11.30.2006,12:24 PM
Texas Canyonlands I: Traveling Companions
I usually take a traveling companion or two with me. Sometimes a mascot or two, sometimes the spirit of a friend, other times just the thoughts inside my head. In all journeys, Whee is my traveling buddy. Not only is he my transportation, but my food cabinet, dresser drawers, clothes rack, and filing cabinet. He's my home away from home; or maybe his is my only real home.

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Bernard has enjoyed many of the most recent trips, despite his adversity to his position on the bike: lashed to the luggage by cargo net and bungee cord. And he can be a little monster at times; for example, he went gallivanting the first day and I couldn’t find him until nearly sunset.

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In the morning, he guards my coffee like a good little monster.

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On this trip, as well as the one in September, I brought along the ‘spirit’ of a good friend who is more than a thousand miles away and has never been to this region of the country. He and I are ‘cut from the same cloth’, so to speak, and I knew beyond a doubt that he would enjoy all the wonder I visited as much as I did.

He is like “Harvey”, Jimmy Stewart’s invisible rabbit, and I sometimes find myself chatting with him inside my head with exclamations and ramblings throughout the trip. I share my observations, writing and photos with him so that he can experience what I do through my eyes and perspective. Because I want him to have the opportunity to see all of these places and live them through me. Yet hoping that some day he will be able to see and live them himself. Because nothing can substitute for personal experience which is filtered by individual perspective, prior experiences and interpretation. We don’t all share the exact same internal reality. Regardless, this is my gift to him and I hope he enjoys it as much as I do.

A new mascot adopted Whee and I on this journey and his circumstances and story will be told later. His name is ‘Wiley’ and as you can see is a coyote. It was very appropriate as you will read later.
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posted by Macrobe
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