Reflections at half way

Sunday, 18th July 2010; 9:56 pm - Location:

Obviously the trip hasn’t been going perfectly, but that’s to be expected. I might argue that it’s the point. (And since I’m the one who chose to do this, I would win that argument.)

Some people take trips to relax and take it easy. That’s fine, but it’s rarely my intent. I do it (among other reasons) to get away from my regular life and to challenge myself. It’s succeeding.

In some ways this is how I’d like to live: active for hours at a time, eating only to stay fueled, early to bed/rise, doing something different every day. Bit it’s also full of my biggest anxieties: unfamiliar places, all new people… traffic.

Traffic on this trip has generally been less stressful than last year. Some of that is probably my greater confidence level, but it’s mostly just the route I’ve been taking. (Riding US-2 across the UP with all the semis was… scary.) I rarely can keep up with traffic. But oncoming traffic is light enough that most of the time people can pass me quickly, sometimes without even letting up on the accelerator.

But some people are pricks, incompetent drivers, or both. The worst tend to be people towing campers or boats. They don’t grasp that they have 30 feet of vehicle behind them, and start to pull back over into my lane as soon as they can no longer see me out the passenger window.

To some people traveling like this is an insane unnecessary hardship. But to me it feels a bit like cheating. I’m not carrying my gear myself, I’m eating in restaurants (or store-bought sandwiches) rather than carrying and preparing my own meals… I’m not even walking from site to site. That’s doing it the right way. To be honest, I had another trip in mind (hiking in the Rockies), but decided I wasn’t in good enough shape for it. I’m not as young as I used to be either, and I have to allow for that. I consider myself lucky that I can still handle sleeping on the ground. As long as I can, I will. And when I can’t… I’ll adapt some more.

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