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May 23, 2019 The meaning of life tour

I’ve done a lot of traveling, trips by sea kayak, on bicycle, horse, hitch hiking. With all these trips, I had no idea where I’d be at the day’s end. Same with car travel, but to a lesser extent. Car travel is also less stressful physically than are all the above-mentioned means of transportation.

Pete and I have been listening to a book on tape, The Ballad of Bob Dylan, a Portrait, by Daniel Mark Epstein. It’s a 13 CD set. The book doesn’t have any musical accompaniment, so we’ve been listening to Dylan albums on Pete’s I-Pod. This afternoon, toward the end of our traveling day, we listened to Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, which is more upbeat rock and roll.

Ryder with some of the gear and dehydrated food

Dylan was shaped (to a large extent) by societal pressures and often came close to cracking like an egg. No wonder. He placed a lot of demands on himself, but society placed even more demands on him. All along, he has pondered the meaning of life, particularly after discovering that it was not the adulation of millions of listeners that provided any answers.

I found myself envying him because he “made it” as a poet/musician, even after receiving the highest accolade a poet can get – the Nobel Prize. I have not made it as a writer and am now thinking that I never will.

I simply was not able to connect with a specific audience. So what now? This is the question that I’m going to consider on this summer’s tour.

I am now calling this adventure the “2019 Meaning of Life Tour,” with stops forthcoming in Spokane, Washington and Cheyanne, Wyoming. Then, after, there will be a lengthy horse pack trip.

At this very minute in time all, I want to do is ride. I’m not going to spend any more time thinking about what I might write. Those days are over. I’m just going to ride off into the sunset.

Today I am wondering if I want to continue to live in Alaska, mainly because the trail riding is so limited. Also, it’s a state in which there is currently political upheaval. It can swing no more to the right politically than it already has. Of course, I’m torn because we do have a nice place, one that we have put a lot of time and work into. But if a differing place materializes in Canada or the Pacific Northwest, and it has access to trails and a nearby town, I might not harbor regrets.

These are some of the things that I’ll think about on my Meaning of Life tour. Other things do, such as what have I done thus far with my life? What am I going to do with my life? What things have shaped my past values? What things will shape my future values? And, once I arrive, will I find a parking spot? Finding peace with myself and my meager accomplishments will most likely have to suffice.

There is teenage angst. And there is adult angst. I am suffering from the latter.

Next: 142. 5/23/19: Outside Fort Nelson, Roadside Turnoff

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