Day 16: Burlington Campground to Leggett, 45 miles
There are memorials everywhere. Seems every bridge across the Eel River is a memorial to someone, and then there are grove after grove of giant redwoods. And there are the makeshift crosses, erected at roadside, often with artificial flowers that bear testimony to those who perished in automobile accidents, at those particular places.
Memorials. To keep the memories alive. To re-member, bring back together, the facets of the life that has passed. Hundreds of entries on Zach’s facebook page, the new social media memorial. Hearing how he touched so many people, most who I do not know.
How do I make a memorial? I’m afraid I’m not very good at this. I have an existential fear, a thread running through my life, that keeps me wanting to avoid the reality and finality of death. And here, smacked up in my face, the death of one so dear and young and just last week, alive.
My theme for this tour, “End of World” was a little tongue-in-cheek, but also a real questions. Zach and I joked about it, as I set out from Newport borrowing his truck last Wednesday. I didn’t know, of course. How could I?
So, I am re-dedicating this tour, as the Zach Konowalchuk Memorial Ride, to carry his spirit and love, and to share with all who I meet along the road.
In Garberville, I ran into two members of Brown Chicken/Brown Cow, a string band which played at FireWorks during my 2010 tour. We talked about life, and other musicians who had passed.
A good ride today, many hills towards the end, then camping at the foot of Leggett Hill, which I will climb in the morning, then take the long descent to the Medocino Coast. Tomorrow afternoon, I should be in time to attend the Silver Jubilee, 125th Anniversary of the Fort Bragg Baptist Church, where my father served as pastor the year of my birth.