It is time to be moving on. Perhaps northeast this time. But I won’t go that way directly. I am bound for the coast highway, and then I will head north to Vancouver. From there I will meander east, to finally end up in Ontario.
By far the greatest pleasure in moving on is the road less traveled. Interstates are great for making time, for putting a lot of distance behind me. To really see the country, I have to get on the secondary highways, the “blue highways” on the old road maps. Now these roads are marked in red and don’t have the same mystique when studied in a hotel room, but they go to the same places, and mark much the same distance as many of the roads of old.
Some of these roads I have traveled in previous years, and I know the best roadside diners, the quieter rest stops, the detours to save miles and time. At other times I must feel my way around, and learn by trial and error the best places to stop.
All this takes a willingness to come back and try again, for there is never enough time to discover all the truly interesting places and people. That may not happen for years, and of course by then the best or the worst places might have closed. Familiar, friendly faces may have moved on. The investigative process will start all over again.
If I’m lucky, someone has told me about a town to visit, a restaurant to try, a new landscape to view. If it’s in my path, I’ll take a chance and ride through, eat and be a tourist again. New asphalt, new towns, new people all combine to make for an interesting sojourn into unknown territory.
But then the urge to move on will strike anew, and I’ll head off for a distant horizon, for a new day, for a brighter sunshine or a bluer sky.
One of the hardest parts of the vagabond life is knowing that I may never return, that I may never see new friends and acquaintances again.
The hardest part is never saying goodbye.