Mississippi River bike trip-aversary!

GUESS WHAT?!

It’s my 4 year end-of-first-bike-trip-aversary!

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Zooming on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi.

That journey by the numbers: 

1 month 

(August 2013)

800 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to Venice, Louisiana

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I started just south of the star and pedaled to the southernmost end of blue

 
2 nights camping inside a fire station
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night 1 in Arkansas

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night 2 in Louisiana

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There weren’t any fires so I got to try on the gear at Plaquemine’s.

26 nights people took me in 

My favorite sleeping spot was possibly the Floating Bed at Quapaw Canoe Company, designed by Chris Staudinger. Not pictured: copious amounts of driftwood that decorate the space.

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I thought it was a southern hospitality thing, but people have been taking me in all over the world in the years since –– I don’t know how to possibly repay this gift, but once I have a place of my own there will always be a futon for travelers.

1 cardboard sign 

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Recording audio stories at the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival

1 time I held a mastodon tooth 

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Thanks, Howard Brent! Howard took me out on a Sunday river boat ride with his friend Hank, too. He showed me how the river washes up a whole treasure box of things, like the skeleton of this boat.

Despite the best attempts of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi’s banks are always moving and jumping.

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1 night dancing at Reds in Clarksdale 

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This saxophone player’s jacket is the inspiration for the neon vest that I wear while cycling…

poetvest

made in New Zealand, March 2015

I embroidered myself a pair of poet pants in New Zealand, too.

poetpants

But back to the Mississippi River Trail… this was my home office that month.

I did a fist pump every time I saw one of these signs. MRT!!!

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That August 2013 I recorded 50 hours of stories.

I didn’t know what I was doing, but it felt right.

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I love everything about this quote except for the gendered pronoun.

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Nightfall in NOLA

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piles from Hurricane Isaac (2 years previous) at the side of the road, somewhere south of New Orleans on the way to Venice

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Cotton, growing

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Combine

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Music comes out of the water, I think.

Stop what you’re doing and go listen to the Shotgun Jazz Band. No, really. The night I spent listening to them in New Orleans was simply sublime.

endoftheroad.jpg

I chased after a car to get this picture taken at the End of the World, the place where Louisiana Highway 23 meets the Gulf of Mexico.

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If you’re wondering where the One Bike One Year logo came from, now you know: The End of the World / Venice, Louisiana.

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There were places in Venice where water laps over the road at high tide.

I’ll have to check when I’m back stateside to see if I can find the hard-drive with those audio stories on it. It would be interesting to listen.

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I’m immensely grateful to all the storytellers who have propelled me around this planet a few times since… I couldn’t keep going without the 700+ people who have taken the time to share a piece of their lives with me.

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Here’s to water stories, climate change stories, and everything in between.

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Stay tuned for more updates about 1,001 Stories in the months to come. I have 700+ audio stories from the last three years to share… still working on format, but a podcast might be bubbling on the back-burner.

xo from Stockholm,

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