The Best Laid Plans

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.

The narrow gauge train in Portland, ME. Note the foggy, overcast weather. I went for almost three days without seeing the sun in Maine.

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.


  1. Evelyn Morgen says: ·

    It’s refreshing to see you assess your plans and reconfigure them so that it’s a positive experience! We should all do that more often. God speed! Evelyn

  2. Ann Perrott says: ·

    I’m glad you had a chance to re-consider with grace that sometimes we all need to re-set our goals. Thank you for your open and positive assessment of life’s remarkable challenges. Great job!😊

  3. Debby says: ·

    This has truly been a journey for you! Mind, physical, and spiritual, so glad you have had this opportunity. St Stephens will benefit from your experience. Safe journey home.

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