Sometimes travel is easy. At those times I sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. There are moments in travel that are hard, things don’t go right and the trip becomes a struggle. I believe the term is “Roadblock”.
Riding down the coast with Cat has had moments of each. The ride itself has been comfortable and the sights have been rewarding and awe inspiring. Cat’s days are long and often she is tired when arriving at camp. It is hard for her to want to interact and be social. Sometime I have been lonely on this trip and I long for the socialization at the end of the day. These two separate daily events have made it hard for both of us.
About 2 weeks ago we decided that staying together each day might not be the healthiest thing for us. A friend of mine reminded me, it is important to remember that this is a situation that Cat and I have chosen to take on. We can change the situation anytime we want. We decided to try a different approach to our current situation. After a few different experiments on how we could make things work smoother, Cat is now riding unassisted. That means she is carrying her tent, sleeping bag and all her gear with her on her bike. I am there if she needs me and I am somewhat paralleling her ride down the coast. We touch base by text every few days to make sure this is working for her and myself. So far, it is working well. As Cat has gotten stronger and increased her mileage, she has become more independent. It feels, to me, like a natural progression.
Paralleling each other has given me the time to explore more at my leisure. I can pick my campsites and stay a few days or more. This has allowed me to relax more and not feel like I always need to be on top of where we stay the next night. It has given Miss Elsie the Cat a few dog free nights in a row. I think that is a good thing for her.
Friendships are fragile. They need to be taken care of on a daily basis or even more frequently. The hardest thing to do sometimes is to communicate with others. I have found on this trip that often when things have gotten stressful between the two of us, it is a result of miscommunication. Our friendship is new, we have not known each other long. It takes practice and time with other human beings to learn how to communicate well. We are a work in progress.
I travel alone, now that Jim has died. He and I traveled together, frequently. We had our moments of miscommunication. It wasn’t always stress free. Most of the time, though, we did communicate well. It was usually smooth and easy and supportive. The longer we were together the easier and smoother it became.
Now that I am alone again I have to learn how to communicate with others again. It is not an easy process. We as humans are fragile and can be broken pretty easily, at times. We are also resilient and can pick up the pieces and move on again. This combination of fragility and resilience is what makes friendships worth the effort. This is why Cat and I keep adjusting our situation as we move down the 101. We are not ready to give up on the trip or our friendship.
Sometimes it is worth the effort one puts into a situation. This whole adventure with Cat continues to allow me to grow and define who I am as a human being on this planet. It is giving me the opportunity to find my strength to learn how to communicate freely and openly with another human being and hold my ground. And, if this situation doesn’t work then it is OK to change it again.