When I first sat down to start planning this trip, I was very much aware that I had never done something like this before. I did lots of reading and research to try and make up for that fact, but all along I was aware that I might be overlooking, or forgetting something. My biggest concern? That I wasn’t planning enough rest days.
Now that I’ve been on the trip for two weeks, it turns out that there was something that I hadn’t foreseen, but it wasn’t the rest days (though in the hillier parts of Maine, an unexpected weather day gave me a much appreciated extra rest day).
No, it turns out the oversight in my plans was the return trip.
I figured this out one day, a particularly long and hilly day, when I was feeling particularly gloomy. I couldn’t figure out why—I should have been feeling happy and proud after putting in all the miles and tackling the major hills that day. But I did not.
What I realized was that all I was dwelling on was the fact that I would have to cross those same hills again. Each mile that I passed, each hill that I climbed, was creating knowledge of what my future held, and that knowledge was filling me with dread. Rather than enjoying the moment and relishing the experience, I was thinking about the future with some level of foreboding.
So, I decided to scrap the return trip. I will bike to Calais, and stop there. Matt has even agreed to come pick me up in Calais so that I am not stuck there!
And you know what? It has made all the difference. The very next day after coming to this decision, I found myself really enjoying the ride. I found myself taking in the sights and smells because I knew that I would not see them again. And I found that when I arrived at my destination for the day, I felt tired, but good.
So, my friends, in about four days I will complete my trip, and though they will be four long and hilly days, I’m looking forward to them.