I’ve put off this update for so long that it’s awkward and embarrassing. The longer I put it off, the more uncomfortable and monumental the task felt. At first, it was because I was crushed and disappointed, it felt like a failure, a lack of fortitude and determination.
In reality, however, it was necessary.
Back in December, just shy of the New Mexico border on I-10, I had a seizure. Fortunately, I had zipped up the canine caboose when I turned onto the interstate. Another stroke of luck: I felt funny and stopped. While straddling the bike, I fell back and smacked my head hard enough to crack my helmet. The result was a mild concussion and two sprained wrists.
It is unnerving that despite the steady stream of traffic on the road, no one stopped to help.
(Safety plug: always wear your helmet! My neurologist has a patient who lost his balance while waiting at a stop light, hit his head on the curb, and is in a coma.)
Luckily I had friends who lived a couple of hours away and came to the rescue. Lucky unlucky that it happened where and when it did.
It rattles me to think what could have happened. What if I had been on a narrow shoulder-less road if the caboose door hadn’t been zipped, if it had happened on a blind curve? Lucky unlucky. Before I start out again, I need to be confident that my seizures are being managed.
What makes it especially frustrating — the most challenging part of the trip was over. I was leaving behind the California passes, the Arizona 100 degree heatwave and was feeling fit and comfortable with my steady tortoise-like pace. I had hit my stride, the dogs and I had our routine down, and we were enjoying life on the road.
I try to remember that I managed to cover 863 miles with an elevation gain of 21,086 ft, carrying and towing 150 lbs+ of dog and cargo.
Here’s to next autumn, 863 miles down and 1,850 to go.
P.S. In January 2015 I bought a Lance 2295 travel trailer with the intention of traveling the country and audition potential towns to set my roots. The photo was taken when I was a volunteer caretaker at the Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. More on my travels circumnavigating the US and Canada to come. One and a half years later I landed back in Patagonia, Arizona. There’s something about Patagonia that keeps calling me back.