The saga is coming to a close. This post is a realtime update about how I foresee the final days of our journey.
The road ahead
I am still in Vancouver, BC, most likely taking off tomorrow (Friday). I am intent upon revisiting Ombabika, the abandoned settlement in Western Ontario, before returning to Nebraska and ending my quest. I didn’t quite find it on my first try (THIS POST) and still feel like I have some unfinished business there. I have a plethora of new information and connections which makes me extremely eager to return. I can’t wait to tell that story.
Between me and Ombabika stands over 2,000 miles of what will probably be the coldest riding of my entire trip. I’ve been studying forecasts to try to make my timing ideal, but I don’t think it will be possible to completely avoid inclement weather.
I’m planning to log most of my miles back in the US (cheaper gas, possibly warmer, more people that I know) and eventually reenter Canada somewhere in Minnesota. I’m trying to stay flexible enough that I can change my plans quickly as more current weather forecasts become available.
After Ombabika, home will be in my sights. Nebraska will be the only box unchecked from my sign.
The ending of this quality (…but definitely not timely) publication
Writing has been extremely tedious for me throughout the last six weeks or so. The quality has still been pretty good, but it seems to take me four times longer to complete an update. I thought I would get some catch up done while I was here in Vancouver, but it’s still been really hard to make progress.
At this point, I think the best thing for me to do is to focus on the task at hand rather than the tale at hand. Snow might stop my riding, but it cannot stop my writing. If I were to delay longer to get this publication to a more current standing, I might risk losing out on the chance to return to Ombabika. The road there will close for the season sometime within the next month. Once that happens, spring would be my next opportunity to revisit there.
(One other note: If you happen to be following my live tracking on the day that I go to Ombabika, I will be shutting the tracker off once I get close. I’ll explain the reasoning for this later.)
I may be able to publish one post before I am back home, but I can’t guarantee that I will have time. I hate to forgo regular updates right when this journey is reaching its climax, but I think that is what I am going to have to do. We once had to wait 16 years between Star Wars movies, so I don’t think delaying my story by a few weeks is too sinister.
The finish line
I’ve really gone back and forth on this one. Sometimes I’ve felt like I wanted to have a party at the finish line, inviting friends, family and other aficionados of this quality publication. Other times, I’ve thought that just a calm, peaceful finish would be the right thing. Ultimately I’ve decided that I will finish this journey quietly, with no pomp and circumstance. A few factors have contributed to this decision.
Pride and self-glorification are things that I need to be really careful with. I know they are stumbling blocks for me. I want to continue to grow in humility and I think making a big deal of the completion of this quest could jeopardize that. Even if it is something that I want, it is probably not the best thing for me.
Additionally, anytime I have visualized a finish line celebration in my mind, Dad is always there. Honestly, I don’t know how I would react to be faced with that harsh reality at the moment of completion. My Dad was the most supportive parent ever and there is no way he would have ever missed the finishing of my trip (even if I told him it was in Schefferville). I think I will check off the final place in the cemetery in Wausa where my Dad is buried. It just seems like the right thing to do.
I still plan on pushing Annie the last mile, which will probably happen when I return to my home in Lincoln. She definitely deserves it!
For anyone who was looking forward to celebrating the finish with me, I apologize. An invitation still stands to anyone who would like to come meet Annie, Sonic and maybe even me. Honestly, I’d prefer time with individuals rather than a large group anyway.
The new rear shock is on, which feels amazing. I also developed some leaks for the first time around my fork seals. I cleaned them out and they were OK for my test ride today. I’m getting just a bit concerned about my chain, but I think it will make it the rest of the way.
Everywhere has been waiting for 57 years. Now it only has to wait about ten days. 🙂 I know there will be unexpected challenges as well as unexpected blessings in these final miles. I’m ready to finish this thing strong and with no regrets. As always, thank you for accompanying me on this journey. It has been a true team effort.
Ombabika or bust!