Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)


Photo from the Internet

My friend, Mike, decided to fish in the John Day River in Eastern Oregon. I would be fun to go with him, but he was taking his Ultra lite aircraft. There was only room for one person. I did second best, I helped him pack.

Being a veteran motorcycle traveler, I thought I knew how to travel lite. Not. When he was ready to go he took a small piece of canvas, a sleeping bag, a skillet, a small bottle of cooking oil, a white gas stove, and a camera. Nothing more. Not even a change of underwear.

“What if you can’t catch any fish?” I asked.

“Then I’ll be hungry.”

I watched him until he was nothing more than a speck.

The Sunday evening shadows were long when I heard the drown of his aircraft returning the rye grass field he used for a runway. I was waiting for him when he shut off the engine and then helped him fold back the wings and push his machine into his storage shed.

“Did you catch anything?”

“I caught a chub and a half-dozen suckers,” he said, showing the pictures on his digital camera.

“Did you throw them back?”

“I ate them. Had to. I was hungry.”

“So what else did you do?”

“Not much. It rained all weekend.”

“Bummer How did you keep dry?”

“I lived under the wing. Cooked under it. Ate under it. Sat under it. Slept under it.”


“Not really. I realized how little I can get by with and stay happy.”

I knew what he meant, but I wasn’t sure I could leave so many creature comforts at home. Sometime I’d pack like he did and take a weekend on the motorcycle. I’d have to do it alone. Barb is a good sport, but she has her limitations.

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