The other Portland
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We set out to head for Boston and realized that much of it would be fairly urban riding in moderate or worse traffic as all of the roads around here seem busy.
We also came to appreciate that it is the history of the area that is the most interesting to us
So, my trip ends with just oner 4100 miles of really good times. I am surprised to have enjoyed it throughout the 7 weeks and do not have any desire to stop doing it if were not for missing Lauren and friends. Oh yeah, and the returning to work part. Traveling with brother Dave is as fun as ever and I hope for more trips with both him and Ed (travel partner for the first 2 weeks) in the future.
Things learned during the trip were not big life-changing insights so much as they were observations about our people, our country that coupled nicely with my own introspection. I have enjoyed many conversations with strangers on a breadth of topics, benefitted from the generosity of many and have come to appreciate how nice most people are most of the time. While there were, if course, some people and drivers with attitude issues, I felt able to dismiss them and not let them determine my attitude
I have often been asked where my favorite spot was on this trip. Since you also may be wondering that same thing , let me say that there really was no favorite spot. They all had their own character and beauty. I think I generally preferred the more western part of the trip that might be due to my better prior familiarity with that part. I do think the east coast is too urban for the type of touring I like, but it is a nice place to visit nevertheless.
One of the ironies of this trip is that while others perceive it as a trip of high physical exertion and "roughing it" camping, I have felt it to be one of relaxation and simple self-indulgence. This delightfully selfish time has actually left me feeling more relaxed and rested than I have in the last 20+ years. I like that. I hope to be able to make that continue after I return to work life and while participating in projects and programs that are bigger than I am.
I know myself well enough to know that I need those larger purposes and also that I too often let them consume too much of me. So finding that new balance point will be its own challenge.
Thank you, dear reader, for your patience.