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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Technically, this grand adventure of mine is still just a bunch of notes scribbled on a bit of paper and a pile of belongings slowly taking over my dining room: banjo, bike gear, running gear, yoga mat, lots of snacks, and a surprising number of shoes, along with just enough safety gear to assuage the worries of my dear friends. It’s not really a thing, not yet, even with my departure just five days away.  But somehow I already feel different just for committing to undertake it.  Even just by pulling out the maps and doing the mileage calculations (so much MATH!) one starts to see the country and even oneself differently.  For too many months my world got smaller and smaller, but when considering if one can get from a Colorado mountain to a high school reunion in time the world suddenly seems very large.  Believe me.  It’s going to take some long driving to make that bit work.

Sal Paradise, the Joads, Tom Sawyer, Thelma and Louise; whenever things need shaking up for Americans we hit the road.  And I’m gonna hit it hard.  It’ll be twenty-one states, 7 national parks or forests, 15 visits with friends, one high school reunion and several thousand miles of me singing off-key at the top of my lungs behind the wheel of my Big Red Truck.  Like all great road narratives, there will be encounters with colorful local characters, breathtaking scenery, and quite possibly a wrong turn or two. Yes, yes, it’s me behind the wheel so almost definitely a wrong turn or two. (Wait, if I remember correctly Thelma and Louise drive off a cliff in the end, right?  Okay, I won’t do that.)

And, in the end, almost 6 weeks after I left my driveway, I will come back home where I have a beautiful little life in my Little Yellow House and so many people who love me.  And I know that I am so lucky that they will also love whomever I am at the end of this little adventure.

Throw off the bowlines, I’m setting sail.

Now if I can just somehow get all this stuff into that truck……