As I'm typing this, I'm on an airplane headed from Boston, Massachusetts to Banff, Alberta. It's about 6 hours of flying time, which gives me plenty of opportunities to second-guess myself and rethink all of the decisions I made about this trip. Sound like a fun time? Let's get into it!
Final Prepping for the Great Divide
Three days before my flight, this about sums up how I have been feeling:
Well, minus the fiery crash part, but if you're going to use a Roller Coaster Tycoon gif, you have to use one showing accurate gameplay. Shuttle loop for the win.
The point is, if you want to go from extreme highs to extreme lows, plan a two-month bike trip into the woods. You'll take that feeling like you've forgotten something and multiply it to the tenth degree. Some moments, you'll feel like you're on a Roller Coaster Tycoon cart, hurdling toward your pre-designed death as people watch intently with a smile. Other times, you'll feel like you're on top of the world and really proud of yourself for setting such a lofty goal to pursue.
Here is one of those proud moments:
A Very Unexpected Surprise
Last Saturday, Sammi threw me a surprise party — I was shocked. She rounded up all of my closest friends and family, cooked a bunch of awesome food (shoutout stuffed taco shells), and organized party games like "pin the Clint on the bear."
I mean, I've never seen a wall look that good.
In all seriousness, Saturday was too generous and I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who was able to attend. I really appreciate your support and will do my best to not be a letdown! And, of course, a very special thank you to Sammi. None of it would have happened without you.
Bloggers Supporting Bloggers
Another unexpected source of support has been from my work. To be honest, I was a little nervous to share the news with my coworkers. I mean, I'm taking two months off and leaving them to pick up my slack. They may not be too interested in hearing about me figuring out how to work bike pedals while they're editing my blog posts.
Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. HubSpot has been an awesome source of support through all of this. Not only did they award me a sabbatical after working there for five years, management and my manager, in particular, went above and beyond to make sure this trip could happen for me. And of course, a special shout-out to my Website Blog team who is carry my weight while I am out. They have been nothing but supportive and excited about my trip, and it's not lost on me that I am very fortunate to be in this position that I am. I get to take the trip of a lifetime knowing my job will be there waiting for me when I can back.
Pretty sweet, HubSpot, pretty sweet.
Shoutout to the Production Crew: the Parents
Now, I can't do a pre-trip appreciation post without shouting out my parents, Tom and Liz. They've been there every step of the way offering whatever support they can muster. Whether it be going gear shopping with me, or reviewing topography maps. or driving me out to the middle of nowhere to buy my bike, these two have been rockstars throughout this entire process. Hell, they're even nice enough to fly out with me and Sammi to Banff and help me get started on my trip.
I mean look at this motley crew:
Needless to say, I don't think I — or anyone for that matter — could do this trip fully alone. Sure I will be the only one on the bike, but I will be pedaling knowing I have these folks in my corner cheering me on. I can't tell you how many people have been generous enough to say things like, "hey if you get in trouble here, call me I can help." We'll see what happens if they have to put their money where their mouths are, but honestly, just the offer of help is all the proof I need to know they have my back.
Let's *expletive* do this.
How's that for edgy?
The good news is, there's no turning back now. I'm seeing this thing through for better or for worse. When I hop off the plane, I'll reassemble the bike (check out this post to see how I took it apart and got it on the plane), then set off first thing tomorrow morning.
Not sure when the next update will come after this. But, wish me luck and I will be stoked to share all of the new stories (and dog pics) for next time.