Aloha everyone! I last left off in Houston and sure as Shirley I am still there. Why you ask? Well let me tell you a little story. It all starts on my last bicycle trip I took across the country with my father. We had managed to make it to California without much issue, besides my father's constant flat tires. About a third of the way down the coast of California, a rash appeared on my lower back, a few days prier having taken a poop in the woods. It turned out to be poison ivy, and since I was riding a bike sweating and pumping blood it quickly spread from my lower back to my neck and was nearing my mouth. So I had to go into an urgent care facility and get put on steroids which lasted the rest of the trip.
Fast forward eight and a half years, I found myself in Chappell Hill Texas, camping on the side of the road. I was having a hard time finding a place to camp and when I finally did I was tired and just wanting to set up camp and make dinner. I paid little attention to the plants around me and started clearing out an area for my tent. I didn't notice until a bit later that a couple of the plants I was stepping on looked a bit like poison oak. I had nothing I could do at this point, my tent was set up and I was already eating dinner, "Oh well, maybe it isn't poison oak" I thought. I just went to sleep. A few days later sure enough it was poison oak and having touched myself in a couple of precarious places, mainly around my eye I couldn't risk leaving. If I did leave I ran the risk of it spreading and getting worse just like on my last bike trip. So I am still here in Houston, probably will be for a couple more days until this hopefully clears up on its own. But as of now all I want to do is scratch my skin off and call it over.
However, being stuck in Houston has turned out to be very good. I had mentioned my couchsurfing host in my previous post. I would like to emphasize here how awesome he has been. He is a truly kind hearted and genuine person. One of those people who is friends with everyone even if he is meeting you for the first time. He has been extremely nice to me and very helpful, and I am truly grateful to have landed on his couch. All of his friends have been very welcoming and kind and everything I have experienced here has been absolutely wonderful.
This trip has brought me to so many beautiful places and has introduced me to so many beautiful people. It has been a humbling experience. There are not enough words in the english language to describe the wonderful things I have experiences. Our world is amazing, the people in it are still beautiful and all have something amazing to contribute. I know I say this a lot, but I keep being reminded of it every day and I cannot help but share it. I rode out into this world on a whim and a big cloud of dreams and ideas and have been so graciously met that I am overwhelmed with love and appreciation from every side. I want to thank everyone who has taken me in, helped me, or even just smiled at me when I smiled at them. Every single one of you have made this trip what it is. It is all of you who make me look forward to continuing and seeing more. It is now become a bit of an obsession to continue to explore and meet new wonderful people.
I love you all truly and hope that at some point some of you will join me on my quest. If only for a day, I encourage you to come out and ride with me. I will help arrange a bicycle for you if you need one, just let me know you are coming. Thank you all again, and I look forward to seeing you all on this trip, whenever and wherever I may run into you, even if it is right where you live, just keep a couch open for me!
I will probably post again once I start underway to Louisiana, which will hopefully be soon!
ALOHAS my brothers and sister, and my mother and father. I love you.