Friday, October 18, 2013

Because we'll never know

Because we don’t know the future (think: recent debt ceiling, sequestration, even the 2008 market crash) I’ve always thought that it is better just to go for it now.

Easy enough to write. Time and money are detracting factors. Even still, I’ve tried to take advantage of my good health and high energy level. That’s why this past April a friend and I hopped on Megabus with our bikes, boxed and in the bay beneath, and de-bused in Nashville in order to ride the Natchez Trace. A few weeks earlier sequestration put a pinch on our plans. Bathrooms along the route would not be open or every other would be open. No matter—all systems were go.

I’m so glad. Because we never know the future. There was no way I’d guess then that my riding partner of 10 years would make a sudden move to Minneapolis. (Her husband’s desire to devote himself full-time to getting his Bachelor’s degree necessitated this.)

The last few days of this autumn season have felt raw and rainy. Today, though there is no rain, it is blustery and cold. Of course I knew spring would move into summer, and summer fade into fall, yet on these overcast days it is a wonderful memory to re-visit my 400-mile bike trip.

Of time and money we spent very little. I’m so glad we went for it without letting gov’t shutdown and pressures from our jobs/schedules rob us of the opportunity.

So on these dark mornings, I’ve been reading trip journals from this website:

Now I might not agree with some of the commentary, but mostly the philosophy of the contributors is the same as mine: people who have decided life is short and the need to experience what’s left. I’ve been surprised by the number of entries from retirees on cross-country bike trips. (I thought college kids would predominate the list.) At times there are complaints about knees, hills, repairs and breakdowns, but these issues are minor compared to the photographs of wildflowers, a surprise deer walking through a campsite, a nice counter clerk at a convenience store, a road that follows a river, the feel of wind on your face as you fly downhill.

This is a blog about memories. How especially sweet are those memories of one-of-a-kind experiences. Whatever you do—be adventurous! You’ll never forget what happens next . . . because we don’t know the future.

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