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We'll call this the 'before' picture. See what I look like after a month on the road.

We'll call this the 'before' picture. See what I look like after a month on the road.

It’s an old American folk song that may have been written by a hobo named “One-finger Ellis.”

The chorus goes something like this:

“Hallelujah, I’m a bum

Hallelujah, bum again

Hallelujah, give us a handout

and revive us again”

We sang the song at my grandmother’s funeral. It was one of her favorites.

It holds special meaning as I return to a life of sweet vagrancy. The federal government gave me a handout in the form of a $16,000 student loan. The suckers will have to find me before they get it back.

Last night’s camp was pitched somewhere north of McCall, ID. It was there, lounging by the campfire with the moonlight filtering through the towering pines, that I experienced a moment of true stillness.

PICT0005

A very green view from White Bird Pass

We don’t realize how frantic and desperate our lives are until we get away from it all and slam on the brakes. We’re trained to act like tweaker gerbils, leaping from task to task without time to stop and think about what really matters. As I closed my eyes and listened to the crackle of the fire and the roar of a nearby mountain creek, I remembered.

Today I biked the Bear Basin trails just outside McCall. The extremely well built trails snaked through dense forest open meadows and shallow bogs in the foothills of Brundage Mountain. Got back just in time before it started raining. It’s OK, my car and bikes needed a bath.PICT0007

Stay tuned to see where I pop up next. Happy trails.

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