Travel days scramble my perspective. Routines, habits, and thoughtless movements slide off my character while I grasp for rudimentary survival gestures in order to hold on to my mental acuity. Or, maybe in my case, find some mental acuity.
This fall my husband and I biked through the Driftless Zone of Wisconsin while small and large events mostly pleasantly surprised us. For example, on our second travel day I was surprised by the delectability of flathead catfish. But there were also unpleasant surprises, like the fact that (future) Secession President Jefferson Davis spent time in Prairie du Chien subduing Indigenous warriors. I was also rudely surprised by a Border Collie who spent his day sitting by the mailbox waiting for just one slow lady cycler to pedal by so he could give chase. I was not completely surprised by Google maps, which couldn’t properly inform the googler on conditions of rural Wisconsin roads.
But in the midst of that day, I received lovely encouragement in the form of a note. It was from a fellow traveler. This was someone on the journey of humanity — I assume simply trying to make it easier for the next person in line. It was forged in kindness. And I noticed.
I’m showing you so you can notice the kindnesses of fellow travelers. Here’s what I saw.