Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preping the Outback for the Outback

The time spent before a journey is often underrated. Preparation is the key to success in most things.  When I was young I would jump into things so fast that I would trip over my own feet. That was true then, rushing headlong into things without proper judgment. As I am older now I have learned my lessons and see the need for careful forethought.

In preparation for the upcoming road trip I  am thinking about my trusty 1998 Subaru Outback, checking the tires, hoses, belts and making sure that it is properly serviced. I have installed a GPS device to avoid getting lost. I am considering a storage box for the roof rack and wondering if I will need the extra storage space. What should I pack and how much will I need? Clothing, food, camping stuff, hiking equipment, computer, camera and all support gear, flashlight batteries, etc. the list goes on and on. How will I fit it all? How do I organize it efficiently so I can find what I need when I need it.

My Subaru is a wonderful car, all-wheel drive in the northwest is mandatory for so much of the bad weather days we have. Rain or snow, I can count on my car to get me where I need to go. I have all my Auto Club maps and books. I am wondering how far I can go in a day and where I will be and how long I should give myself to explore each photo location. Is there a motel, or hotel, will they have a vacancy? Rest stops and camp Spots? Should I book the room now? Too many questions.

The complexities are mounting the more I think of all the variables. I am sure there is a tilting point to all this preparation that will cause me to toss out the maps and checklist and just live each step of the experience so that there is room for the unexpected. I am searching for the spirit of the journey, the lessons of the events. I want to remain flexible to stay or go as the situation dictates. Will I find the spiritual vortex of the places I visit and if so, can I stay longer? So much is unsure and so much is possible... I think I will be ready, I think I will be prepared, I think I will be flexible. So look for me on the road but don't expect me to be on time, I may be a little early or I may be a little late... sooner or later I will be there.

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