Doing nothing

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I decided to stay over in Williams and take a real day of rest – not walking around for hours, neither riding a mere 30kms just to go to a movie theater. Both of which can’t be done here anyway πŸ™‚

Actually, there are certainly nice tracks in the Kaibab forest around town to stroll around and even have a picnic. The surroundings look very pleasant. As for walking around in the city, the main street can be paced back and forth in 15 or 20 minutes. The contrast with Seligman is striking, it is a real, living city center with lots of active shops and restaurants.

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So I was left with a full day of doing nothing, an insurmountable challenge for me. I can’t stand around doing nothing, or sitting or lying. More often than not, I do several things at once : watching a movie, checking the web, eating something, etc. Many usual activities denied here. If I end up doing nothing I always become stressed and tense, unable to simply appreciate the present moment. I’ll have to confront it during the course of the trip.

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Over this day, I was able to occupy myself. Eating is very easy, and that was a needed change in my regimen. Yesterday evening I finally had a first real American steak, complete with mashed potato and corn : it was excellent, and a stark contrast to the usual fast food / salad. Of course the price was also a noticeable contrast ! I continued indulging today in pancakes, tacos and chicken.

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I also visited the multitude of souvenir shops on the street. I fail to report how many variations of the Route 66 badge can be bought. Just as so for variations on shirts. Many items smell “made in China” a lot along the memorabilia. There is also a number of Native American trinkets, all with certificates of origin. Many of them are attractive, original or beautiful. However, I’m a tourist who can’t buy anything that needs to be carried over : a loss for the local community. I like their pottery a lot, and some of the dreamcatchers too. Sadly most shops forbid pictures.

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Kokopelli, the sacred dancing figure

Eating, non-shopping (except for food actually), reading, and trying to plan ahead constituted my whole schedule. On this last point, I was unable to efficiently spread the 300kms/180mis to Page in more than 3 days. That will make for long rides – but I will ride alongside the Grand Canyon ! Page will be my last stop in Arizona before crossing over to Utah. I will not take the proposed route on the map, in order to stay closer to civilization a bit more.

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Packing list 2/3

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This is the second part of the packing list I’ve prepared. This is about camping, which includes sleeping, eating and staying clean πŸ™‚

Now, the first point I have to mention is that I haven’t been camping for something like 25 years ! I was in my teens back then, and even then, it was stationary camping, on a dedicated camping site for holidays. So, leaving for 5 or 6 months and relying on more-or-less wild camping will be a large part of the challenge ! πŸ™‚

I also have to get up to speed on the type of material I can find. I’ll be riding during late spring, summer and probably early autumn, so there shouldn’t be an issue with temperatures. As for environment, it should mostly be parks, fields, perhaps a few complete outdoors. With that in mind, I’m looking for an average / low temp sleeping bag. I’ve read here and there that you should find a n+1 tent, so I’ll get a 2-person tent πŸ™‚

Cooking equipment is pretty basic, finding it should not be an issue. But here again I’ll have to test that live to get used to it πŸ™‚

As for staying clean… I hope I’ll have access to a shower at least every other day. Beyond that, I don’t know how to do πŸ™‚ Another big challenge here πŸ™‚

I’d also like to find a small chair to enjoy the outdoors while reading in front of the setting sun ! πŸ™‚

Final point here is the food itself. I’ll buy everything when in the US of course. The only question here is the volume and weight, and more precisely how much I’ll eat πŸ™‚ I will certainly enjoy US diners in the morning πŸ™‚

How to sleep, how to eat, how to stay clean… All of this I’ll test in april, I will know very quickly if I can overcome these challenges πŸ™‚