The pooch and I are on the road tomorrow morning. This day has been on the horizon for about a month, and it is finally here.
Normally when I go on a trip or vacation, I don't get amped up with anticipation as the day grows closer. It is like I don't count on it until the day actually arrives. I also don't shake the Christmas presents that are sitting beneath the tree. I like to save the surprise for the moment. This time the build up has been a little different, and there have been some presents along the way, but it still doesn't feel totally real even though it is only nine hours away.
I have spent the past week or so meeting with friends to say goodbye (for now). It has been wonderful to see everyone, share old stories, and talk about my plans for the future. Everyone has been very supportive, and have offered thoughts on what I should do with this opportunity. One observation was that I am not on any schedule, so I should take my time on my way down. Point taken.
In 2006, I rode my bicycle from Seattle to San Francisco to benefit the American Lung Association. It was two weeks of hill climbing, gorgeous scenery, and riding with old friends I'd just met. As I mentioned in my first post here, "I find that my head is clearer when I am away from home and on my bike. At times it seems even my vision is clearer." The pursuit of this feeling of clarity was one of the goals of writing this blog.
I have decided to go back to the beginning, and retrace my route down the coast. It is a beautiful route that will force me to go slowly. Force me to take my time and take it all in. It won't be the same as riding it by bike, but it should still be great way to go.
When we took off from Seattle in 2006, we took a ferry across Puget Sound to Bremerton before setting out by bike, and I'll be doing the same tomorrow. I think leaving Seattle by boat, seeing the skyline from the water slowly recede, will be particularly poignant. There will be lots of feelings rushing through my head tomorrow and for the next few days - some good, some difficult. It is probably best that I take my time, to take it all in.
Time to get some sleep.