This is a day 2 and 3 of my journey to upper New York state via Cambridge. Yesterday, which was day 2 was too long on the road and too cold. It seemed as if it never got much better than the low forties and stayed in the thirties. Essentially, the day started early and it was a rain in the low forties till I got to Washington or so and then the skies cleared and it was just plain cold.
Opened the door of the motel and there sat the Dragon Princes looking like a wet dog. I am sure that if she could have taken a chunk out of me that she would have done. However, little did she or I know that wake up on the next day was going to be a lot worse and the night colder still. In fact, the temperature on the second night got below freezing and the parking lot in the hotel had ice where the snow melted the night before. In fact again, had to wait an extra hour for it to melt and as such had the free breakfast at the hotel.
Essentially, the day started with the GPS going out on me. My choices were to find a Best Buy and wait for them to open or go to the closest truck stop and get one. A long time ago I learned that it was cheaper to buy a GPS and then get a two year contract. In the last two or so years I have gone through 5 or 6 of them. However, cooling my heels was not an option and so it was on the road till I hit a truck stop.
I guess if there was a hallmark for the trip it would be that once I crossed the Georgia state line, I wore a face mask the whole time. A first it was a neoprene one which was good on the breath but you can see the neck and the air at highway speeds went down my chest and it was cold. Had another one that was made of wool that also had a head cover and drop down part the covered the upper part of the chest. The problem with wool is that it could be breathed in and now there must be a ton of wool in my lungs.
There is a problem with just getting a new GPS and putting it to work. You do need to up date it prior to every road trip. I bought it in a truck stop, took it outside and on my bike. There is no telling how long it had been sitting on the truck stop shelves. Lost time in Washington D.C. with road construction and then in New York at the Washington Bridge. It got so bad at the bridge that instead of coming off at I-95 that I ended up headed north on the Merritt Parkway. Getting into the city was a disaster because just about time the GPS had re-calculated the new route, I had to take a turn that sent it into a new calculation again. Finally, just pulled over to let the GPS recalculate and then got on to the journey again.
This brought me to the lesson learned from the journey which is somewhat the lesson of my life. Got so wrapped up in my own self imposed schedule that I lost track of everything. Coming out of New York, I had reached what could be called the limit of my safe driving capacity. Had been on the road a long time, it was cold and by that I mean most of the time in the 30s and I am 70. I pushed for the first two hours of darkness in what amounted to rush hour out of New York. Yes, held my own but my fingers and toes were cold and I question if I could have handled an emergency. When I did pull over, it was 2000 and I was exhausted.
The next day, as I as packing to leave realized there was no rush and had all day to get to Cambridge. Decided to enjoy the ride. It was colder than any other part of the journey to date and when my fingers and toes got cold then pulled over to a Dunkin Donuts got a donut and coffee. Stopped to take a couple photos of the snow. There were all kinds of riding from two lane roads to the Interstate. Just rode to enjoy the ride without concern for the time. Not all that long ago, it hit me that this was like life. It is in the journey and not the destination. Death is the only destination that we are all going to share. As was the thought when I left Gainesville and saw the ribbon of cars going nowhere only to make the return at the end of the day.
Another price paid for the hard ride on day two was that I could not get my brain together today. Had to give a talk and nothing clicked. As I sit here writing, how many times things did not click in life because I had pushed myself too much. On the flip side, I had gotten some of the nicest texts and emails yesterday and today from those I have been with over the last five or so years and all the better because today is Valentines day. These would never have been so truly appreciated if the hand of fate had not kept me safe last night when I was pushing the envelop.
Will get a full nights sleep tonight and then it is on to New York state for a talk to the Spirituality in Medicine (SIM) on Saturday.