When I was a child I got caught in a thunderstorm of truly epic proportions. I was arrogant enough to think I could outrun it on my bike. I was wrong. I had to hide under a tree, huddled and soaked as thunder, rain and wind danced around me. This memory is one that I think about almost daily.
A thunderstorm draws warm, moist air into it, even from places it has not yet reached and, if it is big enough, sometimes from a pretty long way off. This leaves an area with dry warm air which can be pretty still… for air. This is what causes the feeling of a “calm before the storm.”
I felt it the day of that storm while riding my bike and I feel it again now sitting here writing, only this time the storm is exactly sixty days off. In two months I start my walk across the United States. I can feel the storm coming.
When I started this five months ago it seemed little more than a happy daydream. I started walking every day and pouring over maps at night. It was exciting and fun. Then I started researching gear and it grew a tiny little bit out of the realm of daydream and into the realm of reality. Then I bought my first piece of gear and that shift grew. Then I told family and friends, purchased nearly all my gear, got Child’s Play on board and now I am here two months away and the daydream has nearly morphed into complete reality.
Suddenly two months does not seem like enough time to prepare, but the funny thing is you can only be so prepared for something like this. Eventually you just have to take that first step off the beach.
So, I can feel the calm before the storm although I cannot yet see the clouds. I suppose comparing my walk to a thunderstorm might seem a bit ominous and foreboding but I will share with you a little secret. That soaked child huddled under a tree years ago was laughing and yelling with joy with each booming clap of thunder… I love thunderstorms.