Yesterday, I set out from Port MacNeil, on the Northern tip of Vancouver island. I had spent a luminous day with a fellow travelor of this highway and on life's road. The experience left me feeling blessed, lighter and renewed. I set off enthusiastically without downloading any maps, or surveying the distances ahead of me. I don't usually do this, but you see, I felt pretty good, and I have done this route before.
Alas, I now recall, this particular stretch I did by car! A sore knee prevented me from cycling it, and I hitched a ride. It didn't seem too long by car-- maybe an hour or two. Of course, "an hour or two" by car can be a day or two by bike! Last night, for the last three hours I cycled, positive that I was just a turn away from a gas sation that I clearly remembered on the highway.
Alas, I write this from a nice little rest area off the side of the road. I never made it! Exhausted at 9:30 PM, as the sun was doing down, I collapsed at a highway-side picnic table. Spent and resigned, I set up camp. I have no idea how close or far I am to anything civilized.
As I hurtle through this uninhabited and wild land, I feel very small. I am a human powered speck moving slowly through the vast forests and mountains that engulf me like a massive hospital a newborn baby. However, as the eagles dance above me, I sense a change in the course of my journey.
No longer am I moving away from something-- I am out of my familar Northern BC world. I am moving toward something now-- each pedal takes me closer and closer to the unknown. Each pedal away from the familiar, is a step into a world I know less and less about.
To adjust I must let go of my expectations-- making it to the gas station I knew for instance--and embrace the mysterious and luminous blessings that only the unknown can bestow. My chance encounter with Ian the other day, and this riverside campsite being two wildly unanticipated, but eloquent examples.