Crater Lake To Stanley, Day 18 : Discomfort

I’m napping in a small clearing near my tent, in an unmaintained campground about a mile off the main road outside of Stanley. I’ve got my sweater beneath my head, on top of a warm rock, and am listening to some spacey Biosphere tracks. I’m having a decent enough time, but I am also feeling strangely restless. I haven’t biked more than ten miles in the last three days.

The forest around me is pleasant, and I’ve gone walking around in it a few times. A small snowmelt creek is rushing briskly along about 30 feet away, and I’ve dipped my feet in it and washed some vegetables in it. I ate the last vegetable – a big red bell pepper – earlier today. I have no responsibilities, and nothing to do with the time except lay back and rest. But for some reason I’m not really enjoying myself.

After a few hours of drifting around half asleep, I realize what’s wrong: Now that I’ve decided my destination is Stanley, I’m already feeling as though my journey is over. My mind has changed gears. Now instead of traveling, what I really want to do is work on something; build or create something, or talk about my trip with someone. But there is no one here, and there is nothing to work on.

Maybe it’s good that this trip is ending.

Or on the other hand, maybe I have only shifted mental gears because I anticipate the ending — because I know I won’t be traveling any farther. Maybe if I still had another thousand miles ahead of me, I’d still be pedaling happily along? Guess I’ll have to wait for the next trip to find out.

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