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Blog 192 Wytheville to Lexington

18th April

Beautifully sunny start to a day that is warming by the moment. I am cycling on a road which parallels the I-82 bend for bend and then I saw the train just across from me. I like vehicles and I like to move, a suddenly busy moment was not intimidating but rather my haven. The movement was where I felt my happy place.


Pulaski is a small town I passed through. It has a small cafe and is sleepy. It has a cafe, it is sleepy, the buildings are all red brick with an impressive Town Hall, council buildings and a small theatre. The wind brought me here because right now it is firmly behind me, carrying me along softly as if in a vortex of feathers. It is easy to ride like this. My legs are strong, body trim, body fat in single figures. After nearly 8 months of being on the road riding over 10 hours nearly every single day, every effort is accomplished with an efficiency of effort. Nothing happens, no exertion unless it really has to be done. With the wind I float like a bird on his wing. It is a busyness ancient sedentary peoples like the Ethiopians or the Egyptians do not have. They have a concept of an afterlife and project on to the next world the journeys they failed to make in this one. In an idealized vision of one's life on earth - also known as Sekhet-A'Aru and translated as The Field of Rushes - death was not the end of life but a transition to another part of one's eternal journey.


I am not sedentary and I do not have this belief. I bustle through each day squeezing out of me everything I have until I have nothing left. I feel it all has to be done in this one life. My real home is the road and not my house. French writer and philosopher Proust said how “desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade.” So here I am riding along the Trail of Tears.


A Bit of Information

The Trail of Tears was the forced displacement of approximately 60,000 people of the "Five Civilized Tribes" between 1830 and 1850, and the additional thousands of Native Americans within that were ethnically cleansed by the United States government. As part of Indian removal, members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to newly designated Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Cherokee removal in 1838 was the last forced removal east of the Mississippi and was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their newly designated Indian reserve. Thousands died from disease before reaching their destinations or shortly after. A variety of scholars have classified the Trail of Tears as an example of the genocide of Native Americans; others use the term ethnic cleansing.


The forced trans patriation of key Indian tribes - some call genocide


89 miles done. Forested then clearings to see really faraway lines of trees heralding from here another kingdom. Sounds of play and sports echo in the strong breeze so strong it’s a gift. 


This is a super route. Few cars. Unspoilt and one of the best short routes I know. 


Map of the Day


Postcard from Home

My doggies feed in Caroline's Land Rover. I have three but the two are shown. Wife Caroline narrates. The dogs are a very important part of my life. Importantly I am still connected to my previous life in Wales. Umbilically I am still attached however faraway I seem to be.


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Potentially interesting subject for discussion that one....what's life like on the 'other side?' I'm with you Nick that there's not much of a life on the dark side so you need to make the most of it in this one....trouble is we'll never know one way or the other. So there's really no ammunition for a discussion after all then...

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