Public orchard in Drake Park, Des Moines, IA

Optimistic Trees were invited to help plant a few trees with Leslie, a Trees Forever coordinator, and Dr. David Courard-Hauri, a professor from Drake University, at the Drake Park. A public orchard is not only pleasing to the eye, but serves as a food resource for the community. Dr. Courard-Hauri has been taking care of it and enjoying the community come together around the harvesting season. Leslie taught us how to properly plant a tree with a simple tip shown in the video. At the end, Nikola definitely didn’t miss his chance to try the products of labour. Cherries were delicious!

Every trip needs a soundtrack

It’s official. Not to sound too ponderous, but through their tree-planting cycling quest Antej and Nikola have truly fallen for America the country, and America the people. And what better form of experience pression for said-feelings than song? For the diverse meshwork of musical styles and genres that we claim as ‘American’ reflect the kaleidoscope of people and places sprawled across our country.

American music is jazz. Bluegrass. Hip hop. Country. Folk. Rock and roll. Charlie Parker. Earl Scruggs. Jay Z. Kenny Chesney. Simon and Garfunkel. Billy Joel. Bob Dylan. It’s New Orleans, Nashville, Eastern Kentucky, Appalachia, and New York City. It’s big band and honky tonk, Broadway and Disney and Western film sound tracks. It’s banjo, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, and harmonica. It’s hep and cool, backwoods and hillbilly, pulsing and restless, rule-bending and off the cuff. It’s for hard times and letting loose. In Leonard Bernstein’s words: “It’s young music; it’s loud, strong, wildly optimistic.” It’s recklessly fun, playful, and absurdly hopeful. It’s us – a brave new sound, carved out of our differences and dissonances.

And so, in today’s post we are delighted to share with you the first of ten songs counting down to someone’s June 26th birthday. Each of the selections embodies biker enthusiasm and the American spirit. We hope you’ll join this mad affair, especially with Independence Day fast approaching, and help us in celebrating these United States. Please feel free to contribute ideas, suggestions, comments.

T-9. “How could I forget to mention, bicycle is a good invention” RHCP