It’s fascinating what we are learning about ourselves and about each other. Situations we’ve not encountered before are showing us things about ourselves we did not expect. Back home in Sydney I had been living a regimented life, whilst Paul had been laid-back and unruffled. So it’s a huge surprise to be experiencing this ‘role reversal’…
We had been staying with Aunty Ruth and Leonie in their beautiful little paradise just outside of Longview, Washington. After not seeing each other for over 30 years, it was simply amazing to catch up for a few days. Time with them at their home in the forest was soul food – chatting about ‘the old days’ when we were kids, cuddling puppies, watching the squirrels and hummingbirds or fishing in the creek were such beautifully simple pleasures.
Paul and I had agreed to leave this morning around 10am hence I anticipated a relaxed departure, so I was surprised when he became fractious last night that we had not planned our route for the following day or secured the next night’s accommodation. A heated debate made us realise that we were simply approaching the journey differently. Paul was stressed at not having a fixed plan and I was stressed at being committed to planning. We spoke at length and with much laughter about our observations and feelings on this journey – fascinated at what we were discovering about ourselves and each other. The upshot was that we decided to take a more ‘relaxed’ approach to our journey, planning less, allowing more random ‘discovery’. We agreed on a general destination South and a route which would take us through the State Park towards the 101 coastal road. Although we had decided on less planning and fewer ‘rules’ we agreed about looking for accommodation by the early afternoon if we had not secured accommodation ahead.
“You’re shitting me!” Paul said surprised, via the Sena intercoms in our helmets. I was leading our ride at the time, so had seen the ‘Welcome to Longview’ sign a few seconds before Paul had …and my mind was reeling. Paul’s exclamation pointed out the ridiculous and the hysterical: We had left Longview hours earlier and Paul had recently just said “we must be nearly there”…referring to our destination South along the coast.
We pulled into the nearest garage to refuel and struggled to contain ourselves, we fell about laughing. Checking the map we were incredulous to realise that we had been riding for hours in a perfect loop which had brought us back to Longview! The ‘loosely planned’ ride led by me had been simply spectacular and Oregon is amazing, but we had made no progress in terms of heading South. The irony was also not lost on us that considering the time of day by then, that sticking to our ‘rule’ of finding accommodation by early afternoon that we should really just head back to Aunty Ruth and Leonie!
We discovered a lot today. It’s obvious I should plan more or not lead any more rides and Paul said he had the best day, getting ‘lost’ with me and being random. We eventually made our way South (with Paul back in the lead) and decided to stop at Seaside and look for accommodation. We found a hostel which is basically a beautiful shack on the beach. It has prayer flags strung about and the poster at reception says: “Today’s Word: ‘Coddiwomple’ – To travel in a purposeful manner toward a vague destination.”