I must say.
We’re back on the ranch, after our two-month odyssey that consisted of:
- dropping Thien off at Oregon State,
- flying to Wrangell to Dauntless,
- the 15-day cruise of bringing Dauntless down to Seattle,
- unloading Dauntless,
- getting all our personal stuff off,
- Cleaning her
- Packing the truck for the trip back to Texas
- The 2,000 mile, 6-day drive from Seattle, via Corvallis to Austin
It’s been a busy two months. The easiest part was the drive back to Texas, in part because all the other stuff was already done. And I think we only lost one container of who knows what on the trip back!
I admit I came to tears a few times on Dauntless. Here is a link to the latest pictures and how she looks now: Dauntless Today Insides
Was I giving up my dream too soon? Was I not strong enough to fight for what I believe in?? Was I just being a coward, like other times in my life when I ran away???
I quite enjoyed the drive from Oregon to Texas. The most direct route is mostly Interstate-free which I strive for anywhere west of Chicago. Out west, I’ve found that the old US highways are not only more interesting in that they actually go thru towns and don’t have the 1/8th of a mile set-backs, than the Interstates, but they are not significantly slower. They have 10%, if that, of the traffic on the Interstate and almost no police presence, so one can set their speed as conditions allow.
Clearly, for someone who is willing to cast off the lines and be on the open ocean for three weeks, I like travelling be it by car or boat. It allows one to see the scenery go by, as opposed to flying which has become such a chore from the first security checkpoint to wondering when your bags will show up on the baggage carousel.
Yes, I love travelling. In certain aspects, I like driving even more than cruising, at least in the sense that while driving the scenery does change if not by the hour, at least by the day. Cruising on Dauntless on the other hand, once you are 30 miles off the coast it looks the same until you are 30 miles from the next continent. But, it also has the advantage that one is cruising from their living room. I loved living and cruising on Dauntless. How else can one move from one spectacular view to another, all the while living, eating, and sleeping in nature!!
The downside for me of driving is the reflection time it forces upon me. Unlike cruising, I can’t do anything else. I can’t cook dinner nor watch a Korean drama. I must keep my attention at the highest of levels for whatever time I am at the wheel. Back in the day, when I was driving my Alfa Romeo Montreal from Germany to Italy every two weeks, to see my Italian girlfriend, I can still remember arriving in her parking lot after 8 hours and 550 miles and having to peel my fingers off the steering wheel. Averaging almost 70 mph for 8 hours through cities, mountains and fields was not for the faint of heart. But just as now, I liked pushing myself.
One time due to breakdown in the Italian train service, I ended up driving to Milan just to pickup my girlfriend from the train station and turn around to head back home since I had to work that day. It was an overnight trip thru the Alps of Italy and Switzerland. I even came across a broken down car that was stranded in the middle of the St. Bernard tunnel and towed him out of the tunnel. That thankful driver rewarded me with a bottle of Slivovitz.
The best part of the whole trip as when it was over my girlfriend turned to me and told me she never realized how hard the trip was for me to come see her and how much she appreciated it.
I miss those days, mostly because I miss Europe. Europe has changed. It’s not the car friendly place it was 40 years ago, but in many aspects, it’s still great and offers a variety of conditions in relatively small distances.
The only downside of all this driving is that I end up laying relentless Do-Loops, of what I should have, could have done in every aspect of my life. From leaving good jobs for bad ones to investments bought high and sold low. My only solace is that I can’t be the only person who managed to lose money on Amazon, Tesla, and Microsoft, when they were 1/100th of todays price. At least I tell myself that.
The worst aspect of this constant self-reflection is that there are really no solutions. In particular I think of a couple of women that I should have held on to as hard as they were holding me. I hurt them because I was a coward.
I avoided conflict, even minor conflict. Other men would “go out for cigarettes;” I’d start a whole new life over minor conflicts that would be forgotten in a day.
Which brings me to Dauntless. Am I treating her like I treated these other past loves? I can see why people don’t mind paying the 10% broker fee, so they don’t have to answer those mundane questions that I end up taking so personally.
I have a couple of people really interested in Dauntless in the last months. I need to be less of a coward when it comes to talking about her and what I’ve done or not done. I also need to remind them that as I wrote the blog, there was some dramatic effect involved. I’m not saying I exaggerated events or crises, but I often did not mention how easy the solution was or how few issues I really had.
I am going to try to continue this blog. I’ll just be writing about different types of travels. I would also like to start filming these car trips, since there is some interest in that.
On that note, here is a glimpse of my new life this morning.
Thanks for reading.