I don’t know when the idea materialized exactly but as soon as it settled into my mind it seemed as plain as “the wind is blowing from the west today.” I wish I could say this was a deeply meditated decision to leave delivery pizza and steady employment to go cycle around the largest lake in the Americas, but it wasn’t. I honestly just couldn’t think of a reason NOT to do it. And besides, the White Girl Walks Into Woods story has already been written (wink Cheryl Strayed) but the White Girl Pedals Around Big Dumb Lake has yet to be put to paper or made into a major motion picture. Someone tell Chloe Sevigny to start pounding down some poutine to prep for the role. The biggest question still looms: WILL I FIND MYSELF? Will she be there, 8 days unwashed hair and sucking peanut butter from her thumb next to a logging road?
I can only describe my planning process for this ~1,300 mile adventure as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Maps are for overachievers, I already survive off of a steady diet of peanut butter and oatmeal and what’s a little bit of rain? The only thing that was intimidating was the re-introduction of predators into my little mammal life. The ones that sink teeth into your jugular vein, not the ones who pry you with wine coolers. I grabbed the BEAR AWARE that was gifted to me by my outdoors savvy father and within a few pages I promptly learned that menstruation, human sexual activity and food spills on clothing can attract a curious bear and lead to a friendly mangling. Essentially, if I had not lived within these stone and mortar walls, my free bleedin’, fornicating and peanut butter crackers in bed lifestyle would have led to my death many moons ago. I didn’t even consider mountain lions until a friendly sales associate at REI reminded me that they were also a possibility, but not to worry as I likely wouldn’t notice them until my skull was in between their jaws. Goddamn sneaky cats. The only other prep was removing as much body hair as possible and to cut my bangs too too short so that I won’t have to hack at them with my utility knife in two weeks time.
- The last inch of a gold eyeliner pencil. Glamour doesn’t end at nature’s doorstep
- DIY spice mix that includes 4 different types of red pepper (Korean/standard pepper flakes/cayenne/sichuan peppercorns).
- “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin, “O Homem Duplicado” by José Saramago and HAMLET. All paperbacks I found neglected in my home library. I’m especially excited to recite Hamlet’s soliloquies to an attentive audience of chipmunks and rotting fungi.
- Mp3 download of Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. How am I supposed to climb hills without this? Especially misty lake roads?
Things i will miss:
- The tripas tacos from Taco Riendo, dressed simply with chopped onions and cilantro and a bit of the blaze green habenero salsa that is parked out on the tabletops. Eating animal entrails has never been so satisfying.
- Modern R&B and that auto tune moan as it echoes through my SUV as I cruise through construction traffic while eating a banana and popping in my seat. I’m a terror.
- Femme men *sigh* I imagine that anything that deviates from the Standard Male uniform of cargo shorts and worn flannel is hard to find in the Northern country. I will be hard up for a man in smart slacks by day 10. Bonus: lumberjacks with hairy chests and pancake stuffed bellies?
- MY KINGDOM: my full size bed with sheets stained with pizza grease and a mattress that has as much lumbar support as a stale marshmallow, bought in 2008. It ain’t much but it’s mine.
- Compulsively checking about five different astrology sites, hoping for insight on my deeply ambiguous present/past/future. This tendency has only been exacerbated by the purchase ($1.50) of Miss Clio (RIP) tarot cards at Ax Man. Here. Let me pull a card and watch my PATH BE LAID OUT IN FRONT OF ME!
Okay. I gotta go selfie some “before” nudes and send out my Last Will to my two confidants (ambiguous about what happens to the body/after party filled with intoxicants, all sorts, and bold outfits).
I’m afraid of the dark
Have the attention span of a fat mosquito
And a poor sense of direction.
“Two tears in a bucket, motherfuck it”