild boar.

At one place, I looked over and saw a gazebo, 2am or so. I wandered over, stepped under a rope to hang out there. The national park by a canal had a sign saying they close at 5pm. The wind was strong. Trees creaked, I’d hear a noise and quickly dart my eyes in that direction and scan the surroundings. There were very occasional cars. I was getting spooked at this point (after the wild boars). Every time i heard ANY sound (even that of the fabric of my jacket or something) that was different, I was alerted, then laugh. I walked over to read their sign for guests to the canal walk: 

Remember, you are a visitor here, this is their home. 

Wow, I wish that ‘observing and being considerate of nature’ was part of the fabric of education in our world. But this isn’t the standard in schools. From the political standpoint in our world of o\economics, ‘jobs’ are what people want and need. The argument, it spells out ‘money’, however with little concern for the source of the labor. So that working in lumber, mining, oil, fracking, dirty, destructive industries, building more Walmarts and CVS’s and parking lots to accommodate them, means more destruction and pollution. The discussion of jobs, overriding any sense or concern for even a second, about what that job entails and what harm it may cause to habitats of other creatures or what it is doing to spoil our earth, our home, is seldom part of the equation.

I finally arrived to the town where I needed to make my right turn at the light, recognizing the signs I’d scanned from the shuttle when we made that turn. I rode this first 25 miles, it was about 3:30am. Stood for a bit in a lit area before a sign to see if a pick-up truck might come by, but there was only one car. I had only 24 miles to go. Went to buy a beer at a gas station, state law, no beer sold after midnight. I had very little water, as I had not planned this. However I had long underwear, layers and gloves, and was fairly warm. I had seemed to be heading into the wind going west, but when I turned on the road heading north west, I realized that now, I was indeed heading into the wind. 

We can create sustainable work. People can be trained in sustainable energy industries. We just need to reformulate what our priorities are and recognize that a healthy earth, means healthy and pleasant environments. And adapting to accommodate other species on the planet, can also be included in the R&D; research and development, of an alternative. However,  continued construction, which in fact is destruction, air, water and soil pollution, will not only destroy all the habitats, but will also lead to our own extinction. We can not continue at this pace; leaving only tiny strips of old growths, a facade of trees. 

Might as well have electronic billboards that show what majestic trees, rivers and hills once lived here. 

As we kill off all the other creatures’ habitats, we will eventually be left with only concrete and dust bowls, with the climate catastrophe and heating planet leading to more fires, floods, longer and stronger hurricanes, earthquakes where there’s been fracking…until the planet, with rising temperatures and more prevalence of viruses and insect destruction of what forests are left, will no longer support human life. We have to work together on this. We can not let  politics divide and fracture our consciousness of what is happening. As billionaires and traders get richer, and gaps in wealth become deeper, and the GDP grows greater, as they bank on the losses of everyone else. Let’s do this together. 

Nothing Lives for Itself – Pantheism | Nothing Sacred before Cold Blooded Cash | Indigenous Murder in Amazon for Lumber | Plutocracy Bleeds – Corpocrisy Feeds

And just like that, going from here to there and in between, I was captivated with colors and textures and took 107 photos today. Here are most, except for three that I retouched, wysiwyg.

I was simply going to post the 106 pics whose subject matter grabbed my attention today, and then it morphed, into the topics that stabbed my attention.

nov 7, autumn leaves, photo album beauty, natural world

nov 7 autumn leaves photo album
beauty of the natural world

Pantheism, nothing in nature lives for itself, systemic interdependence, harmony

Pantheism
nothing in nature lives for itself
systemic interdependence and harmony

 

Horrible events are occurring among Amazon Indigenous people who have been repeatedly attacked, killed, mostly by loggers who want to get to their trees. I’m sure the convoluted story includes international corporate and banker criminals of the USA as well. There was also a recent news story in the BBC about lumber thugs killing a man in Romania, who wished to protect the only virgin forests left in Europe. Perhaps there should be an international team who can get information from the sources of people who wish to protect the forests and act as liaisons. They should have within their tools a bunch of drones, that can quickly and accurately see what’s going on, and a team of scientists and data analysts who can help to interpret the data. A body of teachers and negotiators who can work with local and national governments and more specifically, talk to the culprits in the industries that have been doing the attacking, and figure out a way for them to be subsidized and brought into training in various different renewable industries.

There are plenty of people with skills and needs, and plenty of changes that need to be made in the world. These people are acting out of desperation. I presume that if the lumber or whatever trade these people have (lumber, palm oil, plastic, coal, oil, gas, chemical industries) if they were provided with alternative work, other options and subsidized as they are educated and trained in new skills towards renewable, regenerative agriculture, planting trees, being guardians of the forest, clean energy, building animal bridges, windmills, solar, growing hemp, bamboo, fungi for growing building material as well as cleaning up toxic waste, that they would choose to do it. If there were educational outreach systems and options for training in any one of a dozen of relevant new trades that can help to safeguard the planet and the habitats of other creatures, they would do it.

I’m sure that all of the weapons, ships and aircraft and warcraft of the world could be melted into some pretty functional items, other than to kill people. Okay, I’ll stop now.

 

A young Brazilian indigenous leader was killed days ago in the Amazon, and according to Democracy Now, 135 indigenous people were killed in just 2018.

He wanted only to be a guardian for all the life in the forest. Simply put down, he was in the way of cutting down trees.

Brazilian Indigenous Leader Killed in Amazon he wished to be a guardian for all life, murdered by lumber, thieves

Brazilian Indigenous Leader Killed in Amazon
he wished to be a guardian for all life
murdered by lumber thieves

 

 

This story doesn’t seem to go away. People with greed or desperation, only see through the filter of their desire to make gains.

They’ve lost their soul. The Brazilian leader along with the US and dozens of right wing plutocrats around the globe, prefer to turn a blind eye, and cold heart.

 

 

Sacred Giving, Sacred Receiving by Joseph Bruchac June 20, 2016 The American Indian Giveaway

 

 

Parabola, Search for Meaning Sacred Giving, Sacred Receiving, Joseph Bruchac, June 20, 2016

Parabola, Search for Meaning
Sacred Giving, Sacred Receiving, by Joseph Bruchac
June 20, 2016

 

There appears to be a spiritual malaise, whenever faith encounters the market place. This existed since the time of Jesus Christ, who was a huge threat to the Romans, because he wanted to empower people and expose the truths. The market place won.

“Wealth, among American Indian people, is not seen as the accumulation and keeping of money or goods or land. The strengthening of community is much more important in the American Indian practice, a gifting more akin to prayer than self-aggrandizement and acquisition. American Indian giveaway practices have often been viewed as a threat by government officials, both in the United States and Canada. Government policies in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century were designed to suppress such activities.”

Indigenous people who are closest to nature and respect all life the most, just keep getting massacred, by what is propelled by the power of fascism driven by economics. The US governenment, in protecting their economic interests, continue to grab weapons first and contemplate their actions, never.

Swan Point Fountain Progression | Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils | September 8, 2019

Swan Point Fountain September 8, 2019

Swan Point Fountain September 8, 2019

I’ve checked out this Swan Point Cemetery several times. It’s full of life. I sat on a rock next to the water. I did this in one sitting today. Because it was a lovely Sunday, there was a trickle of people, live ones. It took me 5 hours to do this. After about three and a half hours, I heard not a purr, but a growl, that sounded a bit like a cat. Didn’t sound like a bird. Just as I was finishing, I heard it again. I don’t know what kind of wild animal are around here (northeast USA) that makes that sound. It was pretty close to me in the bush to the right. I didn’t investigate. I just wanted to get out of its way. There are no bobcats around here, but it sounded like one. I was imagining something launching out, but not really intimidated. Dusk was falling to darkness as I bicycled away. I saw a fox running across my path ahead. I know how to get out of the cemetery once the gate is closed, just have to lift my bicycle down a stone wall and jump a few feet below it. I often only leave as darkness is coming. Another place I sat I saw these huge birds. I never get scared actually, even thought I’m alone in a cemetery. It’s just gorgeous, for sure, the oldest growth as far as trees go, around.

Faber Castell Water color pencils, Swan Point Fountain

swan_point_fountain_sign_9_8_19

There really was a little school of reddish-orange gold fish swimming around, so I didn’t make that up!

Swan Point Fountain September 8, 2019, Faber Castell Water color pencils

Swan Point Fountain September 8, 2019

Blast at Block Island, Rhode Island | Intuitive Minute Choices > Introduce Magical Consequences

For those of you who are not native American English speakers, ‘blast’ is slang for a ‘killer’ time, which is slang for a really fun, great time. Bliss on Block Island. he he he

I decided at the last minute, the night before, after seeing the weather forecast and having investigated transport a week earlier. My sister Joan kept recommending Block Island. This was her gift. Afterwords, I asked her about how she knew about the place, and she said that back in the day when she lived in the East Village in Manhattan, she had done stand-up comedy not only in nYc, but also went a few times with other comedians to a club on Block Island to perform, and had rented a bicycle…

The night before I quickly perused on the internet suggestions of things to do, attractions on the island. I drew my map of things to do.

hand drawn map of attractions o, Block Island, Rhode Island

hand drawn map of attractions on Block Island, Rhode Island

marine map block island

marine_map_block_island

I was quite proud of myself to get up early enough to catch that 8:15 bus; up at 6, to bed at 3. Had a wonderful conversation on the way. I was the only person with a bicycle at that time of the morning.

Fabulous experiences, the animal petting zoo, wildlife reserve, the southern light house, the northern light house, the bluffs, and the enormous amount of bicycle and moped traffic 🙂 taking photos the whole time.

Block Island photo album bicycles and mopeds abound

Block Island photo album bicycles and mopeds abound

I had miraculous timing! I had drawn a map, quickly looked up and jotted down points of interest, was so proud of myself to actually plan and wake up (alarm had been set for pm) and take an 8:15am bus. Fab person (25 year postal worker going back from his night shift in PVD) and made it to the ferry at Point Judith with literally minutes to spare! (sat. morning traffic). then set off bicycling. asked what looked like a local, elderly gentleman where the petting farm is, he pointed it out. I then went to the south point lighthouse. At that time, I wasn’t sure if I’d try to do everything in one day or not. I managed to find a fab beach to swim, strokes, no life guards there, lots of people, little waves, then as soon as I finished swimming and body surfing, I left the beach in my bathing suit, got on the bike wet, with back pack and continued my exploration. found the wilderness sanctuary, the north point lighthouse where all the baby birds were!!!…..decided as I wandered around, that I’d stay the night, fuck it, I’ll ride around if I have to. I also was scoping out potential places tucked away to come back to late at night to lay down. I didn’t even have a towel, just some layers of clothes.

then I found myself at close to dusk in a town area and remembered someone telling me about the historical society, oh yeah, a woman in a wheel chair I had asked a question to. I saw the building, saw a tent and people in the lawn. had went into a store to purchase some food with my food stamps and a bottle of beer with my debit card. the store refused the EBT food stamps, the island doesn’t cater to this. I thought, fine, I’ll have a liquid dinner, pint of IPA beer I bought. the trickle of food had cost $18 which I didn’t buy. Then as I was about to cycle this other direction, I remembered the tent of the historical society and made a 180º turn, and as I approached, there was a very gregarious woman sitting with several other people on these large lawn chairs before the tent. She said to me, come over here, join us. She was calling out to other people that passed by as well. She was in her 50’s, 60’s elegant. I laid down my bicycle and sat down with her, another woman about the same age and an elderly man. They were all residents of the town. I sat down to join them and cracked open my bottle of IPA. I chatted, very meaningful conversation, this woman was very prescient, sort of psychic or extremely psychologically alert with attention to character. She was ebullient in welcoming me, said she was so glad i was there. I had my cooked oatmeal breakfast with me that i brought in a tightly sealed plastic container. (I ate that 24 hours later in a lawn, slightly tinged with the beginning of becoming spoiled after riding with it in a baking sun all day the first day. Figured oatmeal wouldn’t go bad like meat.

This soiree was a historical society Ferry boat fundraiser. She said, go help yourself to food, I had sashimi and sushi, cheese and crackers, chips and dip (the food i hadn’t managed to purchase 30 minutes earlier).

She asked where I was staying, I mentioned that I didn’t have a place yet. She welcomed me to stay on her boat. Dream! However, after one by one the others left, the gentleman (in his 80’s) wife came, they left. The other woman (also writing a book) her mother came, she left. I asked if she goes to bed early, and she retorted yes. It was about 8:30pm. I decided to risk it, and told her that it being my only night here, Saturday night, i think I’ll not join her, thanking her. Got her #.

I wandered around a corner where a bar had had a musician outside, now he left, and there was a flurry of people. I locked my bike to go inside, and the door guy said $5. I usually NEVER pay a cover. I never go out to eat. I go to the bars with no cover, dance instead of drinking. I smiled and walked away, then as I was about to unlock my bike, i thought, now wait, i have my sketch pad and pencils, eraser, sharpener with me. I went back and asked if i could do a portrait of him in exchange for the entrance fee. He said, with amusement, if you do a portrait, I’ll buy you your first drink as well. I wound up standing there, more and more people lining up to go in, a band starting inside, i was chatting with the people working there and getting close to the guy then moving back to let him check peoples’ id’s. I did it pretty quickly, and it really was looking like him, and he was completely an open, nice friendly guy who was very happy to have the portrait.

I finished it, full house at this point. He let me in. I stashed my pack. Came out several times to ‘get that drink’, and had to wait quite a while cuz there were so many people coming in. Then finally he asked the one guy working there to run to his car to get his money, and the guy then handed me a $10. (I had just enough cash to pay the $2 bus and $32 ferry, because i was cat/plant sitting for my friend and he had given me some cash up front). Then as I went inside to order my usual cheapest beer on the menu, as I was about to get it, a man standing next to me with his boyfriend, who joked to me that they were the only gay couple there, bought my beer, because he said he saw my portrait and liked my energy – i guess that i had the enthusiasm to even try this exchange and that i was happy.

The crowd was going wild, not students but people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, all going wild with the great band that had the place packed. The band were not only fantastic musicians, with almost each member singing and harmonizing, but their energy, positive messages, were fantastic. I danced, people were having a fabulous time. Then when it ended and I was leaving, i somehow met a man on the street and we exchanged a few words and he said to join them. I said how far, and the others were hopping in a car. I said, i have a bicycle, he said, i’ll walk with you. It was a boat! And when we got there, 2 other woman were on board, 2 other men, then another. And the guy Chris who i walked with started playing guitar. The other guy is the house musician who plays as a prof. guitar singer at a bar, 4 docked boats away. He played and sang with a fabulous octave range.

The 7 of us, sat singing loudly on the boat, the songs that Chris chose to play, were one’s which everyone knew the words to. It was a dream. Then i was invited to stay over. Declined a bed with another guy, but said yes to a single bed to myself in the captain’s room. Really quite amazing.

I bicycled and swam, and biked more and swam more the next day, cycling again to each side of the island, until taking the early ferry back, only because i was concerned that if i waited till later, there might not be a bus back to PVD, or more importantly, there might be bikes in front of me, and the rack accommodates only 2 bicycles! I went back to Providence thinking there would be Bastille Day celebrations, ready to celebrate, but there weren’t (the American way, to coordinate something on weekends, rather than the actual day of the anniversary, to accommodate the work/life balance rather than life/work. That’s okay, i met a couple with whom I talked about Berlin after asking them if they knew of any Bastille Day festivities in Providence. She answered, know, but we know people who are in Europe. Their son lives in Berlin, a writer, his French wife, a food stylist photographer. Ahhh, life’s synchronicities, and listening to one’s ‘gut’ intuition.

I curiously looked at Rob Brezny’s Freewillastrology horoscope. I looked at my moon in Scorpio sign and it was this. It couldn’t have been more accurate. Because I was making little decisions that ushered in dramatically unexpected experiences.

Rob Brezsny Free Will Astrology with humor and spiritual insights

Rob Brezsny Free Will Astrology with humor and spiritual insights

It was amazingly lovely weather and just quite magical synchronicity of timing. A turn, an intuition, minute decisions that made tremendous differences in my experience.

Fabulous, unrepeatable 48 hours!

Now I’m back in Providence, delighting in providing water and wild bird seed to the flurry of birds that come.

Baby black bird fed by mother on roof

Baby black bird fed by mother on roof

Quebec’s major Ferrandez | Bicycle Proponent | UTNE READER |

Luc Ferrandez: Life in the Bike Lane

Luc Ferrandez, an ambitious Quebec mayor, shows how bike-friendly planning revitalized a historic Montreal borough.

“The Plateau is an Italian cathedral. It’s a forest. It’s something to protect, something sacred. I don’t want it to become a place where people come to live in a condo with triple-glazed windows for a couple of years. This has to be a place where people can be comfortable walking to the bakery, walking to school, walking to the park—where they want to stay to raise a family.”

Read more:

http://www.utne.com/politics/luc-ferrandez-zm0z12jazros.aspx?page=2#ixzz1zCgOzxye

East to West rideshare to San Francisco Love Fest

yeah, it started by connecting with a ride West through craigslist.com’s rideshare. I was on the right coast and wanted to head to San Francisco while the SF Love Fest was happening. A friend and former housemate was volunteering for it, and suggested that I do it too. Here I was back in the Qoöl headquarters, where I used to faithfully attend the midweek Qoöl happy hour. We were organizing our efforts for the Love Fest. In between, I had the chance to walk around taking some photos….and also caught some of the ‘critical mass‘ bike ride while I was there also (another San Francisco institution)!