"It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end"
Ursula K. LeGuinI find it amazing how consumed I can be with preparations for a trip. First you get the idea for the trip. Then you look at Google Maps and a road atlas for possible routes. No interstates for me and I prefer county roads and state highways to US highways. You may even need to revise those route plans when circumstances change. You need to decide what clothes and baggage to take. Because of hot weather, maybe a small cooler would be a good idea, for water, gatorade and munchies. I have been planning a little trip with Max. It will be the longest trek I have ever undertaken by myself on two wheels. Okay, so it's not a monumental amount of mileage to many readers. And it's not a great deal longer than the trip I took up to the Topeka area last fall. But since most of my riding is in the form of commuting with some occasional weekend excursions, it will be very significant to me. When planning you might consider tools to have along. I keep screwdrivers, wrenches, fuses, and many other things (like rain gear) on Max anyway. But one item I didn't have was a flat tire repair kit, so I purchased one this morning. Will probably never use it, but just in case...... (Jack Riepe is partially to blame for this added cost after he recently posted an excellent article about fixing a flat.) I need to change the oil before I go. I am only a little over halfway between scheduled oil changes, but the trip will put me way over, so just to be a bit anal, I will change it before I go. I'll be sure to check other fluid levels as well maybe tighten a few bolts. Max also needs a bath. A few days before I go you can see me constantly checking the long range weather forecasts. If it looks really crappy, I might cancel out. But this time of year I can almost guarantee that it will be hot and sunny with little chance of anything else. That's okay with me. And then, what accessories do I take? Make sure to have the cell phone. I downloaded the GPS program to the phone thinking it might be handy. Must not forget the cell phone charger either. I could listen to music from my phone while I ride to pass the time, but that can run down the battery. Should I get another cell phone battery? Ahhh, I like to hear the world around me anyway and don't want the potential distraction of the music. I can always hum a song if I want to. Done that before. Then there is that old nemesis for me, camera batteries. I seem to always find a way to have them run out of juice on me. I have already purchased a new supply. The trip I took last fall was pretty leisurely. I stopped a lot and took many pictures. This time I need to be a bit more determined about rollin' down the highway, so picture stops may be a bit less frequent. But pictures will be taken. Part of the excitement to a trip is the unknown. Places I haven't been to before. Will the people be nice? Will the food be good? What's the scenery like? Will I, like Sarah Palin, be able to see Russia from my destination? The circumstances are that I don't even know the exact date of departure, or for that matter, the exact destination. There are various possible scenarios and I have routes and contingencies planned for each possible outcome. There is a particular need to be flexible with the plans. It is a bit challenging and exciting at the same time. And I am okay with all of that. I think the reward will be worth it. It's just a two day trip, there and back again. I will cross a state line and it's not the closest one. And there is a very definite goal and purpose to the trip. It will be exciting. It will also be freakin' hot! But as you can probably tell, I am getting more than a little excited.
"The Journey is the Destination"I recalled this quote while composing this post. I wasn't even sure where it came from or who said it first. Turns out, after I Googled it, there are a lot of quotes like it attributable to various people. In this case the destination, even as yet not exactly determined, will be a blast. The company I will keep will be first rate. But the journey itself will be just as important and fun no matter which route is taken. Many people may not understand that. The more I think about it, the more I believe and understand the quote. Other people have had it figured out for a long time.