Day Eight -- (70 miles, 675 so far)

We're getting there! We were lucky enough to have a shorter day today, because we managed to cover enough distance in the past two days. 

Today we have also been fabulously babied because our generous hosts, the Kilgallins, not only provided us with a delicious dinner and lovely lodgings but drove out in the morning to meet us for breakfast just after we crossed the 'Mighty Mississip' into Winona, Minnesota.

 Can't believe I rode my bike to Minnesota!

Can't believe I rode my bike to Minnesota!

I like Minnesota. I like the presence of decorative mooses (meese?) on every possible surface, and the log-cabin feel, and even,  I kid you not, the evergreen covered hills. I usually hate hills but Minnesota seems to have done a nice job, as far as hills go. It takes forever to climb them but then there's this immediate, spectacular downhill, and all the while you get to enjoy this unbelievable view. 

I did not, however, see any actual bears or mooses. I am heartily disappointed and fully expect Mother Nature to step up her game tomorrow. I request the appearance of at least one truck-sized moose, please.  

Anyway, today when Mr. Kilgallin asked me what I was planning to major in -- a perfectly reasonable question considering that this quest is technically a college search -- I kind of choked on my stock answer of "English!" and found myself plunged into a momentary desperate limbo in which, against all society's strictures, I still didn't know what I wanted to be when I grow up. I kind of stuttered out, "Well I really like English but I imagine I'd be as happy wandering around some third world country attempting to do good as anywhere." Mr. Kilgallin seemed to think this was reasonable and The Sherpa didn't seem at all surprised, but I'm still kind of chewing on it, at this moment.

I've toyed with ideas like international travel, but I think this whole Bethanywhere adventure has changed my perspective. I suppose that I've always imagined that I would go to college, get a job, and settle down somewhere close to my family to lead a pleasant suburban life until retirement, when I would move somewhere warmer to suit my creaking bones.  

 Captured trying to rest my creaking bones.

Captured trying to rest my creaking bones.

But I believe this crazy trip and all its unforeseen setbacks, exhausting demands, and moments of hard-won triumph has given me a taste for the extraordinary. I don't know what exactly I'm going to study in college, but I think if some wild opportunity to expand my comfort zone or help me find a greater understanding of a world that's so much bigger than Franklin, Indiana presents itself, I'll take it. 

I also think that if anyon ever decides to take it into their heads to bike from Indiana to Minnesota -- they can spend a night at my house. I mean, you can only handle so many nights of seedy motels. 

Once again, thank you for following my journey and listening to all my crazy thoughts, 

 

Bethany

 

PS - Yellow Car now stands at 65 for me and 64 for The Sherpa. He does retain a one point tie breaker advantage, but that is clearly irrelevant. All is as it should be.