In order to keep to my relatively leisurely schedule for the Pacific Coast, ironically I'll have to blast across much of this next 2000 miles. In theory, that's not a problem as there are huge stretches of desolate areas without the distractions I've succumbed to thus far - the towns, communities, comfort and man-made attractions. Rather hundreds of miles of corn fields, with only the prevailing wind and my own thoughts for company. It seems like a good time to block out all that surplus to my purpose, and revert to life on a pleasure-pain basic. I will live to ride, and through no conscious choice of my own, ride to live. Water can be hard to come by, so I must make the distances in good time before my supplies dwindle.
I awoke last night in a cold sweat at the realisation that this was not really the mid point I had congratulated myself on reaching. Not by a long short - this is just the beginning. From here on I enter a new realm. It will be a whole new set of feeling and experiences. 2000 miles, 36 days. I leave tomorrow. I do not presume to predict how it will work out, but I feel I have taken a pragmatic approach in at least designing a route between 'here' and 'there.' However, as always I do well to remember this as a journey, one in which the majority of elements are out of control. Having spent my evenings engrossed in John Steinbeck recently, it seems appropriate to include one of his many astute and dry comments on the topic
'A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it"
I wouldn't know about marriage, but I enjoy the quote.
Onwards to Seattle, then! Bring on the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Black Hills, Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rainer - a challenge worthy of a mighty opponent to be sure! Time to rise to the occasion, and prove my cycling legs are ready for the big time. At risk of overpopulating this post with the words of others, I will share the only quote I know on the topic of fear and hope - my two overwhelming emotions at this juncture.
"There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope"
Watch out, those of you to the West, for there is a speeding bullet in the shape of a Santos bike, and it's headed your way...