Day 2: Shrove Tuesday

After a morning of battling transistorized tormentors of various sorts, I set out for Canmore.

Player courtesy of

I needed to be in Canmore before 6PM, so I had to pace myself. No stopping at the lamp museum in Donalda or the coffee shop in Olds, no half-hour tours of local bookstores along the way. The time restriction was one consideration, but the drive to Southern Alberta always seems strange to me: like driving, never like riding.
When you're headed straight down the middle, everything is fast (I averaged 120KMpH), and without too much in the way of real navigation. I know where I want to go, I know the fastest route to get there; all that's left is to drive for as long as possible until I have to stop for fuel. Rather than focusing on the pleasure of the ride, I'm intent on the arrival at journey's end. If I find something I might want to stop for, I almost feel guilty, like I have to keep on driving.
This is problematic for the motorcyclist: in the situations we build up in our minds, a rider/biker should always be at one with the machine, always aware of his surroundings, always ready to go where the road takes him. Motorcycling (and sojourning in general) should involve as little schedule--and as much freedom--as possible. The trip to Canmore feels like driving a car, only without the various amenities a cage of that sort can provide.

Long, straight, fast.
I did take a little bit of a detour by using 1a from Cochrane to Canmore instead of sticking to the Trans-Canada. It's a nice little twisty bit of highway, perfect for energizing a tired motorcyclist at the end of a four-hour ride.

Once I arrived at Edward's, I really felt like my trip had begun in earnest. We partook of the Lord's table, we talked, we ranted, we geeked out, and we prayed. As the evening came to an end, I started thinking about the Chivalric tradition of seeing a holy hermit for ritual confession before a quest: there's something to it, something I suddenly realized I was trying to capture with this trip. The quest isn't only about where you're going. In fact, where a Knight goes to quest is largely determined by who the knight is at the outset. The "shrivening" helps the Knight to keep himself conscious of what's at stake; the state of his soul.
"My very soul is at stake." That's the essence of the quest. That's where it begins; with an understanding of what we have to lose, and what we hope to gain.
I didn't plan to accomplish anything this week; not anything practical, anyway. Maybe what I wanted to feel, more than anything, was that sense of risk, that sense of spiritual importance. When you're on a quest, things matter: The trip is just as important than the destination, because the trip is the destination.
Edward helped me to see a few things more clearly, he helped me to be more thankful for my current situation, and most of all he helped me to hope for something even bigger and better.
Thanks, e.
I still owe you one.
[Strange... the last time I was in Canmore, I was the one with short hair...]

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