Earlier this week, I had a dental appointment.
My local dentist, a part-time Harley rider, inquired what I would be doing this summer.
When I mentioned this excursion, two questions emerged. "Who's going with you?" and "What kind of bike are you taking?"
Replies: "Just me." and "My 450 Honda Rebel."
He scoffed in a fatherly, I know what's best sort of way. Then, I was offered a rape and murder story involving a nice woman, a broken down car, and a couple of men.
To some extent, I understand his concerns, but if we allow fear to drive our decisions, we will never live!
I am reminded of a book I purchased at second hand store called: The Art of Living by Norman Vincent Peale. Mind you, this book was published in the late 1940s.
Chapter two, How To Banish Worry, states the following: "...worry comes into man's life, a foreign element, which has no legitimate right to be there and which for his peace and well-being must be removed..." followed by the idea that it (meaning worry) "lays upon life burdens that it was never meant to bear and casts deep and unnatural shadows upon the spirit of man."
Chapter six, The Escape From Fear, further expands Peale's revelations, "We allow ourselves to be made miserable by fears of what the future holds or fears of the consequences of past acts and decisions. Fears of one kind and another haunt us and cast a shadow over our happiness."
Peale's book is coming with me on the trip. It's not very big, but it's pack full of advice which can be read again and again.
In my late 20s, I rode my Honda Rebel 250 from Harrisonburg, VA to Woodstock, IL. I had an atlas, a tent, some clothes, and a destination. No cell-phone; no smart-phone; no pepper spray. When I reflect back on that ride, my only regret is that I did not take the time to really enjoy the journey. I was hell-bent on getting to my uncle's place. Unfortunately, my tunnel vision into the future prevented me from embracing the present. This time, it will be a much different ride.
Supply wise: the collection of odd and ends has begun. A compass, a headlamp, bug spray, water-proof bags, pepper spray, a hiker's style back-pack, a smart-phone protector, some emergency flares, and a can of fix-a-flat. Still need rain gear, ear plugs, protein bars, and Butler maps.
Getting closer to selecting some major stops along my way thanks to another off-hand book purchase a few years back. This one was published in 2000.
It highlights many small towns some of which are located along the Mississippi River: St. Francisville, Louisiana; Ste. Genevieve, Missouri; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Red Wing, Minnesota.
Later this afternoon, I will be meeting with my colleague, Charles, to sift through more specific routes. If you have been on an extended road-trip, you know how quickly routes change depending upon weather, construction, breakdowns, finances, and so on...
I close this week's post with a beautiful ballad:
Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart.