I’m actually kind of astounded as to how much this trip has lately transmogrified into a set of physical endurance challenges. It’s as if I’m in training, but for what?
This time, the foolishness began when my sister Kathy, with whom I am staying in Hailey Idaho for two days prior to our sibling reunion near Sun Valley, suggested I ride her bike up to Ketchum, distance one-way of about 12 miles. Coming back will be easy, she said, it’s downhill all the way.
She herself has never ridden that far. She goes halfway, to Gimlet Road, the road leading to the “cabin,” designed and built by my architect then-husband, where our family lived for a number of years in the ’60s and ’70s.
But I thought what the hell, why not? I’ve actually never ridden that far, not even as far as Ketchum before, not once in my whole life! Four miles or so seems about right for me on a bike. And furthermore, I haven’t been on my bike at home even once in the past year. But if it’s easy on the return, then I figured I’d do fine.
On the way to Ketchum, I notice that the “cabin,” long remodeled to form a humungous charicature of its original graceful self, is no longer visible from the trail. Too many trees. Good.
About a mile further on, I came across a marvelous scene, the Big Wood River making a bend. So I stopped to admire before continuing.
Once in Ketchum I parked the bike, and, walking on shaky legs, went to lunch at a favorite old place, checked out their state of the art Community Library (which is supported in part by The Gold Mine, their used clothing store), wandered in and out of other old haunts, and then ended up at Chapter One bookstore, which I used to frequent, and work out of as a visiting astrologer, and wouldn’t you know, Cheryl, the long-term proprietor, is still there! She and I hung out, talking about how everywhere, in all the little localities, incredible things are going on. That the seeds we ’60s folks planted are actually sprouting.
In Atkinsons, the expensive local grocery store that has been here for ages, I noticed that they feature the local organic farmers who supply their produce, each one with a big picture and a story. And how about this, in Hailey, the Sage School. From it’s mission and vision:
The Sage School creates a thriving environment for students through a challenging, authentic curriculum centered on human ecology and engaging experiences designed specifically to promote self-awareness, community responsibility, and a sense of place….
From its philosophy:
A colleague once said, “Your schedule is your mission.” It is the goal of The Sage School to embody its mission, not just in writing, but also in the form and function of all that we do. Community Action is incorporated into our weekly schedule, field studies punctuate the year, the focus of our core projects is human ecology and ecological and humanitarian issues, and we do our best to actively ask what is the best way for teenagers to learn.
Okay, it was time for me to return. I had spent three hours wandering around, and hopefully my legs would be okay for the easy return trip.
Oops! NOT! WIND. Yes, coming at me, all the way. And stronger, mile after mile. It got so bad, and the agony so prolonged, that if a thug had stopped to offer me a ride, I would have jumped in.
When I finally staggered in the door, I told Kathy about the wind and she said, airily, “Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about that. It happens to me about once every four times.” Grrrrrr.
So I took a long bath and then sat down here to write this. Kath just brought me a cartoon.
Ah yes, the “how to be in the moment after that”! Funny! We share the same sense of humor. All is forgiven.