"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10/11/06: Bike Tour-Change in Plans

"A Change in plans?" HA! Get used to THOSE words! -x 12/23/09

Sort of a trying week but funny things happened that made me realize, or better put: remember, that if I just let things happen they tend to work themselves out!

When I began to do some real research on getting me and the bike to Seattle. I quickly realized that I would need to ship the bike a week in advance (Monday) in order to have it there, re- assembled, and ready to go. I called Velo Bike in Seattle and everything seemed fine. Then the question to myself: "When's Bruno going to get there??" He's not yet to the Rockies, the weather's getting colder, even in the Plains so I can only imagine what it's like in the mountains!! Would he even make it? It started to become apparent that plans laid down in the abstract weren't manifesting in the reality! I felt caught in limbo because if I ship the bike on Monday, then Bruno realizes it's too late in the season to bike the Rockies... say on on THURSDAY, I'm 15 kinds of screwed! Coupled with my own paranoid visions of biking the coast in gale- force winds and driving Pacific rains... I wasn't very optimistic.

I decided to do some soul- searching, and went back and read some 4-6 month old entries from my journal, about WHY I wanted to do this trip in the first place. In the beginning, the vision was one of a solitary biker, riding into the sunrise from Denver to a non- existent destination. Just going. When I found Bruno, it seemed that it would be great to have someone to share it with, to be able to reflect on where we were, where we were going, and what we'd learned and experienced. He was biking toward Vancouver, and since I didn't really care, and had always wanted to see the Oregon coast, Seattle made sense. The late- October weather has always been a warning flag in the back, and sometimes front, of my mind and I should have listened to it!

I went as far as, over the weekend, to begin an email to Bruno, explaining the seriousness of the situation as far as logistics go, and to implore him to turn south if there was ANY doubt about Vancouver! I had all but determined that if he was going to continue west, I may just set out, alone, from Denver rather than risk a wasted trip to Seattle!

I couldn't do that because of the commitment I made to him and didn't send the email.

One of the primary objectives of this trip was to be flexible and to take things as they came; let them add flavor to the experience. After some reflection, it was obvious I'd found my first opportunity to practice that.

If you read Bruno's update, you'll find that it all worked out. When I read that he 'doubted' he'd get to Vancouver, it was time to act. No man can tell another what to do. I'm glad that the realization was his. We chatted for a few hours on gmail, and batted around the idea of me driving to Montana to pick him up. That was actually a selfish offer on my part; it would get me on the road faster! In the end we decided that a bus from Swift Current to Denver made the most sense. While he'd have to ride Greyhound for 2 days, it would get him here Friday and offer him the chance to recharge for a few days. From my standpoint, it's cheaper to pay half of the bus ticket than to drive, and again, (selfish, I know!)get me on the road next week! The anticipation is intolerable!

BUT-- fate again steps in! When he got to the bus station today, he discovered that it would cost $355 to have his bike shipped here! Plus the $200 for the ticket.

Ummm... no.

So, he hitchhiked to Medicine Hat, Alberta and is on his way to a Couchsurfer in Lethbridge. We're back to trying to figure out how to get him here. I can't take our Mountaineer that far because it needs shocks, and the roommates can't go. So it looks like a rental car. Oh, joy! It's about 900 miles from Denver to his border crossing. He'll need to get that far, one way or another. Not going to deal with customs! It looks as though, unless there's another bolt of lightning, I'll leave either after work tomorrow or really early Friday. It's something like 14 hours each way; doable on a good night's sleep. Gets us back in Denver late Saturday. (?) One good thing about this experience: my Canadian geography is improving immensely!

So the plans, and of course the route, have changed dramatically. We'll have to sit down when he gets here and figure out which direction to go. Pretty easy when "North" and "West" are ruled out! I'm thinking a little east, then quite a bit south! I've always wanted to see the parts of northern New Mexico I missed when I lived in Taos, and relish the isolation! Bruno wants to see the Grand Canyon, so that would fit, and I have a friend who MAY still be working at the Lake Powell resort in Page, AZ. We both want to go to California. San Diego for me, and San Francisco for Bruno. We'll figure it out. Getting on the road, and getting south, is of more importance right now.

My friend in Tampico, Mexico has decided to leave in January. I think she's had enough of teaching English! I suspect there's more to it than that, and I'd love to find out 'what' that is. So I'm not sure we'd be able to get there by the time she leaves, unless we go there first. Always an option I guess. No Tampico?, There's always Baja! Mr DJ, cue up Van Halen's 'Cabo Wabo' if you please...

I said in the last update that my girlfriend wanted no part in my transport. After I posted that, it remarkably changed! She offered to take time off work, rent a car to Seattle and fly home. I found that interesting! No need for any of that now. Throughout this process, until now, she's not really shown an active interest in taking part in ANY of this, beyond discussion. She doesn't 'get it'. It's always been a 'nuisance' for her to go to the bike shops, REI, etc. Now that the departure date is less than a week away, she's beginning to panic. I find it ironic that all this time we could have spent 'together' we spent rushing through bike shops because she didn't want to be there. What would she do after we rushed home? TV! Wasting days off watching TV, then complaining about 'time together'! 'Time Together' isn't defined as going to dinner or to a museum, and it sure as hell doesn't mean watching TV/ movie! It means taking an active interest in the other persons life and sharing it with them. My answer to the 'quality time' question: "where were you and what were you doing all this time?". Seems a bit one- sided. She's a conventional person with socially programmed thinking and while I understand it, this has always been a problem. I must say I do appreciate the fact that she's tolerated me for the past two years, but that's just it--- she's tolerated rather than trying to understand & come along for the ride. So now, when I'm REALLY trying to focus my mind like a laser beam, I'm not going to deal with any Desperate Drama. She chose 'Ellen' and "Days of Our Lives" and it was generally a 'bother' to take part and 'spend time' with me over the last five months, so am I being unfair? Would you believe I saw this coming?

I'm fascinated more and more by my own mind, and how if I let it the view out the 'front window' changes. It all seemed so clear a month ago, but when I got lost in the 'how', the 'why' sort of faded to the rear. I suspect that will be both my greatest battle and liberation. As long as I keep the right set of glasses on my mind's eye! I'll begin to update more frequently from now on; I'll try to do it as close to daily as possible once Bruno gets here. Thanks too to the folks who've signed the guestbook! You'll be happy to know that reading 'it's not about the "stuff" did help, although I do believe I'm still taking the hammock!