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执着地迈向成功、酝酿成熟。人生是一连串教训,经历了才会理解

 
 
 

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我不可能做到别人要求我做每一件事,我只有足够时间去做我该去做的事情。如果我无法把每件事情都作到尽善尽美,这便意味着我想做的事情已经超过了我该去做。认清了自己的人生坐标,我的生活变得更为简单了,作息安排也更为合理。 魅力由它而生,它是苦难的根源,也是塑造坚强现在的原因。愿意相信别人,能够承担别人的信任,相信别人却是极其艰难的决定。心底的秘密存在于过去,找到那个能接受过去的人,就能有勇气焚毁所有的担心,融化冰封的城堡,让世界大地回春。

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千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里)  

2011-10-25 15:15:59|  分类: message |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客

退休的年龄,幼儿园的心;我们总是挂在嘴上的梦想却总也没胆儿去追逐,而一个美国老人一个人骑单车穿越祖国的壮举给了我们狠狠的一击,我在这个故事里看到了自己骨子里的懦弱与卑微。什么叫生活?我们懂得实在太少!

说起来,我横穿全国的自行车旅行真可谓是行色匆匆,要知道我仅仅花了两周的时间就到达了匹茨堡(译者按:笔者是从美国西北部的俄勒冈州海岸出发,而匹茨堡位于东北部的宾夕法尼亚州)。路上我熬过了密歇根州和俄亥俄州的阴沉天气、像坐过山车一样翻越了阿巴拉起亚山脉的山麓、忍受了进入市区后拥堵的交通和蜗牛般前行的无奈。接着在这次骑行的后期,也就是三个月前,我开始放慢速度,在歪歪斜斜的路上开始了我返家的旅程。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
Bruce Weber started his cross-country cycling trip at the Oregon coast in July. Here he made a stop in Pomeroy, in eastern Washington. (His bike is the red one.)

布鲁斯·韦伯(Bruce Weber)于七月份从俄勒冈海岸开始了他横穿全国的自行车旅行。这是他在东华盛顿的Pomeroy歇脚。(那辆红色的自行车就是他的座驾)。
For three days, instead of plunging ahead eastward toward Manhattan, I veered to the south along the 
Great Allegheny Passage, a lovely rails-to-trails thoroughfare through the woods that accompanies a couple of splendid wild rivers I’d never heard of, the Youghiogheny and the Casselman, and crosses the Mason-Dixon Line, connecting Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Md., where, if you choose, you can pick up another off-road trail to Washington.
三天来,除了朝着曼哈顿一路向东,我还沿着阿勒格尼大公路(位于宾夕法尼亚州,Great Allegheny Passage)转向南方,这条令人愉快的大路由铁路过渡为小径,我一路穿过了丛林,还有一些我从前闻所未闻的壮美河流,穿过了约克加尼河(Youghiogheny)、卡斯尔曼河(Casselman),越过了梅森—狄克森线(美国宾夕法尼亚州与马里兰州之间的分界线,也是南北方的分界线),这条线连接着匹茨堡和马里兰州的坎伯兰(Cumberland),在那儿你也可以下了公路、选择一条野道去往华盛顿。

I’m in Cumberland as I write this. It’s 10 days or so before publication, so by the time you read this I might well be home with my feet up and my knees swaddled in ice. The temptation, of course, is to race to the finish, and to imagine it even before I get there. That’s certainly how my previous continental crossing ended 18 years ago; I was 39, a young man eager to feel a conqueror of the country and to accept the plaudits of friends and colleagues. This time, while I won’t say that I won’t be ready for the trip to end when it does, I’m feeling the different pleasures of delayed gratification.

写这段文字的时候我正在坎伯兰。距发表文章还有10天的时间,所以当您正读这篇文章的时候,我也许已经到了家、翘着二郎腿,膝盖上裹着冰袋呢。当然了,这旅行对我的诱惑便是到达终点,还有就是在到达终点前脑中始终想着“到达终点”。后者就是我上一次、即18年前横穿大陆的终结状态。当时我39岁,是个渴望感受征服整个国家并接受朋友同事鼓掌喝彩的愣头青。然而现在,旅行完成之前,我不会再放言说我信心满满,这种迟到的满足给我带来了不同的愉悦。

I’m feeling the pleasures of contrariness, too. Why is everyone trying to rush me? 

我还感受到了矛盾心理带给我的愉悦。干嘛每个人都在催促我?

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
The author was joined by Tom Scribner, left, a lawyer from Walla Walla, on a back road route in southeast Washington.

汤姆·斯科莱布诺(Tom Scribner,左侧)加入了笔者的旅程,他是一个来自瓦拉瓦拉的律师。他们正在华盛顿东南部的一条小路上。
People have been telling me that the tough part of my cross-country bicycle journey was behind me, or that I was almost finished, or that the rest would be easy — or some related sentiment — ever since I crossed the Continental Divide, and several friends and readers wrote to express the absurdly wrong idea that it was going to be all downhill from there. When I reached the Mississippi River at its source in northern Minnesota, a grocery clerk made sure to inform me that I was closer to the finish than the start. In Minneapolis, in Madison, 
Wis., and again in Chicago, the friends I met up with offered congratulations as if I were already taking a victory lap.

周围人总是对我说着说那,说我横穿全国的自行车旅行的苦头还在后头呢,或者说我已经差不多完成了旅行,或者说剩下的旅程我可以轻松拿下,亦或是一切其他的观点。从我跨过大陆分水岭开始,就有一些朋友和读者纷纷告诉我一个可笑的错误观点——过了分水岭之后的路都是下坡。当我到达密西西比河位于北明尼苏达州的源头的时候,当时一个食杂店的店员很肯定的告诉我,说比起出发点,现在的位置离终点更近一些。在明尼阿波利斯(Minneapolis)、麦迪逊(Madison)、威斯康星(Wis.)还有芝加哥,我路遇的朋友们纷纷向我表示祝贺,就好像我已经胜利了、正绕场一周享受欢呼一样。
When I began my ride on July 20 in Astoria, Ore., the continent was sprawled enormously in front of me, but from the outset what people (noncyclists, generally) always seemed to be interested in was when it would be over. I understand the impulse; it’s a way of encapsulating an enterprise that doesn’t exactly fit in a capsule. After all, an endless journey is a little intimidating, a little scary — Columbus sailing off over the flat edge of the world — but a journey that ends you can put in your pocket.

7月20日,当我从俄勒冈的阿斯托利亚(该州西北部的城市)开始这段旅程的时候,庞大的陆地在我面前伸展着,但是从一开始,人们(通常是不骑自行车的人)似乎总是对旅程何时完毕很感兴趣。我明白这种冲动,这是一种装不下、挡不住、无法用一言蔽之的进取之心。无尽的旅程总是有些吓人的,有些毛毛的感觉,哥伦布不就是曾担心会从世界的尽头掉下去吗(当时人们认为世界是平的),但旅程完毕后,你甚至可以将世界装到你的口袋里。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
The author was constantly aware of cars and trucks on the road.

笔者在路上经常会遭遇呼啸而过的大卡车。
Still, the actual day-by-day doing of the trip — the hours-at-a-time riding, the countless pedal strokes and huffing and puffing up hills, not to mention the daily deciding on a route, the finding of places to stay, the maintaining of the bike and the consuming of sufficient calories — has been so fraught with effort that I’ve never been able to project and see myself any farther east than, say, the Holiday Inn Express across the county.

日复一日的旅程、一次持续数小时的骑行、无数次的蹬车以及气喘吁吁的上坡下坡,更别提每天还要决定路线、找地方落脚过夜、维修养护自行车还有消耗量的卡路里,我从未如此努力的付出辛劳、规划筹备这些事项,也从没到达过这么靠东的地方,比遍布全国的假日快捷酒店最东边的店还靠东,呵呵。
This isn’t to say I don’t dream about crossing the George Washington Bridge with my arms raised in triumph (and then putting away my bicycle for a winter’s hibernation.) I do. But my visions aren’t terribly convincing; they generally engender despair, causing me to sigh out loud and give off a lament that begins with the words “I’ll never. ... ” It makes me more than a little nervous to write this article now, about 300 miles from Manhattan. It may be easy to expect that someone who has already pedaled 3,600 miles can do 300 with his eyes closed, but I don’t think so. In order to own those miles, I have to expend my energy on them; in order to live those days, I have to work through all their hours. I’m as daunted by the next 300 miles as I was in Astoria by the first 3,600.

这并不代表我不想双手高高举过头顶、洋洋得意的穿过乔治华盛顿大桥(然后将我的自行车放到一边儿冬眠去),我确实这样想来着,但这种愿望终究没有说服我的能力,还总是让我产生沮丧的情绪,导致我大声叹息,并以“我以后决不……”起头开始我的忏悔演说。现在我离曼哈顿还有300英里的距离,所以在写这篇文章的时候我感受到的可不光是一点点小紧张。让一个已经骑了3600英里的人闭着眼睛再骑上300英里,这听着是一件再简单不过的事清,但我可不这么认为。为了骑过去这300英里,我不得不指望我的体力还吃得消,为了度过这些天,我不得不争分夺秒,现在我面对接下来的300英里的气馁情绪,与当初在阿斯托利亚我面对最初的3600英里行程时的萎缩相比,丝毫不差。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
The author spent a night in a bunkhouse at the Alkali Creek Ranch in Washington.

笔者在华盛顿Alkali Creek农场的工人宿舍住了一宿。
I’VE often told people that traveling by bicycle isn’t the contemplative, mind-meandering activity that it is generally presumed to be. Rather, it’s concentration-enhancing. When I’m cycling I tend to be focused on cycling, keeping a close eye on the road, keeping tabs on the messages my bicycle and my body are sending me. But one thing that has diverted me all across the country is the relationship between time and distance. I’ve measured my progress with both of them: Closing in on 4,000 miles and 13 weeks. 

我总是听到人们说起,骑自行车旅行并不像大家普遍认为的那样、是什么冥想或者是类似于精神漫游的一种活动。反之,这需要高度集中的精神力。在骑行过程中,我试着专注于骑行本身,留心着路况,密切关注着我的自行车和我的身体所传递给我的一切信息。但是有一件事情使我在横跨全国的过程中分了心,那就是时间与距离的关系。我测量了我在二者上的进展:距离接近4000英里,时间接近13周。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
In Wolf Point, Mont., visitors are greeted by this cowboy.

到了蒙大拿州的沃尔夫波因特(Wolf Point),观光客们就会看到这个牛仔在冲他们打招呼。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
The author went to a powwow on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation outside Wolf Point, Mont.

笔者去了蒙大拿州的沃尔夫波因特(Wolf Point)外的佩克堡印第安人保留地并见证了该地的一次巫医仪式。
It interests me that both time and distance are concepts in the abstract but that both are more often used in specific terms — a particular span of one or the other — and can be described similarly, as long or short. On a tiring afternoon I’ll habitually monitor my odometer and do the math — 23 miles to go, two hours if the wind doesn’t turn; I’ll be in my motel by 5:15. It suggests that time and distance are inextricably related, but that isn’t so. If I stood still on the shoulder of the road, 5:15 would come and go on the shoulder of the road. You’ve noticed, haven’t you, that 23 miles in two hours is 11.5 miles an hour? That’s pretty slow, unless you’re climbing or facing a tough wind. Thirteen weeks might describe a lot more than 4,000 miles for a stronger or more zealous cyclist. On the other hand, I’m dancing as fast as I can.

让我感到有趣的是,无论是时间还是距离都算是抽象的概念,但却常常会在使用的时候有专业术语对其描述——一段具体的跨度或是其它——在使用中还有相似之处,都可以用长或短来形容。一个下午,疲劳的我习惯性的看了看我的里程表并计算了一下——还有23英里,如果风向不变的话应该需要两个小时。五点一刻的时候我将会到达预定的汽车旅馆。虽然这说明时间与距离之间的联系是毋庸置疑的,但也并未完全如此,如果我静止站在路肩上,那么五点一刻的时候我就将会在路肩上度过了。现在你是不是已经意识到了,两小时23英里就相当于每小时要骑11.5英里。如果不是正在上坡或者迎着强风,那么这个速度可以说是相当慢的。对于更强的或者更热衷骑行的骑手来说,十三个星期会比4000英里这样的描述更生动。再者说,在速度上我已经尽我所能了。
In sum, for time to be meaningful, it needs to be filled by distance; for distance to be meaningful, it needs to fill an appropriate measure of time. A long trip like mine — 
timewise, I mean — requires a lot of distance to make the whole experience rise above standing on the roadside. You have to pedal and keep pedaling. 

总而言之,对于一段有意义的时光来说,我们最好用距离来描述它,而对于一段意义非凡的旅程而言,需要用合适的时间单位来测量它。像我经历的这种长途旅行——我的意思是,时间上来讲——需要很长距离使整个体验不受到路边的影响。你必须得蹬车子、一直蹬下去。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
A different kind of landscape in Mansfield, Ohio.

俄亥俄州的曼斯菲尔德又是一派截然不同的风光。
Perhaps you sense a larger metaphor looming ahead. Good for you, because here it comes. I decided to make this trip in the first place because I felt my résumé for adventure wasn’t keeping pace with my advancing age. Unlike my last trip, which I viewed, somewhat contradictorily, as both a young man’s errand and a farewell to youth, this one, at age 57, has been about my encroaching mortality, no doubt about it, and when I compare the two journeys I recognize in the current one the frailty of age. I’m slower. I’m less eager to ride long days and long hours and ride with the sun going down. I’m much more concerned about finding a place to stay and knowing early in the day where I’ll be spending the night. Never an especially intrepid downhiller, I now ride the brakes on a steep incline like a grandfather. And though I’ve been thinking all across the country that there is simply more auto traffic than there used to be, and that roads that felt safe 18 years ago are now riddled with hazard, it occurred to me recently that I’m simply more attuned to cars on the road and no longer blithely unconcerned about them. To put it bluntly: I’m more of a chicken.

也许你觉得我这样做另有一番深意。嗯,你是对的,因为这就是我接下来要讲的。我一开始决定进行这次旅行是因为我觉得我的冒险经历与年龄不相称,按我的观察,这次与我上次的旅行不同,甚至有些相反,一个是作为年轻人多跑动跑动,一个是为了与青春作别,毫无疑问,我在57岁上的这次旅行是因为死神渐近。当我对这两次旅行进行比较的时候,我意识到在这次旅行中我的年龄是个弱点。我行动速度比以前慢了,也不太想进行那种直至太阳落山的长时间骑行,。我更关心的是找地方歇脚和早早知道在哪里过夜这些事情。我再也不是那个喜欢快速冲下坡的傻大胆了,我现在像个老爷爷一样在途经陡坡的时候会一边骑一边刹车。尽管我曾经忧虑过我穿越全国的路上的车辆比以前可多得多,而且那些18年前对我来说如履平川的道路现在却满是危险,但似乎现在的我更适应道路上的车辆了,也不再会对这些危险的车辆不屑一顾了。说白了,我现在就是个胆小鬼。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
After a long day’s ride, the author turns to practical concerns.

骑了一整天之后,笔者开始关心起自己的生活琐事(洗衣服)。
All that acknowledged, my decision to ride cross-country again was a great one. Not because I’ve staved off anything grim, but because I’ve found a new way to think about my life — as a self-powered trip across the country. What is distance, after all, but experience?

大家都认为我要再次来个穿越全国的自行车旅行是个了不起的决定。这不是因为我不顾那些艰险,而是因为我找到了思考人生的新方式——那就是自助穿越全国。距离不过就是经历。
Maybe you will scoff. O.K., it’s a little facile. But what I’m trying to do here is spin the cliché, not fall back on it. I don’t declare that life is a journey. I do think what I’ve discovered is that a journey can add depth and dimension to a life and even, in retrospect, represent it.

也许你们会嘲笑我。这没什么,我这么说确实有点肤浅,但是我正尝试做的事情不是重述陈词滥调,而是将其翻新。我并没有宣称生命是一场旅行。我认为我发现的道理是,一次旅行可以增加你生命的深度和广度,甚至在你回顾一生的时候可以侃侃而谈。
Among other things, my path through the nation has made me far more conscious and appreciative of the nation. I’m not just speaking of the scenic highlights, though the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, Glacier National Park in Montana, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park in Minnesota, and the Great Allegheny Passage, where the fall colors were on vivid, spectacular display, are enough to make a patriot out of a cynic.

除了其他方面,我穿越全国的路途让我对这个国家有了更清醒地认识,也对他更为珍惜。我并不单单是针对风景极度优美的那一部分而言,尽管在俄勒冈的哥伦比亚河峡谷、蒙大拿的冰河国家公园、北达科他的西奥多·罗斯福国家公园、明尼苏达州伊塔斯卡州立公园中的密西西比河源头和阿勒格尼大公路这些地方,秋色盛宴般生动的展现在我面前,足以让一个玩世不恭、愤世嫉俗的人变成铁杆爱国者。
This was an American journey by a New Yorker who became more American as he went along. By virtue of absorbing almost 4,000 miles of thrilling landscape, inch by inch, I learned more about topography and how it figures in the identities of thousands of localities and millions of Americans than I had ever understood.

我作为一个地道的纽约人,随着这次穿越美国之行的推进,变得愈发美国了。凭借着饱览近乎4000英里令人窒息的美景的优势,我逐渐在地形学上和它如何影响着成千上万聚居百姓和美国人的身份认知这方面有了更深的领悟。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
Passing through Pennsylvania.

穿越宾夕法尼亚州
Is there any way for a cyclist, especially one from a vertical metropolis, not to be awestruck by northern Montana? It took me two weeks to cross its vast expanse, from the dauntingly magisterial Rockies in the west to the endless, wind-whipped flatland of the east, where the towns are dots on the highway dozens of miles apart, pulsing on the prairie like blips on a colossal oscilloscope. 

尤其对于我这样一个来自超级大都市的骑车人来说,北蒙大拿让我叹为观止。我花了两周的时间才穿越了这个广袤的区域,从西部绵延不绝的庄严神圣的落基山脉开始,我经过了狂风肆虐的东部平原,那平原上沿着公路两侧点缀着小小村庄,村庄间隔着数英里的距离,跳动在大草原上,就像示波器上闪动的一个个小光标。
Easterners, city dwellers and certainly Manhattanites tend to view the West with a kind of dismissive interest in its vastness and little interest at all in its variations. But it was striking to me how equally remote regions are hewn by different forces. In the Palouse of eastern Washington, where the golden wheat fields were so blanched by the summer sun that they seemed to reflect the light, life revolves around the heat and the harvest. A month after I left there, I passed through the flood-riddled plains of eastern North Dakota, where crops have been compromised, grazing land for sheep and cattle has been submerged (so have a number of roads, which seriously complicates getting from one small town to another), and everyone I spoke to, ranchers, hotel clerks, waitresses and pharmacists, joked unhappily about scanning the sky for the next cloudburst on the horizon.

东部人,城市居民和准曼哈顿人通常会对此处的广漠产生一种略带轻蔑感的兴趣,而很少会对此地的变化感兴趣。但是让我感到震惊的恰恰就是同样偏远的两个区域会被不同的大自然力量改造的大相径庭。在东华盛顿的帕卢斯,夏日的阳光晒得金色的稻田白花花的,反射着光线,人们的生活总是离不了大热天和大丰收。离开那里一个月后,我途经洪水泛滥的北达科他州东部平原,农作物纷纷低头折腰,牛羊的牧场也已没在洪水中(有些道路也被淹没,所以从一个小镇到另一个小镇是件挺麻烦的事儿),所有跟我聊过的人,牧场工人、旅馆伙计、女招待、药剂师都郁闷的打趣,说他们得盯紧天空,唯恐地平线上又会昭示有场大暴雨什么的。

千里走单骑——只身单车穿越4100英里(6598公里) - die rose - die rose的博客
Hitting the homestretch in fall: on a former railroad bridge in the Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania.

在秋天里返家的最后旅途上冲刺:在之前宾夕法尼亚州阿勒格尼大公路的铁道桥上。
In the heartland — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio — day after day I traversed enormous farms, and the sheer acreage of corn and soybeans, not to mention the huge grain silos and mammoth tractors and hay trucks, testified to the unending labor of farmers. They were always out working in the rain, and as I rode by, sodden myself, they always waved.

进入腹地后——明尼苏达州、威斯康星州、密歇根州和俄亥俄州——我日复一日的骑行在大片的田野上,满眼望去皆是玉米与大豆,还有巨大的粮仓、拖拉机、运送干草的卡车,见证着农民无穷无尽的劳作。我经过的时候总是看到他们在雨中劳作,雨点打湿我的衣襟,他们远远的向我挥手致意。
In addition to America, there were, of course, Americans. We New Yorkers can be hideously provincial, so enamored of our high-cultural advantages that we lord our sophistication over the rest of the population. An island off the coast of America — so goes the smug definition of Manhattan. Here is what I have to say about that after not being home for three months. New York City remains the national center of conversation; one thing I’ve missed on the road is the kind of verbal dexterity that you can find in any Manhattan bar. But one thing we could use more of in the city is the inclination toward benevolence.

除了对美国,我还对美国人民有了全新的认识,我们这些纽约人偏狭的可鄙,总是沉浸在我们高水平的文化优势中无暇旁顾,总以为凭着自己的良好教养就高人一等。美国海岸附近的一个岛屿——这就是自以为是的曼哈顿的定义。接下来就是离开家三个月后我不得不说的话。纽约市是国家的交际中心;在路上我唯一思念的就是在任意一家曼哈顿酒吧都能享受到的趣味盎然的聊天。然而我们更该发扬广大的是我们这个城市对于慈善的追求。
By the lights of my experience over the past three months, in most of America, the 
default temperament is decency. O.K., there were a few beer cans tossed at me out the windows of pickup trucks. But strangers have gone out of their way for me regularly, to give me a lift over construction sites or unridable gravel, to help me find a place to stay when none were evident, to do me simple favors when there was no actual reason to do so except the inclination to be kind. To give one example, I was on the road late one afternoon in the middle of Montana, and with 25 miles to Chester, the next town, and my strength flagging, I called the sheriff’s department to ask where I might stay that night. The woman who answered — I wish I could remember her name — not only called the two motels in town to find me a room (and called me back to say I had a reservation) but also asked if I needed her to send someone out on the highway to pick me up.

依着过去三个月里我积累的经验,在美国的大多数地方,都缺少彬彬有礼的气质。好吧,我这么说是因为路过我身边的小货车的窗口扔出的饮料罐砸到过我几次。但是总会有陌生人停下他们的脚步来帮助我,或是在路遇建筑工地或不能骑行的砂石地时让我搭车、或是在前不着村后不着店的时候帮我找歇脚的地方,或是帮我一些小忙,这都是因为他们的善良本性而并非另有他图。举个例子吧,有一天下午,在蒙大拿州的中部,我当天的骑行进度有些拖延,离下一个小镇切斯特还有25英里的距离,而我已经筋疲力尽,我打电话到州长办公部门询问过夜的地点,接电话的女士——可惜我不记得她的名字了——不仅给镇上的两个汽车旅馆打了电话、帮我询问有没有空房(并回拨给我告诉我已经预订了房间),还问我是否需要人手到高速公路口迎接。
“We do that all the time,” she said. “A lot of cyclists through here, and it’s a long way between towns.” 

“我们一直以来都是这样做的”,她说,“有很多人骑自行车路过这里,再说这里离市镇还有相当长的距离。”
It’s hard not to be grateful for that attitude. 

这样的态度,让人怎能不满怀感激。
MANY moments on the trip have revealed me to myself. I knew, before I started, how rigorous the trip was going to be — I’d done it before, after all — but I was unprepared physically. I can confess it now: the first two weeks I nearly gave up and flew home half a dozen times, thinking I could feign an injury. But I didn’t. The stick-to-it-iveness I needed to build up the stamina in my legs and my lungs was something I didn’t know I still had. As I approached the Rocky Mountains, I was sad, disappointed, weary, self-doubting. I was living with the kind of perpetual lump in my throat that I have associated for 40 years with the aftermath of a broken teenaged heart.

旅行中的很多时候我也对自己有了新的认识。出发前我就清楚这次旅行的严酷性——毕竟我以前就曾经这么干过——但是我体力上没有做好准备。我现在可以坦然承认:头两周我几乎要放弃了、多次想坐飞机飞回家了事,我可以假装是因为受了伤。但我没有那么做。我要坚持着骑下去,把我以为早就消失的活力带给双腿,将活力吸满我的双肺。就在我接近落基山脉的时候,我又伤心又失望、既疲惫不堪还缺乏自信。因为十几岁时心脏的衰弱,我喉部长了一块永久性的肿块,至今已伴随我四十余年了。
The turning point was Aug. 13, the day I crossed the Continental Divide on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. The ride to the top of the divide features an 11-mile climb that rises about 3,500 feet to Logan Pass, 6,646 feet above sea level. Intimidated, I’d intended to go around it, get through the mountains over a lower, less challenging and interesting pass, until a stranger at a lunch counter in Whitefish, Mont., shrugged and said it seemed awfully silly to be so close to one of the justly celebrated rides in America and not take advantage of it.

8月13号是个转折点,那天我正穿越分水岭,在冰河国家公园的向阳上奔驰着。这段去往分水岭顶端的旅程最突出的特点就是长达11英里的上坡,还有3500公尺就到洛根山隘,高于海平面6646公尺。我有点担心,所以本来决定绕过去,通过一条稍微低一点的、挑战性较低的有趣小径翻越这座山,但是我在蒙大拿州的白鲑鱼便餐馆遇上了一个陌生人,他劝我抓住这次机会,要是离美国赫赫有名的骑行路径如此之近却与其失之交臂的话,那简直是太蠢了。
He was, of course, correct, and two days later I set off from Lake McDonald Lodge in the waning dark of early morning, pedaled for nearly an hour as the sunrise glowed pink and orange behind the mountains and began the ascent with trepidation. My thighs and glutes strained and started to burn, but for three miles, my enthusiasm grew. Eight miles from the top the road makes a hairpin turn, ceases being a forest road and begins a series of switchbacks along a mountain precipice. The views are progressively gasp-inducing, but so was my muscle-weariness. I crept uphill, but, importantly, I kept creeping. At the top, the relief, the wonder, the thrill were previously unimaginable. The 17-year-old girl I longed for as a 17-year-old boy had just kissed me. It was exactly like that.

当然了,他是正确的,两天后我便随着晨间渐渐退去的黑暗、从麦当劳湖畔出发了。骑了将近一个小时的时间,太阳升起来了,朝霞橙粉相融,在山后绚丽夺目,我在惊惶中开始了上行的路段。我的大腿肌肉和臀大肌开始火烧火燎的疼,但是仅过了三英里,我的热情就燃了起来。离顶端还有八英里的时候,突然出现了急转弯,林间小径戛然而止,取而代之的是一系列的之字形山路,路旁边就是悬崖峭壁。这种地势渐渐让我气喘吁吁、肌肉疲惫。我往山上爬去,重要的是,我不停地往上爬。到了顶,那种放松、奇妙、激动的感觉是未登顶时绝对无法想象的。举个贴切的例子,那种感觉就像17岁的我吻到了我一直心仪的同岁女孩儿。
One of the things that makes me feel as though this bike ride is like my life is that it has been long enough in both time and distance that I can’t remember everything about it. Details, for example, from my several days’ ride through the Montana Hi-Line, the plains near the Canadian border, are hazy, the towns I stopped in mixed up in my head. Was that meal in Chester or Malta? The picture I took of the silos and the passing freight train — was that before or after I took a rest day in Havre? It’s hard for me to believe that the bike ride I’m on now is the same bike ride I was on then.

这次自行车旅程就像是我的人生一样,因为无论在时间上还是距离上,它都够长,足以使我记不起它的全貌。比如说我在蒙大拿高速公路上疾驰的几天里的细节、靠近加拿大边境的平原对我来说都是一片朦胧,我的脑海中还穿插着关于我停歇的小镇的记忆碎片。那顿饭是在切斯特吃的还是在马耳他吃的?那些关于粮仓和行驶的货运车的照片——是我在哈弗尔(Havre)休整之前拍的还是之后拍的?我简直不能相信我正在进行的这次自行车旅行与我那时的旅行是同一次。
But of course it is. The other day in eastern Ohio I turned a corner from a lonely country lane onto a better-used thoroughfare, a two-lane highway with a yellow center stripe and a very slender shoulder with a raggedy edge that dropped off dangerously into a cornfield. There wasn’t much traffic, and it was the sort of road I’ve been on a lot, though it always makes me a little nervous to share a lane with drivers who don’t expect a lot of company and hurtle by at high speed.

但它们确实是一回事儿。那天我在东俄亥俄州我从一条偏僻的乡间小路拐到了一条状况较好的大路上,这是一条有着中间黄色宽线和细长路肩的双车道公路,不尽规整的边缘略带危险的延伸到玉米地中。路上车辆并不多,尽管我经常在这种路上骑车子,但是和汽车司机们共享一条行车道让我多少有些紧张,因为这些司机往往不会想到这条路上还会有其他人,而且这个“其他人”还在疾速前行。
The moment I made the turn I had a vision, the kind of flash before your eyes that people call déjà vu. Maybe it was the time of day, late afternoon with its pretty, angled sunlight. Maybe it was the fact that there was sunlight at all; I’d been riding in wet weather for several days. Maybe it was the precise height of the corn or the precise width of the shoulder. Maybe it was the sense of anxiety at having to trust the drivers coming up behind me after happy hour had begun. Maybe it was my level of exhaustion. Whatever the stimulus, I saw in my mind’s eye a road outside McMinnville, Ore., that I’d ridden at the end of the second day of my journey. I suddenly recalled that whole day’s ride with utter clarity, from the Oregon coast on a rainy morning, along the twisty, forested bank of the Nestucca River, and out into a sunny valley with the foothills of the Cascades in the distance. It was as though I’d encountered a college friend I hadn’t seen in years and together we reconstructed the memory of a wild party in 1972. I love the idea that the bike trip, in and of itself, has its own vanished but recoverable memories. Perhaps there will be more of them before I’m done.

就在我转弯的那一瞬间,我眼前出现了熟悉一幕,那场景就在眼前一闪而过,通常人们管这叫“记忆错觉”。也许就是那个时候,是因为黄昏的日光折射着它的瑰丽。或许事实上当时根本没有阳光,;而我当时已经在潮湿多雨的天气里骑行了多日。也许是因为路旁玉米的高度或是路肩的高度。也许是因为欢乐时光开始之后、我必须信任从后面开向我的司机不会乱来的那种焦虑。也许是因为我疲惫的程度。不管那个使我眼前出现“记忆错觉”的东西是什么,我脑海中浮现出了俄勒冈州麦克明维尔(McMinnville)外的一条公路,那是我踏上旅程第二天的最后骑上的一条路。我突然间异常清晰的想起了那天所有的骑行经过,那是个下着雨的清晨,我从俄勒冈海岸出发,沿着Nestucca河弯弯曲曲、草木丛生的岸边小路行驶,驶入一个阳光充足的溪谷,远处是小瀑布群形成的层层山麓。那种感觉就好像我邂逅了多年未见大学好友、并和他叙旧、共同回忆1972年那一场狂野派对一样。我喜欢骑车旅行这主意,既喜欢整个过程也喜欢这个主意本身,因为它有着忽而消失忽而又重现的回忆。也许在我完成这次旅行前,这样的场景还会出现。
I hope it’s true that when you read this I’ll be home. I’m ready for the ride to come to its natural end, but I don’t want to anticipate it or celebrate it before it happens or even to talk about it. Eighteen years ago, from the time I crossed into Manhattan on my bike, I became the guy who had ridden across the country. But I’m no longer as eager to put the past behind me as I was in the past. If there’s one thing the ride this time has impressed on me, it’s that the present is where I want to live. Never wish away distance. Never wish away time.

我希望我真的能在你读到这篇文章的时候歇在家中。我准备好将这次旅行进行到底了,但是在旅程结束之前,我对它既不期望也不想庆祝,甚至不愿意谈及。十八年前,从我骑着车子进入曼哈顿开始,就成为了那个曾经骑车横穿全国的男人。但好汉不提当年勇,提起来好像我还活在过去一样。如果说起这次骑行给我印象最深的,那就是我想活在当下。铭记距离。铭记时间。

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