Today I leave

The day is here. I have most of my stuff staged to go. I mainly just need to figure out how to pack it all. I’ll be able to take the bike, two checked bags, two carry-ons. I need to arrange everything to fit within those parameters.

In some ways this feels like my first tour. I guess every tour can have some “firsts” aspects to it. My first tour, to Beaufort, I carried all my camping gear but did not camp. It turned out to just be a motel trip. It was cold then, I was driven to cover a lot of miles in a specific amount of time, and I allowed myself the convenience of motel stays since I had quite a lot going on with it being the first long trip I’d taken.

My next trip involved camping, but just for one night. Camping for one night is not a lifestyle – it’s an event. When it’s one night it’s significantly different. Various details related to bathing, cleaning dishes, drying clothes, and other things become simpler. You can throw things together in the morning and head for home. You don’t have to worry about setting up camp again and repeating the richuals around finding everything where you expect it and in usable condition.

I’m looking forward to making a move towards sustainability. I want to find out some about how I can live on on the bike day to day on a reasonable budget while enjoying my life and covering life’s details in the process. I want to discover how much bicycle riding I can plan on and still fit everything in without feeling hurried. It affects how many miles I can expect to cover in a day.

The first day I’m out will have some structure to it and a timetable because I plan to spend the night at Larry and Penny Thompson Park (https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209723913052666174668.0004d1d325b9fc38014e3&msa=0&ll=25.528776,-80.620866&spn=1.838953,2.252197&iwloc=0004d5df07354a557979b). That will be about a 60 mile ride from Joe’s house. That morning (Wednesday) I’ll need to go stock up from scratch on various grocery items. It’s also important that I reach camp by 5 p.m. since they close up and I’m not confident I can get a site after hours. This all adds up to time pressure because I’ll also have just gotten off the train the night before and need to setup the bicycle and gear for the ride. I may be tired from the train journey too. All that said, it may have a challenging side but I think it is doable. Not a lot of other choices since the camping opportunities that I can find in the area are limited.

I could instead limit my miles and stay in a motel that night. Motels are more plentiful than campgrounds. As it is I’ll need to detour significantly (about 30 miles out of my way) to camp. I’m not going to stress about that. I’m there to explore anyway (although this is all pretty urban compared to where I want to get). The motel lodging down there is pretty expensive, particularly at this time of year. Typical motels look to be about $180/night and up. That’s a lot of money to just crash for the night! The campsite I’m going to will be $16 for the night. Big difference.

As always the main thing that morning will be to get out early. I’ll need to focus on a reasonable bedtime Tuesday night. Then get up around 6 a.m. and leave by 8 a.m. That gives me 9 hours to make the trip and stop and smell the roses along the way. Normally a slam dunk but being the first day out I’ll have more to do than just ride and I won’t be in ideal riding shape.

But I’m not worried. I’ll enjoy it and know that God is spooning out the challenges here at a rate that I can live with and learn from and enjoy life while it happens.

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