New Year’s Day Ride in Rhode Island; Beautiful!
A few years back when I was planning my trip to Norway, I had to make a decision for my time spent in Flam. The easy option was this; sign up for the ship’s official biking tour and leave all the details to the ship; train ticket purchases, bike rental, road directions, risk of train ticket “sell out,” and any language barrier that may arise. This was tempting, but the ship’s tour was only half the distance and elevation down the mountain, and for this particular experience, we didn’t want to be on the time table, experience level, or direction of a larger group.
The second option was to make all the plans, reservations, and ticket purchases myself. I was really excited about this particular adventure and would have been extremely disappointed if things fell through even before we had the opportunity for “things” to fall through. The one overwhelming concept nagging at my E.L (Expedition Leader https://zuludelta45.net/2016/04/06/echo-lima-e-l-expedition-leader/ ) Core was the inevitable problem with all travel; the things you can not control. In this case, it was the fact that I was competing for train tickets, rental bikes, and time slots along with not only the others on the cruise ship but with all the other tourists visiting that part of Norway on the very same day who wanted to do the same things as us.
The morning our ship pulled into Flam, we departed the ship and headed for the visitor center where I would engage my first task; buy the train tickets up the mountain to Myrdal. As I said before, I was so excited and somewhat nervous and apprehensive; hoping that all the details would fall into place. As I rounded the corner inside the visitor center, I suddenly came face to face with a large sign mounted on the wall, written in English; YOU’RE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!
I froze. I stared at the wall in euphoric disbelief. I suddenly blinked, exhaled, and let the sign “wash” over me. I immediately spun in a circle and looked around at the people near me. They all seemed to be going about their business. I turned again to stare at the sign. I know all of this sounds over-dramatic, and you may even think I’m trying to write a script for an episode of the twilight zone, but I’m not.
As I stood there another minute, all I could think about was that this sign was “put there,” JUST for me, at this minute in time, and nobody else could see it. A “sign” if you will, that everything was going to be alright; ” The Force Is With You.”
Of course, I was also concerned that I was having some delusional sunnyside egg induced cholesterol fit and this sign was a common everyday gimmick to acclimate tourists to the area; any minute now, some old lady was going to immediately hit me with her umbrella and cry out ” hey mister, how about moving on and letting someone else get a picture of the “magical sign.” Hahahaha!
That didn’t happen either.
Everything turned out perfect that day.
As I have been writing this blog over the last month, I’ve been thinking back to all the magnificent places I have seen and traveled to. I’ve been thinking about all the funny and kind people I’ve spent time with. I’ve been thinking about the thrill and excitement of rolling around on my bicycle.
I’ve been thinking about how one thing is abundantly clear; “I was right where I was supposed to be.”