In preparing for this tour, my mind has been very preoccupied with finite details. Much of my planning surrounded the mechanics and schematics of scenarios that I could only imagine in a hypothetical sense. Being that this is my first time undertaking a solo wild-camping trip let alone biking across several countries, I haven't a clue of what to expect. So naturally, with my hyperanalytic mind, I did an absurd amount of research scouring blogs and reading trip reports from like-minded individuals. But there is no substitute for hands on experience. As I currently write this from within Logan International Airport--with already a few mishaps under the belt--I completely realize that planning can only get you so far. When a plan fails or inevitably changes we can only rely upon quick and ingenuitive thinking. But we stand to learn much more from rolling with punches and not forcing any preconcieved notions onto that paths that lay ahead of us. Really, when it comes down to it, all we have is now.
On the topic of forcefulness, I had a poignant lesson the other day that arose from a day fishing on my hometown lake. Though it's an isolated incident in my generally chaotic life, I found a valuable metaphor that could be applied to many of my undertakings for the upcoming summer.
After spending a calm, tepid afternoon fishing off our dock, I had racked an impressive amount of plump pumpkin-seed sunnies with absolute minimal effort. For a while, my cast to catch ratio was damn near 2:1. They would bite after as little as 10 seconds trolling my simple white fly through the sandy shallows. As Matt had mentioned to me, tenkara fishing for sunnies is a great way to familiarize yourself with the basics of technique and rigging. After I had my fill of catch and release for the day, I started the (seemingly) simple task of disassembling my gear. I learned quickly that this process isn't difficult, but requires mindfulness and a keen sense of being aware. Even though this was my fourth time using the telescoping rod, I managed to make a bonehead move and got two of the rod sections stuck within another. It all happened very quickly without much thought to detail. In the process of forcibly getting them unstuck, I had regrettably broken the third and fourth rod sections. I felt like a total idiot. Encounter resistance -> use brute force -> failure -> panic. So not zen, young grasshopper.
After sharing this with Matt with my tail between my legs, he assuaged my guilt by sharing that section breaks can happen to even seasoned tenkara pros. But these breaks occur primarily when the rod is not extended or collapsed properly.Queue newbie. His thorough run-down has now equipped me with the proper methodology for collapsing the rod to ensure longevity of this lightweight material.