I am terrible at planning. I think most people know that about me. Well actually, let me rephrase that. I think if I actually put my mind to it, I could be a decent planner. So the truth is more along the lines of “I hate to plan.” It’s mostly because I see it as unnecessary. As far as I can remember, I’ve reached my destination without planning too far ahead. Of course I’ve often had some mishaps along the way, but I take it as all part of the adventure.
Today I found myself driving 120 miles to plan a route for an upcoming overnight bicycle trip. If it were up to me, I would just hop on my bike the day of the trip and ride, figuring my route along the way using my smartphone. A couple of years back I rode from Davis to San Francisco in that fashion. It was a ridiculous journey (especially because our destination was actually Bodega Bay). I’ve done some pretty epic trips (well by my standards they’re epic, by your standards maybe they’re really tame), but that trip still stands out in my mind as my favorite and most epic. And I owe it all to not planning ahead.
So anyways, back to today. Today I drove to Colusa and back to scout out our bike route. Originally I was going to borrow a motorcycle and ride out there with a buddy, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. So I ended up hopping in my beloved Subaru, making the drive on my own.
Most of the drive was along the Sacramento river levee roads. It was a pretty pleasant drive. Since it’s a levee road, which follows the natural curves of the river, it was a winding drive. I wish I could’ve ridden it on a motorcycle, it would’ve been really fun.
Last year I went with a couple of friends on a similar bike camping trip to Brannan Island, near the Sacramento river delta. This trip was going to be in the opposite direction, northwest along the river instead of southeast, but the entire trip is remarkably similar. Last year I didn’t plan our route ahead of time, so on our way back Jiro and I found ourselves biking on a gravel road through the middle of a private hunting reserve. The same thing would’ve happened on this trip if I didn’t drive the route ahead of time and found an alternate. So I guess this wasn’t a total bust. And I got to see some nice scenery along the way.
I live my life pretty much the same way I plan my trips, which is to say, with not much planning at all, figuring things out along the way. In life there are some pretty major destinations that I’d like to hit someday, including volunteering abroad, marriage, kids, etc…Today’s drive got my thinking. Maybe I should start figuring out my path to those destinations.