What do you miss most from our bike tour?
Old Man: I miss the rhythm of the bike tour.
Me: Meeting new people
Sissy: Meeting new people
Otter: Seeing all of the wildlife, going to beaches, meeting new people.
Tango: I miss all the Warm Showers hosts and all the people doing nice things for us.
Big Mo: Seeing all of the wildlife.
What do you like most about living residentially again?
Old Man: No longer having to continually pack and unpack—living out of bags.
Me: Indoor respite with climate control and fewer bug bites
Sissy: The predictability of where we are staying and what it offers.
Otter: Having projects again, like Legos [that are not limited by packing volume].
Tango: I like that we don’t have to set up camp every day and that we can have more things.
Big Mo: Having toys and dress-ups again.
What are you looking forward to next?
Old Man: Being established somewhere.
Me: Our summer travels
Sissy: Going abroad.
Otter: Spending more time with our cousins.
Tango: I’m excited for our trip.
Big Mo: Meeting more new people.
Human kindness is alive and well.
My arbitrary expectation that all Toyota Prius drivers would be extra courteous to us given our shared ‘green transportation’ aim was proven hollow.
Hourly weather forecasts are never to be trusted. Ever.
Hills can be hard to pin down: sometimes you still have to pedal on a downhill; the hills frequently look worse from far away; downhills are so much sweeter following a challenging uphill.
God always provides, whether that be through giving us the strength needed to go further than planned or putting someone in our path to assist us, He always provides.
I find myself puzzled by the increasing rejection of religious faith when a seeming majority of drivers are more than willing to take a grand leap of faith to pass us with zero line of sight of oncoming traffic; or sees oncoming traffic and trusts the oncoming driver is paying attention and willing to accommodate the lane intrusion. It is all the more impressive when one considers how common practice distracted-cell-phone-driving is.
Driving under the influence is significantly more prevalent than we thought or expected—based on the number of beer cans/bottles and liquor bottles littered along the roadsides.
If a levy for the purchase and employment of additional street sweepers ever finds its way onto my ballot, I will happily vote ‘yes’.
The pursuit of simplicity can be elusive. Prior to the bike tour we failed to consider that domestic simplicity can be defined in multiple ways: 1. To decrease the quantity of tasks and demands in a finite period of time, or 2. To reduce the complexity of the tasks required. We thought that by eliminating the quantity of demands on our time that more time for relaxation would result. Tethered domestic life requires more balls in the air each day, but has technological conveniences to reduce the burden of their achievement (dishwashers, cars, etc.). We had fewer daily tasks required of us while bike touring, but all of them took longer—running errands, in terms of duration and frequency; washing dishes (hand washing everything and often having to boil water beforehand to do so); and family bathing to name a few (one set of toiletries that had to be ferried across four kids in separate gendered bathrooms and stalls). So the simplicity we gained came at the expense of the other we had.
Personifying animal dialogue never gets old.
Our budget for this sabbatical year as a family of six came in just above the poverty line. We stayed within budget the entire time except for the month of January when we had the weather-induced glut of hotel stays. Our inventory of personal possessions was at a minimum, we rarely ate out, and we looked increasingly shabbier with each passing day. The bulk of our memories center around the people we met and the experiences we had, not on what we wore or the material consumption we went without.
One of our best budget hacks was a museum membership in Montana. The membership qualified us for reciprocal admission to most of the other museums we visited over the course of the rest of the tour.
Many presumed paved roads on GoogleMaps are not.