Saturday, July 28, 2012

Preparations - Weighing Everything

Dad and Me in Big Bend Nat'l Park
Airline reservations are made, hostel reserved in Madrid for Sept 7, boots, pack, sleeping bag . . . my life has become a check-list.  It is actually SEVERAL check-lists - a list of check-lists.
  • Client Work to be done before I leave
  • Business Sustenance Arrangements - keeping things ticking along    
  • Home and Personal Affairs to get in order - just in case . . .
  • Travel and Lodging plans - there and back again
  • Kit for the Walk
I'm weighing everything that goes into the pack.   I'm trying to keep the weight on my back (knees really) to under 15 lbs.  I find myself weighing my towel, my toothbrush, my shoestrings . . . As the book says, "To Walk Far, Carry Less".

The metaphor is annoyingly unsubtle as I consider how much communications equipment to take along.  At a minimum, I'll take the iPhone and a charger cord (and converter plug).  I plan to disable phone/data and use only wifi.  It is a difference without a distinction though - thanks to Skype.

The next question is whether to take a solar charger for the phone (add .5 lb in weight).  The truth is, this question is more about how readily connect-able I want to be while I'm on the pilgrimage road.

Can I risk losing connection for more than a day or two?  Do I really need to be in constant connection?  Do I want to be?

I'm resisting what I really know deep down - that a crucial aspect of pilgrimage is the separation from one's daily norm and comfortable identities.

How separated am I prepared to be?  Dare I separate from my beloved identities and risk trekking out into a world of radio silence for two months?  My busy mind is convinced that if I'm not pedaling, the world won't keep turning properly.

Maybe that's the experiment inherent in a two-month pilgrimage.  I have to admit, I'm pretty scared about stepping out the door and leaving the business I've built and career I've nurtured to the care of others for 56 days.

Would carrying connectivity guarantees along with me be carrying a safety net or dragging a tether?



  1. Tough call. The idea of two months of get-away-from-it-all sounds sooooo enticing. But thinking about it and actually doing it are two very different things. I'm so excited for you and Dad.

  2. We'll be walking through towns and cities -- so there will be Internet cafes and public phones at some stops along the way. So, I guess we aren't getting away from it ALL . . . I remember that it took me about two weeks to stop reaching for my Blackberry when I went cold turkey on that several years ago. Now, I'm back to checking the 'personal digital assistant' every 15 minutes (while I'm awake). I'm looking forward to stepping that back a bit!

  3. I must admit having to check on life every 15 minutes seems extreme. Yet I'm guilty of watching a lot of newscasts. I guess it's not what we do but how and why we do it that matters. We can be resting in the Lord when we are at our busiest or we can be totally tied up in tension and control issues when we are supposed to be relaxing. The pilgrimage will give you lots of insights. You and Dad immediately felt strongly about going, so it will be a gamechanger, whatever. It already has been for me: I'm having to learn to do our books on the computer. The learning process has dealt with a formely "never go there" place in our marriage relationship. Harold has been a champ; me, not so much. Mom

  4. Best wishes for an unforgettable journey. I will follow your progress with prayer and interest.


  5. I am so glad I have been preparing for this pilgrimage for 6 months. I didn't realize how much strength my 82 year old body had lost - even compared to just a few years ago. I am carrying about 19 pounds (including water and sandals strapped to the outside) in my backpack currently. I would like it to be at least one pound less than that. I don't know where I am going to be able to cut the additional weight. I am working on that now.

  6. Linda, if you stop pedaling, the world's gravity will lessen and we will all fall off! Please ... don't be rash ... ;0)

  7. I can't believe you're having this conversation. Go conquer the mountain and enjoy this time with your father. We'll still be here. The world doesn't turn that quickly. Leave the solar charger at home.