One of the best things about travel, is the part before you even leave home… the planning. Whether you are shortly off on your annual holiday, going away for a short weekend or even embarking on a ‘journey of a lifetime’, it’s great fun to pore over maps, peruse guide books and google away contentedly about your upcoming destination.
But the best thing about making plans is changing them. Sponteneity is the key. Especially on long trips. When life on the road is getting monotonous and dull, or just plain hard, that is the time to change your plans. Suddenly you will find enjoyment and a new interest.
The original plan, for my latest trip, was to bike the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. But it seemed a shame not to see more of Canada before starting. So we added on a bike loop of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. A mere 2,000km extra! We knew we were already starting late in the season, but by the time we arrived in Banff for the start of the GDMBR, there were far more cold and rainy days than sun-filled ones.
We had a fun few days after leaving Banff, but both of us were looking forward to getting south as fast as possible, just so we could get to the better weather. And that just wasn’t fun. So, sat in a small cafe in Eureka, Montana, drinking coffee, delaying leaving…. one of us jokingly said, ‘why don’t we head to Idaho instead of Wyoming?’ and the other said, ‘Well, why not?’ This would mean no longer following the Great Divide, but it would mean heading to Boise where we could meet and stay with other cycle tourers. The idea of having somewhere to stay for longer than one or two days, was a big draw. In six weeks, we’d had only six rest days. We were both tired of cycling.
So we ordered another coffee, dug out the map, replanned our route. In twenty minutes we went from tired and unenthusiastic to raring to hit the road.
We are now in Boise, Idaho state’s capital; the biggest town since we started the trip. It was the right decision. It was a beautiful journey here and now it’s time to dig out the maps again and plan ahead.
Next up is Utah and Arizona. Let’s hope we pass through before the snow arrives!
The Great Divide will just had to wait for another time, when I can leave earlier in the year.
(if you would like to follow my journey, you can do so on my blog, Helen’s Take On…)