35

A very hilly introduction to Oxford, but I’m here. I’m also still waiting to hear back from several CS’ers, so I have not yet a place to stay. But!, I may be saved as a woman at a local cafe has offered me a couch, so long as her girlfriend OK’s it. Swell. And very generous of her.

The battery compartment door to my camera was found mysteriously open when I arrived here. Perhaps I inadvertently slid the catch while repositioning it on my back. I must be more mindful from now on.

However, on to what matters, like this morning. This morning was glorious, or, perhaps not glorious, but very much fine. I awoke early, around 6:30. Startled a woman as I opened my tent—she hadn’t notice it! Though she did see the bicycle. This is what she tells me, anyhow.

A soft sunrise behind some trees. Pastels obscured by a vague, cloudy, glaucous sheen, like I was staring through an infinite number of powder-white dandelion heads floating somewhere a ways away up in the ether. Dewey grass, dewey tent interior, every bloody dog in the neighborhood barking, the single Mockingbird unable to sing a single song but alternating from one obnoxious noise to the next… All the people so friendly, so friendly though.

I remove my gear from the damp tent leaving it to dry, and transport my bicycle and everything over to the covered area with picnic tables, by the bathrooms, and begin to make a cup of coffee, then some oatmeal, musing all the while on this bike trail. This miraculous bike trail! that runs from Houston clear up to New Albany—43 miles. How wonderful it is. How it is necessary that there be more of these spread all over the nation in one interconnected spider’s web so that pedalers near and far can make their way safely from anywhere to anywhere. Anyway, on this trail, in the town of Algoma is a small shop of food and sundries. The man there tells me he gets visitors from all over the continent—from as far north as Canada, and even Alaska once, criss-crossing the United States. He even gets group rides of twenty strong coming out of Memphis some weekends. “Must be good for business,” I remark. He agrees. Though I guess that doesn’t mean more quality product. Can’t fault the man’s amiableness though.

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