In 2007 I rode as far south as I'd ever gone, to Crater Lake in Oregon. At its most southern point, I split from Mike, who was heading south into California.
On some level, that was the start of a different kind of riding for me. First, I realize just how much I like travelling on the bike. Not just riding to get a rush, doing an hour sprint for coffee or a day ride, but a 'long' ride. Second, I realize that I enjoy being out there on my own.
Now, I did not realize that all at once, but as I traveled home over the next few days, it started a new way of thinking about bike-travel for me.
This year, after 'fleeing' the heat in California I got a chance to return to Crater Lake. It was, once again, beautiful.
But it was also something else. It was familiar.
That place that had seemed far away in 2007 was now a place I knew. And from there on, I was fairly sure I was going to be riding mainly roads that I knew. So it seemed so very much closer to home.
If I chose, I could be home in only a 2 day ride. Nothing to write home about.
Once you start thinking like that, well, maybe it's not that the world is shrinking; maybe your experiences are just expanding your mind.
Crater Lake deserves it's own post tomorrow :)