Sunday, June 26, 2011

(Day 14) Route Planning and Packing...

Anna left early again this morning to be with her Mom.  I was up and 6:15 and she was gone so... I went back to bed and slept until 8AM.  Not a usual activity for me!!

The morning was spent finalizing routes and loading the GPS for the trip that begins on July 5th and packing for the trip that begins tomorrow.  What road to take and what to pack?  The packing was easy.  Enough casual clothes for five days of luxury at the Sheraton in downtown Toronto: jeans, shorts, shirts and a swimsuit.  Must take a swimsuit.

I have some fond memories of the Sheraton.  As children, at least twice Mom and Dad took us to the Sheraton over the Easter weekend.  I remember the glassed in courtyard where the Easter egg hunt took place and even more then that, I remember the roof-top indoor/outdoor pool.  It was so amazing.  Swimming inside and then swimming under this glass wall into the outdoor pool where the snow was falling and accumulating on the pool deck.  You can be sure that I will be having that swim again while I am there this week (minus the snow on the pool deck I hope)!

With a suitcase more or less packed I turned in ernest to route selection and finally completed the westbound legs.  I tried to keep the mileage under 800 KM a day and to stay off the major highways, ending each day either near a family member or a friend or a campground.  For the most part I have been successful on all counts.  The challenge for me on this trip will be to slow down and enjoy the ride and not be so focused on that days destination that I miss something along the way.

The last time I drove out west on the bike I did two 1100 KM days.  Granted I had a deadline - I needed to be in Calgary when Anna and the boys landed... but I ended up being two days early and I was so tired when I arrived that I don't think I was much fun for the first few days... lesson learned I hope!

This evening Susan Mattinson, the woman who is filling in for me at the prison while I am away came pick up some items that need to be taken into the Chapel.  In spite of getting lost along the way and being a wee bit late, she shared supper and conversation with us for a while.  It was an interesting experience.  Despite having been in to the prison on Friday to sort out my office a bit, I am feeling really disconnected, and it feels good.  She mentioned a couple of guys and their situations I was able to listen without getting really involved.  A bit of a difference feeling for me - it felt good.

It feels good.  This morning at breakfast Zack was asking about some of my plans and dates and stuff and then he asked. "Are you excited?"  To which I replied, "What do you think?"  "No," he said, "you're not exited.  You are sad because you will miss your family so much."  (Please note: Zack and I both have streaks of sarcastic humour within us.)

My quiet reply was something like this, "Yes I will miss you all.  And I will worry about you as I know you will about me.  But I am excited too.  And it is possible to have both of those feelings inside at the same time."

I've said it before here on these pages - yes, this trip is selfish.  Yes, perhaps with all that is going on, with Anna's mother's illness and her need for support and the projects that need to be done around the house and all the other things that I could do, perhaps I should cancel the cross country trip... fly out to Oregon do what I need to do and come home - three weeks there and back...

But I keep coming back to a phrase that keeps bouncing around in my head: "Its not about the destination, its all about the ride."  Don William, Jr a novelist and poet once wrote: "The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination."

"...our lessons come from the journey..."

There is still much in this life that I have to learn and perhaps this journey will have a lesson or two for me.

On the sabbath road...

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