27 Sep 2010, 11:22am
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some excerpts from my journal–

* 9/15
saw a dead coyote today, roadkilled. in missouri, most of the roadkill was armadillos and frogs. and raccoons–the usual suspect. seen alive today: some frogs, a turtle, a beaver (i think!).

* 9/17
ate for dinner last night:
–breaded & fried catfish
–breaded & fried shrimp
–baked beans
–cole slaw
–tater tots
–apple pie
it was intense.

* 9/17
yesterday morning i startled a herd of deer on my way to the bathroom.

* 9/19
recycling and eating conscientiously with ease–the two things i miss most about portland. [i would like to write more about this when i have a chance!]

* 9/19
people yell stuff at me out their windows sometimes. i am always sort of curious what they’re saying. but they are cowards and i can never hear… it could be “dang grrrl, you totally rock!” for all i know.

* 9/19
“when you are reluctant to change, think of the beauty of autumn” (from a church signboard)

* 9/23
ready to do something sustainable–with my life i mean. that doesn’t take ALL my energy OR leave me restless.

* 9/23
don’t know why i’m stressing so much. i am certainly glad i didn’t have an end date the whole time; it would have driven me absolutely mad (evidently).

* 9/24
it’s not that i have never been away from home for this long–though i think that is also true–it’s that i have never been homeLESS for this long. i have scarcely traveled for ANY length of time without a home to return to, all my things in it, familiar etc. sometimes i get this weird feeling of abstractness when i stop for the night… this patch of ground in kentucky could be ANYWHERE… because it is not HOME, which makes anywhere into somewhere.

* 9/25
appalachians: 1, stacia: also 1? it’s not a zero-sum game. the appalachians win by being really fucking challenging; i win by… rising to the challenge? or dragging myself up them huffing and puffing anyway…

* 9/26
at 11-ish these 3 guys and 2 girls who i guess couldn’t believe there was a tent here [in a county park that a cop had suggested i camp at] woke me up and talked to me for awhile. they were pretty funny and entertaining, so overall i would say that it was a win. but i woke up a million times after that.

* 9/26
kinds of southern baptist churches:
–old regular
–union southern… or was it union regular?

* 9/26
today was the kind of day for curling up with a cup of hot tea and a good book, not for riding. rain rain rain, cold cold cold, cars goin’ honk honk honk. i am beat. i have eaten a lot of chocolate. the nice thing about cooler weather is chocolate doesn’t melt. i am in virginia. hell yeah. just barely. a mile past the border. at a motel. i was crawling by the time i got here.

* 9/26
i can’t pretend to understand the intricacies of the industry or the region, but it seems to me like the people of this area have kind of a stockholm syndrome situation going on with coal. “friend of coal” is something you see on shop windows, car bumpers, even politicians’ campaign signs. but my understanding is that Big Coal (and to a lesser extent Big Ag) have basically taken this region’s livelihood and health hostage, and the ransom price is… everything. i guess it must be about jobs, right? but coal is by definition a finite resource–eventually those jobs will dry up, whether before or after coal companies have destroyed the area’s every resource–mineral, environmental, human… but what do i know?

* 9/26
i have been feeling bad about the thing i wrote about kentucky stereotypes (making fun of misspelling). seems like in every region the people warn me about the people in the next region, telling me they’re different or not so friendly or you know… and people continue to be just people, usually kind, generous, etc. what do i care if things are misspelled? i knew what they meant, obviously. amusingly, i have at least twice seen graffiti along the lines of “learn to spell mother fucker” spraypainted on the sides of buildings.

* 9/26
the appalachians are way harder than the rockies. i have never worked so hard to go 2.8 miles per hour.

(just a selection ’cause i’m running out of time again! more here…)

(i was too late for this guy)

(log cathedral in buckhorn, ky. i stopped at a little shop and when i asked to use the bathroom, the guy behind the counter handed me the key to the church and told me to go use the bathroom there. i’m glad, because it was really cool to see this church!)



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