Yesterday I made it to Williamsburg, re-united with my bike and even had time to take a ride. The aerial view flying into Richmond showed pockets of water everywhere over the flat landscape, rivers running in lazy curly-ques through the dense canopy of trees. The trees are tall and every shade of green, punctuated by the ones flowering in dazzling pinks and whites.
My long-time cycling friend from New Jersey took ill and couldn’t make it here to see me off and spend a few days riding and sight-seeing. Now alone, without the distraction of company, I’m getting anxious about the ride. In a big way this is really a three month backpacking trip with the campsite changing almost every night, cycling instead of hiking. I can count the number of times I’ve gone backpacking on one hand.
So I’m savoring the sensuous luxury of a timeshare unit for the week; luxuries like a roof, a bed, hot running water, fluffy towels, a refrigerator, wi-fi and a computer. A week from today the ride begins and life will change dramatically. Material possessions will shrink down to what is carried on the bike, and life will be stripped down to the bare essentials every day. This kind of routine is bound to mess with your head in unknown ways. Especially for three months. A quest.
Why a quest? And what does that mean? I take it to mean a specialized kind of journey, one that involves the unknown, one that has definite dangers and one that features a search, a mission, a personal test, and the promise of greater insight and higher consciousness when it’s over. I’ve never really taken a quest. Until now. Go big or go home.