I have had several readers asked if this journey has been what I have expected. I mostly tell them that it has been and much more. When I started this journey, I did not know what to expect. However, I did notice that life is interesting when you expect one thing and you get another. This journey has been full of them.
For example, I have always thought that Los Angeles had the worst drivers but I was proven wrong on Route 9 in Massachusetts. I have been cut off and tail gated more times than I could count. In addition, there roads were in horrible shape. The pavement had tire grooves in them. Something I would expect on a dirt road but not on pavement. According to Allstate Insurances, the top 10 cities that has the worst drivers are:
1. Boston, MA (which I now have personally experienced)
2. Washington, DC
3. Baltimore, MD
4. Philadelphia, PA
5. San Francisco, CA
6. Los Angeles, CA
7. Pittsburgh, PA
8. Miami, FL
9. Oakland, CA
10. New Orlean, LA
Another thing that got my expectation distorted were two museums that I visited back to back. The first one was Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) house in Hartford, CT. I was pretty excited seeing how he lived and where most of his stories came alive. So I cringed when the cost was $25.00 for the tour but decided it will be worth it. Boy I was disappointed, our tour guide was boring and spoke in a monotone voice the whole time. Then we were not allowed to take pictures inside the house which I couldn’t understand since the entire inside were reproduction so the flash wouldn’t have ruin anything.
So the next day, I did a tour of the French Azilum in Towanda, PA which only cost me $5.00. When I walked up to the house, it was in sorry condition and worried that it wouldn’t have much to see in it. Boy, was I proven wrong. I got there late in the day and was the only one in the last tour of the day. Lee, my tour guide, who just started two weeks ago was an amazing story teller. She and I had so much fun walking throughout the house and letting me guess what some of the objects were and allowing me to take as many pictures I wanted. At the end, she asked about my journey and shared her story as well. She was a school teacher and quit her job seven years ago to take care of her boyfriend who had brain cancer who is now in remission. After being a care giver for seven year, she wanted to start working again but didn’t want to deal with the politic of being a teacher again. So, stumbled upon this job as curator for the French Azilum museum. She is having a blast doing it. hmm…I could do something like this. Still thinking of what I want to be when I grow up.
I always knew that you get what you paid for but still it is still a shock when you pay $50.00 for a a major chain hotel room and you wondered if the sheet has been washed. Then when you have limited choices in hotels and have to pay $100.00 for one and you feel like a queen when you’re in a suite with a sitting area that is separated from the bedroom area. Wish I could afford the higher quality more often but I got to be more budget conscious when traveling since the estate still haven’t closed yet.
Now the last expectation is the hardest for me to swallow. Before, I started this trip, I thought I would struggle emotionally and mentally on this journey. I was worried that living a solidarity life would be challenging but actually I’m enjoying it. There has been times that I was itching to be alone after spending several days with families or friends. Surprisingly, it is physically where I’m struggling. I never once thought that I would be physically out of shape to ride every day. The vibration from the motorcycle is taking a toll on the arthritis in my hands. I have had arthritis for at least twenty years (too young to be having them). Right before Russ got sick, my doctor wanted me to make an appointment with an Rheumatologist to find out why I’m having arthritis and tremors for the last twenty years. Well, I never got around to with him being sick, then dealing with the estate and planning for this trip. Now it is catching up with me. Every morning and night, my hands are swollen and I’m chomping down on Ibuprofen just to get through the day. So now I wonder if I can physically make the year long trip or will it be cut short. Once I get back to California, I will need to make an appointment with the doctor. If it get cut short, how will it affect me emotionally and mentally if it has to be cut short. There are still roads and places I want to go to. I set a goal to do this for a year and now I may not be able to. I know it is irrational but it make me feel like a failure. Then once I get over that feeling, will I be content staying in one place again or will I be restless? So many unanswered questions playing in my head. I just got to remember to take it one day at a time and worry about it when the time comes.
As for expectation, I just need to remember to go into it with eyes wide open and just roll with the experiences that comes my way and learn from it.
19 thoughts on “Expectation”
Ginamarie, this post could have been written for me. I needed your words and this reminder. Whether you continue or have to pause to care for yourself, this ride adventure is already an achievement, a success, and a gift to people like me who get to ride along. Buckets of love to you!
Thank you Kat…I have done hard soul searching the last couple of days and this post was the hardest for me to admit. Your kind words helped me to reconfirm that I’m making the right decision and will be okay with it.
Glad you are hanging in there, and have made it to Kurt’s Ranch for the tire change…..it is a relaxing place to sit a spell…..
Thank you Pat…Kurt and his wife are gracious host…spoiling me.
Gina Marie, from the medical perspective of what your hands are going through, stop taking the ibuprofen, and switch over to Tylenol Arthritis tablets. Much better for you, stomach wise, and you will take less of them. They can be bought at any drug store. And while in that same drug store, buy a pair of compression gloves, as long of gauntlet as they have available, to wear when off the bike. You “could” even wear them while riding….that is your choice. But the compression gloves will help reduce the swelling in your hands.
Wish you the best on this road trip,
TWilight (Mike) (Doc Nukem)
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I also have a problem with my hands on the bicycle, and I ride for a much shorter period of time. I think the compression gloves are a good idea, definitely when you’re not riding. Also, when you’re just walking/standing around, clench and unclench your fists, and if you can, hold your hands over your head. The muscle movement combined with gravity helps to get the fluid out of your hands.
Sorry the Mark Twain Museum was such a disappointment—$25! sheesh!
Thank you Irene. At every stop lights I have been doing what you’re suggesting to get through the day
We all make plans of grandeur, that are not often carried through to fruition….that’s just how life is, you have to take it one step at a time and hope it all works out. The experiences that you do have, make it all worthwhile.
Be safe my friend…
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Thank you Russ
Hi, I have the same hand trouble when riding everyday for long periods. I soak my hands in hot water in the morning to be able to get them to work. So, you are not alone in that respect. I have fallen short of many of my “goals”. But, the shortening of one attempt has left more time available for the next “goal”. So, enjoy the moment. Russ would be proud of you. You have already covered more of this great country on a TW than most – who sit and dream about “what ifs”. From Aguila, AZ – – – – John
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Ah, girl, I look forward to your posts!! Boston (and likely anywhere in Massachusetts, sorry to say) IS the worst city to drive in…when I went there for a conference, everyone, including the locals, said DO NOT drive in Boston. And even in a cab, you are never sure you will live to get where you are going.
On the subject of your hands…and your trip. First and foremost, I would say that you should follow up and see a doc — having been through 2 hand surgeries this year for carpal tunnel, I would say, hands are pretty important. Find out what can be done to help you — the compression gloves do help me! Second, shortening your travel for a bit or taking a break doesn’t end your trip…it’s just a side path. You can pick it back up ANYTIME…really!! The problem most of us people have is the limitations we put on ourselves — you inspire me to dream. You keep dreaming, too!! Love you!!
Thank you Cheriton and love you too!
Try taking some tumeric for the swelling. You can get it in capsule form.
Hang in there as long as you can, but don’t hurt yourself either. You’ve done an amazing journey, one to be proud of, they’ll write songs about you. Ride your own ride and stop when you want to, there is no failure in it.
Thank you Dan…making my way west and will visit the doctor to see what they say. Only time will tell.
Either way it goes, you are already a legend in your own time.
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Hi Gina, I’ve learned that one of the “perks” of aging is a longer recovery period~and when I ride consecutive days, well, my body starts to protest. I start getting more emotional and then fatigue sets in quicker and I know then that I have to take 2-3 days off or so before continuing. And I hear you about the arthritis! The road noise + vibration of the bike + dehydration sets me up for unhappy, swelly joints. (It’s one reason I wear a hydration pack on long rides.) And during the riding season with gorgeous weather, who has time for that?! Another thought…..about lodging…..have you tried a bed and breakfast? Sometimes the price is actually less than a hotel room and you will enjoy a more intimate setting with better, personable customer service. And your hosts will direct you to interesting points of interest in the area. Just a thought…
Great idea Cathy…I’ll start looking into those places.
Gina! I’ve been following but holding off on commenting……until now. Route 9 in Mass? I could have warned you. The only traffic accident I ever had during 20 years of living in Massachusetts was on Rt. 9. I totaled my boss’ truck.
You were within 8 miles of the house I grew up in and literally rode past the driveway of the house I lived in during my wild guitar player in a rock band days. If you remember seeing signs for Westborough, Southborough, Worcester you were 10 minutes away from one or another of my family members, including my Mom and my little sister who both adored Russ, still talk about him, and would have fed you til you burst and then given you a bed to sleep on for as long as you wanted.
Ah well, maybe it’s for the best. They’re a bunch of crazy half-Italians anyway.
Love ya lots.
PS Yeah, driving in Boston. Why? When I lived in Back Bay, cars were a nuisance. Everything you could possibly think of was within waking distance, and even if you owned a car there was no place to park it. Transportation for us was two feet and the MTA.
Remember, this a city whose downtown streets were laid out in the days when you only needed enough room to let a horse pass you while walking.
hugs and kisses from me and MiChelle