It is funny, that while on my 29 day journey, at no point did it feel like it was racing by. In fact, it felt as though time had stopped... I think because I was working so hard each day, I literally felt each hour of it and truly lived it, good and bad. Retrospectively, there are things I could have done differently so that maybe I would not have gotten so sick, but that is simply speculation. I do know that my next trip will have more supplies in my medical kit to help me if this happens again.
I will also pack differently so that my foul weather gear is easier to access...for when I encounter unexpected scenes like this... I was about to get very very wet!
I had the gear inside its own stuff sack, thinking that I would know at the start of the day whether or not I would need it. But this is one of my surprises on the ride and one of my mistakes. There were often drastic differences in temperatures and conditions that would come up quickly. I had my rain gear at the ready, but the cold weather gear was more difficult to access once the bike was loaded. It would have been really difficult to access the gear and repack the bag while out on the road. So... my packing was partially successful. In the saddlebags were items I would not need daily. The cold weather jackets were too large to fit inside, so they were in their own waterproof stuff sack. Next big trip, I will redistribute this stuff so that the jackets are inside the saddlebags. what to put inside the stuff sack, balancing on the top of the bike daily, I am not sure. But I'll figure it out for the next ride.
My customers are coming into my store this week, with the surprised look on their face while exclaiming, "OH, you are back!" A common question I get is, "What was your favorite part?" This question dumfounds me every time.... I have no quick answer and start looking up at the ceiling as I say, "ummmmmm".
Goodness, was I even ON the trip? Is it that difficult to choose one particular moment as the best? This can't be!
So... here they are, some of my favorite moments....
#1. Opening the door to my room at the Silver Surf Motel in Yachats OR, to see the Pacific Ocean through the sliding doors at the end of the room... and then opening the sliders to hear the waves and smell the air. This indeed, might be THE moment of the trip that sticks most in my mind. Not very much bang for the story buck when I am telling someone though. So I will have to think of some of the spectacular moments for that.
#2. Mckenzie Pass, OR. This was where the amazing, jaw dropping lava fields suddenly appeared as I ascended to over 5000 feet.
My head was whipping in all directions to take it all in. This moment was probably the most intense surprise of the whole month! If you are ever near it, I highly recommend driving through. And then take in Sisters OR for some fun and relaxing. It is an adorable town, lots of shops and restaurants.
#3. I have a handful of little moments that at each moment truly was the best thing ever...
That first moment when I felt really really really small, and simply stopped the bike by the side of the road in the Badlands of SD, took a photo and not another car for miles in either direction.
The Grizzly Bear!
The Buttah Lobstah Roll!
Riding into Colville WA, feeling really under the weather, and having my friend Ranger be there with an awesome welcome!
So, there they are, some of my favorite moments, which of course will change as I remember the small but magical times of the rest of the trip. But I have a feeling that the number one moment will most likely remain in the top spot. It is all about the ocean for me, after all!
I pondered all this while I gave my sweet little bike a really good bath this afternoon... she worked hard for me and deserved it...
Now my own wheels are turning for next year's tour...
where to go? :)