August 27, 2017Leaving San Antonio
BOOK: The Places In Between by Rory Stewart – because I just can’t seem to get enough information about walking!
SONG: NOT “Make It Rain”
THOUGHT: There are times when you can have too much time to plan.
With all the time I have had to think about this trip, I have pretty much gone over the top…..I have imagined way too many possibilities for catastrophe and disaster. I have considered dilemmas that may never arise and that is not all that creative in the long run. I do have a theory that if you imagine something catastrophic it has less likelihood of happening, since the surprise element has been removed…what is the good of catastrophe, if there is already a plan in place for dealing with it?
And speaking of catastrophes, the hurricane put some serious hurt on the TX gulf and Houston is still under serious threat with the projections of ongoing rain through the next several days. For most of us, the preparedness has been exceptional – the planning process has been thorough and careful. San Antonio has served as a point of evacuation. It is a city with a good soul – the willingness to help is part of the culture and the humans here.
Then there is this Camino thing.
On Sept 3, 1961, I left Bakersfield, CA with 4 friends. We were taking a trip to Europe. $5/da for 3 months. I knew there was a Europe, but my knowledge of any particulars was scanty, to say the least. I was beginning what would become my travel addiction. I had no capacity for imagining catastrophe. I was pretty much in the moment.
This time I leave with lots of travel experience under my belt…but most of it in the company of co-workers or Peter or a few friends. The responsibilities and projections for what we would do was a shared set of plans and projections.
This is different. I am the sole director and participant. That fact has been, on occasion, especially in this past month, unnerving. I have found that I am, at times, not that easy to work with or to please. I have read extensively in preparation, but I realize now that there can be a point of too much information gathering. You can milk the life out of something by questioning and carefully considering what you imagine will be the the sequence of events in your experience. In my impatience and scattered emotional “moments” Peter has been tiptoeing through the minefield very artfully. He has tried so very hard to find the perfect response to my scatter-shot. He has been an admirable man and a very sweet friend, husband and partner.
Now I am out here wandering thru O’Hare Airport. My gate hasn’t been posted yet, so I will hang out here in the main concourse. I will have time to walk…always practicing…just in case I forget how…
And I am feeling way too light. I kissed my little Patagonia pack stuffed full of boots, poles and all the carefully selected sox, underpants, layers…It came in at 17 lbs with my boots inside. The family next to me in line had 8 suitcases topping the scales at #390. He not only had to pay the fees for too many bags, but 2 got an overcharge of $250 each. But he and his wife were moving to a new country…Not traveling for 50days.
The straps on my pack were tied up carefully, but they all just looked so vulnerable and naked. They would not let me carry it on because of the hiking poles…so now I am holding out faith (the thinnest little thread of hope) that it will be spit out in Bordeaux, closed and intact.
I have never traveled so light! My tech bag has a 4×6″ collapsible keyboard and my phone is my only camera and communication source. It weighs just a hair over a pound all crunched into its little sandwich sized plastic bag. I have intermittent panic attacks believing that I have left something really important behind. I have grown up to be a complete weeny based on this level of doubt and uncertainty. I hope I grow out of it in the course of this little travel effort. We shall most certainly see.