Thursday, January 18, 2007

Florence to Franklin, KY

Jan 9, 2007

The ride between Florence and Franklin Kentucky today was bone chilling. A thoroughly numbing cold. I had wanted to get further along. Everyday it seems that I want to get further. Gotta go. Gotta go. Get back on schedule.

But I didn’t get further along. I couldn’t. So around dusk when the temp started to drop, I calculated the distance to Merewether Lewis Campground. It was too far and yet not far enough. Even if I could make it to Merewether Lewis Campground it would be too cold. Already I’d seen flecks of snow once between Florence and Lexington and again between Louisville and Franklin. The temp had already dropped below 35* and it wasn’t even dark yet.

Again today I had managed to find a Wendy’s. Once a day I stop and have a bowl of Chili and a baked potato and take some time to warm up. These comfort foods warmed not just my body, but gave me a bit of courage to face what was ahead, which at times I needed more than the sustenance and warmth Now I stood in a gas station thinking about these facts curling my fingers around a cup of hot chocolate.

I glanced down and saw a discount hotel book and started to thumb though it. Where was I? Although I knew I was on I-65 and kind of close to Tennessee I had no idea of the exit number. “Hey, what exit am I at?” I asked. The guy manning the cash register just looked down his nose at me, but a lady answered “Exit 30.”

What luck. At exit 6 in Franklin Kentucky; there was a brand new Days Inn for only $32.95 and it had what I craved. High Speed Internet Access. Finding myself greatly cheered, I strapped on my helmet; pulled on my gloves, flexed my weary muscles and roared down to Exit 6 Days Inn while it was still light enough to see clearly. Maybe it’s not too late to teach an old dog, new tricks.

Right now I am tense. My focus is becoming a lot about money and how much something will or won’t cost. Too much money has been eaten up by my having to stay in hotels because I got such a late start, but it’s cold and I am weary and anxious.

I am anxious about using my tent for the first time, which has to be tomorrow night. What ifs are filling my head?
What if the tent isn’t big enough?
What if it’s too cold?
What if it rains while I am in the tent?
What if I can’t get warm?
What if this or what if that.

I took off with a kid’s tent and a summer sleeping bag. What if that was a mistake? I am too heavy to be able to afford rain gear that fits. What if that was a mistake? And the old, my load is too heavy, too bulky and keeps shifting. What if the answer I try tomorrow doesn’t work either?

Thoughts of failure try to run through my head, but I keep pushing on, not wanting to stop trying for my dream, not wanting to turn back.

It’s really cold tonight. Below 30* now. I’m glad I have the hotel room. When I step outside it feels warmer than below 30* because I have been running in 40* weather at 60 mph fighting 20-30 mph wind gusts. Those end up being frigid temps.

It did take me less time to warm up tonight. Either the wind chill was less or I have gotten better at warming up. Probably a little bit of both.

As I stand outside I think a lot about how things are relative. Thirty degrees isn’t that cold when you’ve been in much colder air all day.

To get warm I have learned to take off all my clothes and don a t-shirt and shorts and turn the heat up, otherwise the warm air has to warm up all my clothes before it gets to “the real me.” *snicker

I worked on cc stuff and didn’t have a chance to post before I checked out so I am going to end up posting this stuff late.

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