Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What's the deal with the current trip?

I can't make things easy on myself. When I plan a trip, I want it epic.

Ever since I took my first "epic" trip back in 1998 (a two-week coast-to-coast roadtrip), my thirst for bigger, longer, more ambitious adventures grows stronger and stronger. If I don't take at least a month long journey every year, I feel imbalanced.

Sometimes I like to think that there is a giant red "reset" button inside my head. From time to time I need to hit that reset button and reprioritize my life, uncomplicate the areas that have become too complicated. And nothing does a better job of hitting that reset button than traveling. During a trip I can look back at my Portland life with critical distance, and figure out what's good and what's bullshit. When I get back to town I'm refreshed and am ready to jump back into the mix.

So what does this current trip have in store for me?
I'll be starting around August 20th. I'll be heading north first, out to Vancouver Island to hang out in Victoria and do some bicycle riding. Then onto the BC mainland for Vancouver, one of my most favorite cities, and a comic show.

I swing back south state-side to Seattle then hop a train eastward to Minneapolis at the beginning of September. From there, I will be taking a 400 mile bike ride to Chicago, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way and stopping in Madison and Milwaukee. If time is tight, I'll take the train to Chicago.

From Chicago, I'll make my way eastward, maybe making a stop in Champaign-Urbana. I'll check out DC, then New York City, and then spend some good amount of time in my hometown, New Haven, Connecticut.

It's October and now the trip heads north. Boston, Northampton, Mass. and a train ride west across New York State to Rochester, where I'll ferry across Lake Ontario to Toronto for Canzine.

I'll spend quite some time in Eastern Canada, from Toronto to Montreal to Halifax to Moncton, NB, and possibly Quebec City and Ottawa. Before the weather gets too bad, I'll either head westward through Canada, or maybe I'll head southward? I don't know yet. It's still a while away.

Not everything above is written in stone, expect some changes and alterations. Keep posted to this blog for changes. If you have any info and advice about any of the places listed above, please let me know.

Yes, it's a crazy trip! How will I do it all? I don't know. I'll just do it.

If you are wondering how I will be getting around, here's how: the train. Not train hopping (sorry all you hobos) but passenger rail. Stateside will be mostly provided by Amtrak, while Canadian rail adventures will be on Via Rail. There'll be other conveyances added in, like the ferries to get me back and forth from Vancouver Island. But the primary place to place travel mode will be the train. And I'm bringing my bike too! Forget driving or flying, I want my travels to be interesting.

And interesting they shall be.


At Wednesday, August 10, 2005 10:24:00 AM, Blogger vj said...

Better make it good Shawn :) I plan on living vicariously through you. No really, very excited to hear all about this -- sounds like it should be a great, interesting trip. Thanks, cubemonkey.

At Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:04:00 AM, Blogger Reed said...

Right on, I guess we'll be on separate trips at the same time but yours sounds great. I agree with everything you say about the reasons to do a trip, the yearly urge to it, and the desire to be more than a tourist. My problem is I end up not wanting to go back. I sort of want to live everywhere.

Oh and BTW, your blogspot blogs inspired me to start another blog.

At Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:32:00 AM, Blogger adventure! said...

It's hard NOT to feel a desire to move do a different place (or places) when you travel. The list of "places I wouldn't mind living in" grows bigger with each trip. I think that's why when I travel I return to many of the same places as in the previous trips--it's sort of like living there. Probably the four things that keep me from moving to somewhere else are:
1)I love Portland
2)weather in other places. yeah, we Portlandites love to complain about the winter rain, but I don't think I would want to put up with "continental winter" again anytime soon.
3)"the grass is always greener" paradox: i worry that places that seem cool from afar (or from a three day visit) will not be so when I actually live there (see Bay Area, Tucson)
4)did I mention I love Portland?

At Friday, August 19, 2005 1:21:00 PM, Anonymous laurel said...

Hey - if you don't already have a place to crash in Northampton, i can put you in touch with my parents, who live in a small town just near there (and who are fairly hospitable people themselves, especially to far-travelling bikers).

Of course, i'm betting you already know plenty of people in that area.


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