First, let me put the below in its proper context.

Though the United States of America has problems and sins to the point that it seems it can only collapse like Judah under God’s wrath, of all the places on earth to have been born, and live, I’m still grateful to be here. I say this not for pride. I say this because there may be no other place with enough cultural inertia to help us remember we are supposed to be a free people, which may, if God is so willing, one day empower us to throw off the shackles of the New World Order. And, in spite of the deliberate efforts to destroy our standard of living, which is dwindling in these days of insane inflation, we can still enjoy many things the rest of the world can’t.

I realize some stress I go through doesn’t exist in Africa, India and other places. Water, food, shelter, money and a car to travel are things easily taken for granted. Thus, I should always be grateful for that which sustains my endeavors. God knows I know this.

With that said, traveling on a budget with a Yaris can be aggravating. Yes, everything’s compartmentalized for order and convenience. But every dang thing I depend upon is compartmentalized!

I mean, for example, I’d just taken out the gas can, cot, sleeping mat, folding chair, tool bag, extra tent, extra backpack and other crap from the trunk to get some doohickey before a bicycle ride, and put all that crap back, only to realize my tire was low, so I had to get out very EXPLETIVE thing again to get that pump, and put every EXPLETIVE thing back again, to get my bike ready for a ride along the Oregon coast. The reaching in, pulling out, putting down, stooping over, digging through, sorting, finding, not finding and other actions just to get one thing from the trunk aggravated the hell out of me.

I brought too much stuff. My car’ s like a woman’s purse. The stuff I’d send back if I could!

Again, this aggravation is a problem of the Western World. It doesn’t exist in other areas. Yet, you try it. You pack and unpack and pack everything you depend upon day after day and see what that does to your morale and desire to continue exploring.

The fact is that traveling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It can create stress you’ve not dealt with in your everyday life. That stress can overwhelm you. It can make you just want to just go home. However, knowing which comforts to keep or give up, and how to budget your time between stress and leisure, well, it makes the goal you have in mind still shine with the romance that motivated you to hit the road in the first place. The Columbia River… Olympic National Park… those places still shine…

Anyway, after a slow morning, and having another night at the Captain John motel in Charleston, Oregon ahead of me, I thought I’d do a bike ride down the coast to all the hidden coves and beaches that attract large number of Oregonians in the summer, and see what they hype is all about, and see if exercise could relieve the stress of living out of a Yaris.

For the most part it did. Oh, the Oregon coast isn’t stunning. California’s Big Sur I still regard as the prettiest of America’s Left Coast. But, the misty, dank air that gives life to moss, ferns and so much greenery has a naturally nurturing and uplifting element that can override dreariness caused by a lack of sun. I see why people live here.

Then there was the halibut. You think I knew that was high-quality fish? Well, it is… especially deep-fried and served with all the tartar sauce and french fries you can eat.

Seriously, lunch at a seafood restaurant after a bike ride made morning worry and aggravation go away.

So did rearranging things in my trunk, that is, compartmentalizing better. If you’ve never traveled as I do, you wouldn’t understand. However, I take comfort in the fact that other men – like General Crook – gave great effort into considering where to place every little thing you’d need along the way so as to limit effort and aggravation.

Took a little drive to a Safeway for supplies. Got water. Drove back.

By then it was 7 pm. Tried to read. Cursed Woodoku, and then YouTube commanded my attention. Lights out at 9.