Some Thoughts 2.5 Days Before Takeoff
T-minus 2.5 days until Dustin and I start our cycle sabbatical with a train ride up the Pacific coast to Seattle. Let’s just say shit’s getting real. (And let’s also say, in advance, sorry to Dustin’s mom and my dear friend and co-worker Paula Allen who will have to endure a small amount of swearing throughout this travel log. Swearing is better than lying and I would be lying if I promised I was not going to swear in this blog… or in real life… for the duration of my 4,200-mile bicycle adventure).
Physically – I think we have everything we need. It’s like that scene in Happy Gilmore. His bags are packed…just send him home..! Just tap it in!
[Now would also be a good time to give you fair warning that there are going to be a superfluous amount of Wayne’s World, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and Dumb and Dumber references throughout this blog. I don’t condone it…. But. It’s happening.]
At this point, all we have to do now is just take the first step; leave the house; peddle the first mile; just tap it in if you want to go on this metaphorical golf journey with me.
It’s so close!! And so exciting! ….but also a little scary.
Dustin and I have been planning this journey for a year now (!). We know all of the people who work at REI and their stories (and they know ours. Oh boy, so they know ours…), we’ve done training rides, I rode my bike from Ventura to Simi Valley at least 52 times, I’ve mapped out my daily goals and contacted a bunch of straw bale builders we want to meet across the states…. Now………..we just have to do it.
I’ve never done anything like this before (nothing of this magnitude). I haven’t been unemployed for 20 weeks since 2005 (and even then I had a job. It was just a much, much better job learning about English Literature and Art History for a $0 per hour wage). I’ve never attempted to ride my bike 5 days a week for 16 weeks in a row, and I sure have never walked up to a stranger’s house to ask them if I could pitch a tent on their front yard (double entendre intended) (Sorry again, Dustin’s mom. We’re going to get to know a lot about each other in this blog, aren’t we?). So I really don’t know what to expect. It’s all new.
Shannon Hoon would be proud of all the changing we’re doing, I think. I feel pretty good about it, at least.
So, 2.5 days from leaving…. The world is my oyster.
I’m excited to spend 20 weeks exploring the northern tier of the US slowly. (oh so slowly.) I’m excited to be a part of it all (no a passer by). I’m excited about our sabbatical! About making this trip an opportunity to flesh out opportunities and move a step closer to living the life we want to live (in a magic straw bale house surrounded by food we grow and eat). I am excited that we made a commitment to take this dream adventure and that we’re actually making it happen.
And I am a little scared of all the unknows.
But a little fear never hurt anyone.
I feel like this – in my introspective pre-trip ramble – is a great time and place to also mention grateful and truly blessed I am to have had so many people come out of the woodworks over the last weeks and months to show me how truly, deeply loved and appreciated I am. And – it’s also a great time to tell those people how truly madly deeply loved and appreciated they are as well.
As a (not) recovering introvert, it can be easy to fall into a routine of isolation; to feel – by no one’s fault other than my own – that I am utterly alone in the world at times. That no one would come if you had a giant BBQ in your honor. Putting my plans to take this trip into the world has forced me to shatter all of those existential falsities I subconsciously and secretly harbor. PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO MY BBQ! People – YOU! – donated $10 (or sometimes much more!) to my bike fundraising efforts! It’s frikkin amazing! And really, really special.
I feel so loved and ready to share that love with the Northern Tier of the United States.
I have one more post about sparkle Grittering the crap out of my helmet that I want to share before we leave, but after that……. I’ll talk to ya’ll in Seattle! And then…. Onward! In Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine (…and possible all those other Atlantic Coast states between Maine and North Carolina).
Keep on dreaming boy cause when you stop dreaming it’s time to die.