Thirty days of "going with the flow" in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and finally Germany...leaves me; tired of driving, satiated with Alpen scenery, titillated about the prospect of future cycling/camping adventures (back to France) and pleased with my level of fitness, mentally and physically.
Back behind the counter at Bodfish Bicycles, I get to share the stories. Friends and customers always ask, "What did you miss the most?"...I know what they want to hear, "the dog, a soft bed, fixing flats and getting greasy every day, conversations in English, a full cup of coffee"... but, just between you and me, I missed my morning TheraSauna and generally hanging around in the house naked.
Lisa and I have embarked on lengthy autumn adventures for more than half of the thirty-eight years we've been together...we understand that it takes more than a couple of weeks to untangle the web of workaday wires and knots that hold our "adventure-selves" hostage.... followed by another few weeks out of the routine, in order to recharge the batteries that power our true subterranean free spirits....we always find our deepest "true-selves" on these outings and we like what we see and share, in each other.
The roads are quieter here in Plumas County but the motorists are callous and show no concern for the vulnerable pedestrians at the road's crumbling edge. Foot-powered travelers are not admired, but rather they are pitied and even scorned for distracting the flow and concentration of the operators of overweight metal and plastic, fume spewing boxes on asphalt strips that every citizen finances.
Europeans all seem to have the attitude that every human deserves his or her space on road...farm tractors, horse drawn carts and especially cyclists are included as legitimate members of "the flow" along the trodden path...respect is shown toward all, even the foot-powered.
This is one of the reasons we are excited to spend our hard-earned money in Europe...too bad it takes jet fuel to get there.