Adventure is allowing the unexpected to happen to you. Exploration is experiencing what you have not experienced before. How can there be any adventure, any exploration, if you let somebody else – above all, a travel bureau – arrange everything before-hand?
~ Richard Aldington, 1929
Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.
~ Oscar Wilde
Last week when I posted my Monday meander, I was planning to post nearly every day as a(n) homage to Walktober. I figured I’d finish posting from the hike M and I took at Pemberton Historical Park and then maybe do some short posts from my daily walks as I continue to work on my One Million Step Challenge. However, as John Lennon so aptly sang in the song Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
When M came home for lunch last Monday he asked, “Want to go to Cape May on Thursday?” That was a loaded question. To help understand why, you might have to be familiar with the page on my blog titled An Eastern Shore To-Do List. The list is an on-going thing I started when we decided that the Eastern Shore is a temporary stop for us. We’re hoping, when M retires in five or six years, to move back to The Bogs (NE Ohio) where we’ll be closer to our family. Anyhow. The to-do list evolved after M and I discussed some of the things we would like to do while we’re here and it seemed best (to me) to compile a list somewhere or we’d forget about this, that, or the other thing.
On the list, under the heading Recreation, you will find:
- Take our bikes and ride the ferry from Lewes to Cape May. Cycle around Cape May.
It’s lacking in details which M and I have conversed about on a few occasions. The latest plan we hatched was to make it an overnight trip, packing what we need in our backpacks.
So, when M asked if I wanted to go to Cape May on Thursday, I knew he was asking if I wanted to put our plan of riding over ON our bicycles (leaving the car in Lewes, Delaware) in motion. Naturally I said yes. I’ve never been to Cape May even though I grew up in New Jersey. I have been on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. That was many, many years ago, when M and I were first married and we made our way down the coast from New Jersey (where we married) to South Carolina (where we lived for the first few years of our life together).
We decided we’d go for two days (or 2.5 days if you count Saturday morning) which meant a two-night stay. I went to work looking at various hotels. A bed-and-breakfast would have been nice, but B&B’s here in the U.S. are the opposite of what we found during our travels to the U.K. In the U.K., the hotels were expensive and the small B&B’s were more reasonably priced. In Cape May (and other places I’ve looked in the U.S.), the B&B’s are (to me) outrageously expensive. They are described as “upscale accommodations” and most are located in historic Victorian houses. It would have been nice to stay in one and maybe if we hadn’t been so spontaneous about this trip, I could have kept an eye out for special rates.
I did find a good deal at The Heritage Inn which is in a great location as far as getting around by bicycle or on foot. We were close to the beach and promenade (just across the street) and the Washington Street Mall area where a lot of the restaurants and shops are located. The room was very clean and very nice (it was big!). I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.
Accommodations taken care of, the only thing left to do was experiment with my daypack to see how much I would be able to fit into it and how much I’d actually be able to carry. The good news on that front is that my daypack is small which means it is unlikely it would be too heavy to carry (unless I loaded it up with bricks or books or something like that). The bad news is that my daypack is small and I’d have to do without a lot of the usual things I carry when I travel. The blow dryer for my hair, for instance, wasn’t going with me. That’s okay. The hotel would have one. The same with toiletries such as soap and shampoo.
Those that know me well know that I was bound and determined to carry my big camera with me. I had to make choices in regards to carrying lenses. In the end, I took what I call the middle lens (18-55mm). It’s the one that came with the camera. I wanted to take the big zoom lens (which isn’t THAT big compared to others I’ve seen), but there was no way to fit it, and the clothing I would need, in the pack.
The conundrum with the camera, lenses, chargers, extra batteries, etc., brought to mind the idea that I should invest in a bigger backpack. After managing this trip with the small pack, I realized how much I can do without, including all the camera equipment. Maybe a bigger backpack is not the answer after all. The more I carried with me, the more I would have to care for in some way (if only to make sure I could carry it). Isn’t there some saying about the more stuff you own, the more stuff owns you?
This experience of traveling in a light and spare way has given me a great deal of food for thought regarding my life in general. How much do I really need? How much do I really want? I’ve spent so much of my life accumulating things and so many of those things sit in a closet or drawer and rarely get used or taken out. There is also the issue of future downsizing and death. When M and I leave here, we want to downsize more than we did when moved to the Eastern Shore. Maybe not the tiny house kind of downsizing, but still significantly smaller than where we are now. As for death, having had to go through our parents’ stuff, neither M nor I wish to leave that chore to our children or grandchildren.
I reckon that’s enough from me for today. Thanks for coming along on my latest adventure and meander. I was going to write that I’d be back with more, but you never know around here. I might head off on another adventure any day. I imagine the only journey I’ll be making today might be a trip to the Point to watch the sunset. Join me if you like. Sunset is scheduled for 6:37 PM. I’m not sure we’ll see much. Clouds have been rolling in today. You won’t need to worry about bundling up. It’s still hot here, in the mid-80’s, and quite humid.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A Walktober reminder and update: This year’s dates are October 14-28. I hope you’ll find the time to walk and participate. (If you need more time, all you have to do is let me know. If you’re unfamiliar with Walktober, you’ll find a link to a post about it in the sidebar, over there to the right. Or, if you’re using your phone, maybe it’s at the bottom somewhere.) I will put up (publish) the official “link to this post” on the 14th. If anyone wants to walk earlier, all you have to do is wait for that post to put in your link or pingback. I will probably do the round-up of the posts/walks on November 1. That date depends on whether or not anyone needs and asks for more time.
If you’re looking for an example of a Walktober post, Dawn did a test run today with This is a test, this is only a test. It’s a post filled with beautiful photographs. Head on over and have a look.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 851) Spontaneity. 852) Cycling adventures. 853) Cape May. It’s a beautiful Jersey shore town. 854) Traveling light. 855) The One Million Step challenge. All the walking, and occasional cycling, has put me in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time. It made the trip to Cape May via ferry and bicycle possible. (For those inquiring minds who want to know, this is Day 29 of the 100 day challenge, and I’ve logged in 314,732 steps which is approximately, based on my stride, 105 miles.)