Casey and Jacob and I arrived at Georgetown Lake a bit early today, so I'm finally responding to your letter that I got in W. Yellowstone! Thanks for writing...
So I'll try to answer your questions first:
Yes, I've been keeping a journal and have filled up a couple of notebooks (half-size ones) already. It's been a very important part (though sometimes difficult) of the trip, for recording events, of course, but also for figuring things out and for company when I'm lonely, and a book to keep track of my emotions, both good and bad.
I have not been reading nearly as much as I do at home, and one of the reasons is that up until a few days ago, I didn't carry any books. See, I love to read, and I knew that if I HAD a book, I would be much more inclined to read it after a difficult day, then to try to write. And although its been hard (not having books) at times, I know I would not have written nearly as much. But I read when ever I stay somewhere with books, and so I also tend to learn about the history of [each place], just because most people have at least one book that is about their state of region. I've discovered some great books that way. I borrowed a book from the O'Haires though, and yesterday and today I read it (and finished it) without neglecting my writing! It was a very powerful book-- Dick Gregory's autobiography, entitled "Nigger". I highly recommend it.
Ooh, a deer just leapt though my campsite! I stayed perfectly still, and so now it is grazing amid that sun-dappled lodgepole pines. This is a nice camping place!
I get lots of chances to do other things besides bicycle when I'm on the road--bicycling is almost like a means to discovering things, like caves and flowers by the roadside and the setting sun on the mountains and intense conversations with perfect strangers by candlelight... All these things and millions more--although I haven't (VERY UNFORTUNATELY) been able to dance much :( I'm afraid that I'm gonna get to camp and be all stiff and rusty... It'll come back though. As for "lying around all day and just thinking and hanging out...", I do a LOT of thinking on the seat of my bicycle! It is where I wrestle with loneliness, exclaim at beautiful scenes, think about all SORTS of things, from racism to whether or not you can get tan on the soles of your feet!
I don't know what I'm going to "do next" after this trip, though this journey is sparking many ideas...
Anyway, I hope I've answered your questions, and here is a photo for you...
I'll try to write soon--
P.S. Thanks so much again for all your energy in keeping the website up!