Exploring Dallas

2/15/22

What a great day! The weather may turn tomorrow (actually, I think I may hear a thunderstorm outside even now, as I type) but today, while windier than I would have liked, was sunny and 70-ish.

The day started when my Warmshowers host Brandon gave me a short walking tour of his neighborhood this morning. We saw some large and historic houses.

Then he biked off to his volunteer gig at Bike Friendly South Dallas WeCycle Center, while I biked over to the west side of town to meet my friends Ali and Ty, of A Matter of Impact. We had initially met via Instagram, probably about a year ago, and had the chance to do a Zoom at one point while I was still in Portland. I remembered that they lived in Dallas, so I was excited to meet them here.

We had a wonderful lunch at a Tex-Mex place, including a dish I had never heard of but which is apparently commonplace here: “table guacamole”! I wish I had thought to take a photo before the server left us with that glorious bowl of guac that you see, but what happened is he arrived at the table with a tray containing avocados and several large jars of other ingredients, such as chilies and chopped tomatoes. He asked if there was anything we didn’t want added, and I said I was a spice wimp, so I’d like to go easy on the chilies. He obliged, and proceeded to make the guacamole in front of us. Cool! It was delicious, as was the rest of the meal.

Ali and Ty have visions that are very aligned with mine. They believe in the power of individuals to make change in the world, and they have a blog (which they have recently decided to shift from a collaboration into more of Ali’s focus, since it was initially her idea and passion) and Instagram page to this end. They are currently looking for a van to purchase and outfit for the next chapter of their lives: van-life-ing it around the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them in person, and hope and trust that our paths will cross again, as we all continue to travel and follow our passions.

After we said our goodbyes, I headed back over the very cool bike-and-pedestrian-only Ronald Kirk Bridge. I took a few moments to bask in the sunshine in one of the groovy green chairs provided, and then received a text from Brandon, inviting me to visit the WeCycle Center before they closed.

So I hopped back on my bike and headed over there, with just barely enough time to make it. Unfortunately, I found the bike infrastructure along the way a bit lacking: grassy hills, rough and loose gravel that at times I found myself unable to bike on (so sometimes I walked the bike, sometimes rode along the grass to the edge). But the way also afforded me some cool views, such as a Kubrick-film-looking underpass at one point.

After the bike paths, I got on back onto roads with cars, and at one point passed a very cool colorful mural along the side of an underpass.

When I arrived at WeCycle, they were just closing their doors, but I got to look around inside a bit while they packed up, and Brandon also helped me to put my bike on a stand to clean and lube the chain myself, using some of the professional tools they had at the shop. This task—which I really should be doing once a week—was shamefully overdue, so it took many blackened rags and degreaser before it was ready to go again. But I felt great after it came back off the stand, fairly gleaming!

We biked back home and had a quiet evening, during which I polished off my leftover enchiladas from lunch.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to meeting another friend, and experiencing a classic Dallas vegan restaurant.

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