The last several nights I’ve found myself awake in the middle of the night pondering over, and fretting about, all the things I need to get done before our departure. I’ve started 3 or 4 lists on scraps of paper and on my phone, and then of course there’s the mental list of things that I need to write down but haven’t. I lie there, safe and snuggled in bed next to Jane, and I worry about the weather, the mountain climbs, navigating through unfamiliar-to-me landscapes, 30 year-old wheels, my aching right shoulder, flat tires and busted chains in the middle of nowhere. I won’t see my family for roughly 2 ½ months (how much will the grandkids grow and change in all those moments missed???) and I won’t be home to help Jane deal with any of the “gremlins” that will invariably appear during my absence. Most of me knows these reoccurring nocturnal streams of consciousness are normal, a part of my process that habitually shows up when the next crazy thing I’ve decided to attempt accelerates toward its beginning, but a small part, (maybe a bigger part of me than I’d readily admit), wonders what the hell I was thinking when I first proposed what’s about to begin. And I wonder if Odie and Bob find themselves in a similar state of mental meanderings.
I also think a lot about Bob and what his role will entail as we slowly make our way from one coast to the other. Like Odie, he is a willing participant and volunteered to drive the OREM and take charge of selecting camping sites, do the lion’s share of camp set-up and shopping, and perhaps he’ll also become our occasional savior when we roll to a stop on any given day, road-weary and battered. I think about all the moments he’ll spend alone, the tedium of crossing a continent in 60 to 100-mile increments when he could easily go much, much faster. I consider the tasking that we might unknowingly place upon him as he bears witness from his unique vantage. In so many ways his journey will be more nuanced and difficult than Odie and I’s as we’ll have the luxury of merely pushing the pedals around and around, a most simple act of being squarely in the moment that I’m looking forward to immersing myself in. But of course he’s The Bob, as capable a human being as you’ll ever meet, a kindred spirit, a good friend, a brother-in-arms, and it gives me great comfort knowing that no matter what happens along our journey, he’ll be out there as well. I think the accompanying photo of “The Bob” tells you all you need to know...
You two are such an inspiration! Newton and Gary I am cheering 📣 for you both!;;
With "The Bob" in charge of camp at the end of the day, I'm pretty confident you'll at least eat well!