|When the fairy conference came to an
end, many were sad to go back out into the straight world of less sharing
and creativity between men. I was sad to be leaving, but also looking
forward to the rest of my bicycle adventure. Next on my itinerary
was a beautiful climb over Santiam Pass in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.
By coincidence, I passed the entrance to a "Straight Creek Road."
Transition from fairy life to normalcy was gradual, for me, due to the fact that I was bicycling, rather than speeding away by car. As I rode, down the gravel road away from Breitenbush, cars would pass full of people I had met. There were friendly honks and waves as the cars passed. Soon I was back on the paved highway where more of the general public goes by. Mothers with kids, retired loggers and many others would also wave when they saw the conference people waving at me. For a moment, it made the whole world seem friendlier.
Waving stopped by the time I got past the resort town of Detroit, Oregon. Conference people had all left by then, but bicycling brought out different sides of "normal" civilization. At one of my rest stops, near the top of the Santiam Pass, there was a parked car. Someone was taking in the view.
He saw my bike and decided to share a story. It was about the bike ride his dad had just gone on called the "Ragbrai Ride." That ride goes across the state of Iowa. Every year Ragbrai brings close to 16,000 cyclists from all over America. It's in "mid America," but the ride is crazy. Lots of costumes, nudity and partying at camp stops. It has been described as a "MARDI GRAS ON WHEELS;" just the thing that the drag queens would love. Maybe some year I'll be part of Ragbrai.