I spent about 3 hours this evening planning the trip that several of us will take to the East Coast on bicycles this summer. The trip is about 4,000 miles and we will average about 70 miles each day. What I was doing was picking out campsites at approximately 70-mile intervals. Most of the time we have to reserve campsites at least two weeks ahead of our arrival date to be sure we will get one. I have an app on my iPad that shows every campground in the US, and there are a lot. But even with the good number of campgrounds many of them are full weeks in advance. And even with the number of campgrounds there are days when we will ride only 50 miles and days we will ride a 100 miles because that is just the way the campsites work out. We will be riding what is known as the TransAmerican route established by an Association of bicycle riders called Adventure Cycling years ago, so the route has already been determined, I am just figuring out the daily ending point. One of the cool things is that because this is an established route, we meet a lot of other bicycle riders doing the same thing we are. Meeting and talking with other bicycle riders is one of the enjoyable things about this kind of trip.
Once I get everything all figured out, I will have a library of maps, one for every day of the trip. Each night in camp we look at the next days map, what the next night’s camp will be like. We check out the elevations to see how much we will climb, and I check the route on Google maps to check out the road conditions, especially if there are rumble strips and what width the shoulders are.
It is nice knowing what the next day will be like, but often that knowledge makes us nervous and apprehensive. If we see that a very steep hill is coming up the next day sometimes I struggle to sleep because of the nervousness caused by the foreknowledge.
Even with maps and computers there is still most of the next day left as mystery as to what will happen. God is sovereign and He promises to direct my steps and guide my way, so the challenge is to learn how to trust him and live each day with peace and joy.