Jephir Treks America: Bumbling Through Central America

A 6 week adventure in gastronomica, sights, and observation.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Madison, sort of...

Well, just arrived in Madison, WI. Have to say that although I had quite a few expectations due to my enjoyable stay about a year ago I have yet to be disappointed - who needs a city on a hill when the city by the lake is so beautiful? The plane ride was generally uneventful, if quite full given the fact that it was a redeye flight. Got to sleep on the first flight to Chi-town, a bit more in the freezing United terminal at O'Hare and then didn't realize the plane had left before we landed. Madison has a rather funny bus system - seems to have few problems, but people were taking the bus for 10-15 blocks! Perhaps they were cold, given the 50 degree temperatures that greeted me when I left the terminal. After a little mucking about I checked into the hostel without trouble and had an enjoyable discussion over some green tea with another hosteller of the type who both inspires and frightens me. I find guys like Scott inspiring since he appears to travel around with relative impunity, frightening because I wonder if I would appear as crazy and oddly lonely if I were living a similar life.
After some pretzels I wandered to a local bike shop which is located within a castle (why a castle? nobody seemed to know - it was as if they hadn't noticed the spires and archways). For $20 I received this odd gary fischer hybrid bike where you sit upright but ride on roadbike tires and have a front suspension system. Muy interesante, no? Followed some of the bikepaths and ended up in the middle of the arboreteum. Here are some thoughts from a deserted pathway:

It's amazing what a year in SoCal does to the senses - you arrive in a city on a lake, with relatively clean air and trees which aren't artificially supported through watering and you're simply astounded at the abundance of life, the green which appears to be everywhere and the wonder of being esconced in life. The UW - Madison Arboreteum strives to recreate native communities of life rather than focus upon individual specimens. The result is a proliferance of life throughout, from the songbirds which encroach as I write to the field of 6' tall wild grasses interspersed with wildflowers. One can feel the energy of this place throughout, like waves rolling softly, constantly onto shore.

more tomorrow?


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