Updated: May 16
A Chequamegon T-shirt.... Yes, I realize it’s a big race. Nevertheless of all the things my mind had listed as possibilities for the immediate future, on a road without a name through the still eerily, mostly empty streets of Santa Fe… A bright red t-shirt from a bike race I had done in Chequamegon, Wisconsin was not on that list. Here is where, the more I adventure, my radar begins to ping. Not unlike those in the Roswell desert I had just left, saying “hey, um...something strange is happening here...anybody want to check this out a bit closer?!?” ...Or even the pulp fiction “Don’t blow this shit off, Jules!” kind of thing. When we set out in pursuit of a dream, the universe delights. Its radar also pings. “Hey, we got a live one! They ain't all dead yet, fire up the coincidence machine!” A wry grin crosses the operator's suddenly gleaming face, for he knows there is no such thing as coincidence. it’s just a word, invented by humans to allow themselves to remain comfortable…
Safe. The universe supports all who dare.
It dances when the human spirit awakens.
It revels in the possibilities. The potential. This is not a kind of, sort of, most of the time thing. It is law! So here I was, a subtle “coincidence” placed just off the street in front of the burrito shop, waiting for carry out… In her red Chequamegon race shirt. With a wry smile of my own and a quick “I see you working“ glance to the gods, I gave a shout. “Long way from Chequamegon, aren't you?” And with that one little question I met Kathleen and Dave Schultz from Duluth Minnesota. Both of whom it turns out, are friends with a great friend of mine, also from Duluth, Todd McFadden. What are the chances, right?!? They winter here and were grabbing burritos (damn tasty ones, I’d soon find out for myself) and heading up the mountain to enjoy them before sadly, in their own words, heading back home. Now, this in NO WAY implies Duluth is lacking, for it most certainly does not. Consistently a top multi-sport destination in the lower 48, it’s a gem in all seasons. But this is the land of enchantment and the thought of leaving it also makes me sad, even though I've only been here for 3 weeks. ...Or is it 4? I am honestly unsure as time is slowly losing its meaning. We talked about Duluth, shared northern experiences, and then the pay off for one simple question “Long ways from Chequamegon”: They proceeded to spill all of the local, behind the scenes, beans.
I sit here now, writing this from the steps of The Blue Beast. Sharing the story while overlooking the New Mexico desert back country just 45 miles northwest of Santa Fe. The landscape that inspired many a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, for the next couple days, is my home. As the day here draws to a close, the sun begins its retreat below the horizon. With each degree of drop, a new color is splashed onto the surrounding cliffs. The names of the colors are familiar, yet somehow each evening it's like I'm seeing them for the very first time. As the oranges, pinks and yellows eventually begin to fade, one bright star appears. Venus. Six more begin to twinkle as the sky further welcomes the oncoming night. Then fifty, one hundreed, and then……aaaaaah...Infinity. A stillness falls. A quietness so profound, so deafening, it must be heard to truly be understood.
The stars now in subtle retreat as I cast my gaze to the east. The realization that just hours prior the same sun disappeared from the exact opposite side of the sky makes my mind ache. I can feel it being stretched. All of this, the result of asking the question, and then accepting the gift: the “coincidence” provided by the universe. This life is not meant to be lived safely and comfortably. It certainly can be, but if...If...IF!!! we dare test the limits of what this life is capable of... What it can grow to be...What WE can grow to become...
The universe will be waiting, just a question away.