You’re on a weekend getaway, it’s been too long. You’re cupped in a chair beside a river watching time glide by with a glass of iced tea and a rare book cracked open. Your mind is traveling the historic seas of 1800, pages turning wildly. You’re transfixed. It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday in August and at times like this, like any deserving book does, it ends leaving you sick with want for another salty tale.
You need a bookstore, bad. However you’re ten miles from civilization and the only thing you can muster out of pure desperation is riding a bike that is too small for you through the barren woods to get one. You open the rusty shed door and stare at it’s two wheels wondering if they’ll get you where you need to go, the seat is too low so you take it to it’s highest setting. You tighten the post and make due. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
It’s a ten mile ride along an abandoned railway line between here and town where the nearest bookstore is, you throw a leg over and begin to pedal. The sun breaks through the trees every so often and you ring the bell to let bears know you’re there. If there are any. You remember once a black bear with her cub who ran down the embankment and up the other side. A Garter Snake pokes his head out on the trail and scares the shit out of you. You ring the bell again and relish in the idea of discovery, a new book about the high seas and wonderment. More of a distraction.
You start to approach town and see cabins peppered along a lake more frequently. An old lady yanks two leashes with tiny dogs on the end of them. You let out a sigh of relief. People. You pedal by her with a “Hello” that startles her, she must be losing her hearing. The trail eventually opens to swerve out into a parking lot and down the main street. Rounding a corner you pedal by the liquor store in a town where everyone knows everyone.
The book store is open and thank god for that. You spot them brewing a new pot of coffee through the side window, and you flip down your kickstand on a solid part of grass entering with a booming “Hi!” that shatters the silence with cut-eye. A surly store-keep shuffles you to a back corner because you’re looking for adventure. There is no ordering system, no categorical nest, just dig around in this general area and something will turn up – he coaches.
Lifting a stately pile of books about old steamers and do-it-yourself boat building, you discover it, disguised by it’s size, a tombe of great adventure. Sterling Hayden’s one and only novel: Voyage – aside from his autobiography. It’s massive and it deserves to be read. By you. Next to the river. The hardcover slips in your hands as you lift it and you wonder just how on earth you will carry this rare heathen back along the trail to the river. And how you will ring that bell riding with only one hand. But it doesn’t matter, you’ll sing your way back to the river now that you’ve found your next adventure.
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