Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making a list and checking it twice...

Eight days left... Eight days until I flash Baby up and begin my journey South. The last few days have been filled with researching and list-building. Programming pertinent phone numbers Stateside, trying to sort out what I'll bring and where all it's going to fit on the bike. Can't forget batteries and chargers. I'm even bringing some King Cole tea from home, which I managed to find at our local Sobey's store. That's a throwback from my Navy days, when I would stow a couple of boxes of Morse's or Clipper tea in my locker, before we left on a six-month NATO deployment. I have long had this affinity for a good cup 'o tea in the evening, usually after supper. It's the perfect wind-down at day's end, for me at any rate.

I've gone through everything I can think of: clothing, riding gear, toileteries, tools, footwear, medical... I think I've pretty much covered it all. Maps I'll get as I go along, but I have long had the maps printed off, which cover the first legs of the trip, from home to Cherokee, NC where the Blue Ridge Parkway ends. Still, I might just pick up State maps as I roll through them. I couldn't hurt. I remain very much aware that for as much forethought and planning as I might put into this, I still cannot account for a myriad of variables, which might influence this trip once I get going.

Weather, critters, cagers, bad roads, acts of God... the list goes on and on. I have fussed and fretted over my trusty steed, trying to cover any contingency. Yes, I'll bring that set of spare bulbs, brake pads and spark plugs. I've mounted the deflector plate to the bottom of my rad coolant reservoir, so that some errant road shrapnel doesn't leave me high and dry in the middle of who-knows-where. I'm even bringing a spare length of 1/4" vacuum line... just in case.

But it's all about the uncertainty. The unknown. This is the stuff that when we were youngsters, we were able to recognize as the cause of our excitement. A lot of older people might feel the same feeling, but choose to interpret it as fear. I guess that's what stops many people from doing what they'd like to do. All I can do now is hope that the weather cooperates. I'll go as far as I can within the time that I have. I was going to have company initially, but my partner backed out. True, life would have been far easier with a support unit, which of course was what the van would have been. But I've ridden solo from Nova Scotia to Florida before, so really, this is a much shorter jaunt in comparison.

Travel lighter, pack smarter. That's the name of the game. Should anything bad happen, I'm pretty much on my own. That's the only thought which weighs on me at the moment. Normally? It's something that I would just accept and dismiss. Nowadays, with the physical limitations imposed by last year's injury, it looms a little larger than it normally would. But hey... What am I gonna do? Stay home and let this chance pass by? Wait until I "win the lottery"?

We all know what happens to those type of dreams, don't we. Those are the missed opportunities we look back on with regret, when we're no longer able to physically follow through on them. Well, thanks but no thanks. As a good friend of mine once opined: "I'd rather regret a few things that I've done, than a lot of things that I never did".

Now lemme see... what else have I forgot...???

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