September 1, 2021
It was September 1, 2020, when I wrote the post announcing my dream of this bike tour.
And, I plan to physically launch the trip next Friday, September 10th.
I plan to return home at some point in mid-late September of next year (2022).
So… I feel as if I’m right at the start, at the precipice of this new adventure… and yet in a way, I’ve already had an entire year of “trip feels” as I’ve been steadfastly dreaming, planning, and moving toward this goal. (And having sooo many “magical meetings,” with so many of you, all around the nation and the world!)
This Friday, the 3rd, is my last day at my “day job” of the past 18 years. I’m walking away (or rolling away, I suppose) from my steady income, which feels scary. But I’m also walking away from the drudgery of a desk job I never really wanted in the first place, and into the open road of a dream I have long held, and many powerful connections I have yet to make.
I’m scared. And so excited!!
Some of the next challenges I’m facing:
Get my Portland life wrapped up in the coming week. Tie up loose ends at my job, pack away into storage everything in my condo that’s not coming with me, practice packing everything that is coming with me… go to several medical and dental appointments… see a few more friends… and continue seeking lodging for the first part of the journey.
The lodging is challenging. I’ve got friends, and a few Warmshowers hosts, lined up for Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and Klamath Falls. (And Oakland, where I’m heading on the train after Klamath Falls.)
However, I do have a “time gap” I’m working on: ten days during which I had hoped to bike down the coast, and/or across southern Oregon. I’ve not been able to find lodging in any of those places, despite significant effort. It’s been so challenging that I am starting to take this as a sign that unfortunately I just shouldn’t visit these places right now. And there are good reasons: heavy wildfires and smoke, and the highest COVID rates in the state. Probably best for my health if I don’t do it.
I’m disappointed, because I was looking forward to visiting those locations that would have been mostly new to me, and beautiful, either along the ocean or in the woods.
But, this trip is all about flexibility, taking things a day at a time, and “dancing with what is.” So… maybe I’ll spend extra time in Eugene. Maybe I’ll take day trips from Eugene. Maybe I’ll find a way to at least get as far as Ashland. And possibly meet a new acquaintance in Medford, and possibly another in Talent.
There are always options. The path will become clear in due time.
Right now, I’m enjoying the anticipation and planning.
One year in, one year to go!
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