Sunday, May 18, 2008

Travellers Must be Content

It is hard to believe, but we are only three weeks away from our trip across the United States (and part of Canada)! We are trying to get in training rides every weekend.

Three weeks ago we took the BOB trailer loaded with our tents and other camping equipment on a ride to Milton-Freewater. The trailer worked great -- it tracked nicely behind the bike and never felt unstable.

Last week we did one of my favorite rides -- Walla Walla to Waitsburg via Middle Waitsburg road. The trip out was fast; we had a very strong tail wind (the wind speed was probably about 20 mph). One of the reasons it is a favorite ride of mine is because of the lunch stop: Laht Neppur Brew Pub ( The beer is quite good -- I had a delicious oatmeal porter. A pint of handcrafted microbrew sure makes the rest of the ride go faster.

The way back, however, was not so fun, even with the beer. The wind that pushed us all the way to Waitsburg fought us all the way home. It was a difficult ride.

Today we rode to the Whitman Mission (west of College Place) and then a meandering ride in the countryside, completing about a 33 mile loop back to town. The weather this weekend has been very hot so we decided to leave early. We were actually on the road by 7:30.

Last night we went to see "As You Like It" at Whitman College. There was a line in the play that really hit home for me as we prepare for our trip. Touchstone, finding himself and his companions in the forest of Arden, says:

When I was at home I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.

Indeed. We will need to take what the trip offers us; the good days and bad; the wind-at-our-back days, and the headwind days; the quiet, lazy days and the harried days. As John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley, "You don't take a trip. The trip takes you." This may be the most challenging aspect of our journey.

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