Day 24 Finding Circe


It took him 20 years to get home and on the way he stopped off to see Circe for a while. Never mind his companions whiled away the time as pigs…
Intentions aside Nature has a way of playing the trump card when one dares the road.

I often think of Homer and the Odyssey on these rides…somehow I see a comparison in the adventure.
Odysseus, having finished his cleverness at Troy embarked in his boats to head home…a total of 450 miles. A distance I could walk in 20 days took him half a life time to complete.
The Odyssey lays out that the Gods were angry with him for his trickery in Troy but I suspect the reality, if indeed the events metered out ever happened, was a combination of wanderlust and bad luck at the hands of Mother Nature.
There is no doubt that I have always suffered from a similar desire to travel. As a teenager I hitchhiked across Europe more than once supporting myself in odd jobs. Even in Medical School I ended up away from the main campus so long ( doing rotations in fun places) the Assistant Dean, a Jesuit Priest, called saying I better get “Back home…in the Fold…at a Conservative Catholic Medical School”.
Too much Freedom can be DANGEROUS for vulnerable souls.
Speaking of freedom…after a 65 mile ride…I am sleeping on a picnic table under a pavilion in a city park tonight
hoping to avoid a Summer Storm…with Drenching Rain…and Wind…and Lightening…and Thunder…and Hail…
Someone has irritated all the Greek Winds Gods and they have decided to attack at once. Moisture from the West, Wind from the East, Cold Air from the North, and Warm Air from the South…and here we are in the middle of it.
Did Odysseus have it any worse going through the Straits Of Messina lost far from home?
I recall a similar night in this very park three years ago…here is that story for you now.

Day 26 : I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can…

Tuesday June 23, 2015

To the East a rosy dawn, birds chirping to each other’s delight. A rooster off in the distance heralds the morn and a whippoorwill plays tag with the early sounds. So peaceful now, unlike last night… We know it is coming, a large dangerous storm scheduled to hit in the night. We feel lucky to be able to sleep beneath a pavilion in a park, some shelter from harm. A kind woman approaches and warns us not to sleep here,” It floods badly, see the drains there”. Sure enough, every side of the pavilion has built in drains… Our only choice is to pitch tent in the nearby field. We pick our own spots, some high, some low. with a gentle 4 degree grade throughout the park. I find a middling plot near on old oak tree.”What if the branches break during the storm?”

” I think I”ll risk it for a little more protection tonight.”

My tent is set up and my things inside, it darkens, and now we wait. I check my smart phone and the radars shows a massive summer storm just a few hours away. Green bands surround yellow, orange and crimson red…this a bad one, no doubt. I am so tired from the ride I fall asleep for two hours and wake to the patter of rain. I check my radar again and the yellow and orange are not far behind. The wind picks up, my tent billows from side to side and I say a silent prayer that my stakes will hold true. The lightening starts, thunder crashes around, and the rain starts pouring down. I sit with a small flashlight in hand but who needs it, the sky is bright with streaking bolt after bolt thrown down.

” I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”…my tent has come to life.

Harder and harder blows the storm, the rain now pounding down. Flashes of lightening so close the sky shines though the fabric of the tent, two layers thick, one for airflow, the second for the rain. Bright blue and orange above me, two or three millimeters thick protecting me from the storm…

Two or three millimeters thick…

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”…

The wind worsens and I wonder if I will blow off like some bubble play home full of children, something I saw on the news this year… I touch the sides walls buffeted by shifting winds…still dry… I try to hold the thin metal rods which brace the tent in place but they are on the other side of one layer of cloth…there is no way for me to help…

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”…

The thin wall at my foot now is curled back back by the howls and force of the wind. Water starts to seep in, from horizontal rain. Though the small up turned slit I see bolt after bolt flash across the sky, thunder keeps crashes around. I can do nothing but wait…I check the radar on my phone, we are now in crimson red. Three walls of the tent seem dry, the brunt hitting from the Northwest. I decide I had best try to bail some water to protect my things. Out come my orange riding socks and I begin to mop, and mop,and mop…

The wind is blasting , the rain pounding, bolts crashing , tent billowing and I am bailing and bailing with soaked orange socks. I wring them out over and over again out the Southeast flap.

” I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”…

After an hour or two the storm abates and then there is calm, a gentle patter of rain. I dare to go outside and check the stakes, all have held. Below me are tents in 4 inches of rain, the park now a lake… I look down at my small tent and am in shock at what I have just gone through.

My little tent sighs…” I know I can, I know I can, I know I can”…


I hope tonight is not a repeat performance, time will tell. I left that same tent in the van and decided to weather the storm under a tin roof 4 feet off the ground on a wooden picnic table.
My tent will be dry and happy all night inside the van…
I am as prepared as I can be but with my remaining few hours of sunlight I think I will go look for Circe’s cave…must be around these corn fields somewhere…
She can look after me and my 11 traveling companions, though turned to hogs, will at least be dry, safe, and out of harm. Might take a few years for them to turn back to humans but at least I will be having a good time…
Oink Oink!!!

2 thoughts on “Day 24 Finding Circe

  1. Bless you, Odyssius. I hope you wake up dry! We’re having angry storms here too, but I’m comfortably inside with AC & a handy flashlight just in case. Be safe tomorrow. XXXXXXX

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


  2. Hi Nick,
    I hope conditions were a lot better 3 years later! I remember holding up the poles during the storm hoping the tent wouldn’t blow away with me in it.
    Be safe,


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