It took Lewis and Clark almost 2 years to get to Oregon from Illinois. In that 2-year period there were brutal winters, starvation and murder. There was a constant, nagging feeling that they would perish.
I arrived in Oregon 4 hours after I departed. I guarantee that I bitched more than Lewis and Clark. Between getting up 5 AM, paying a taxi, switching planes in Seattle and not smoking I was in a state of agitation. The truth is that I would have lasted 5 minutes on the frontier and they would have been 5 minutes of intense griping, name-calling and finger pointing. I am cut from a different cloth than those folks- a more delicate and fragile cloth- perhaps lace. This isn’t a realization that I wanted to discover so early in the trip but it makes sense. I’m traveling with professional and successful writers and there is a “less than” feeling. Thank god I am well versed in the art of denial.
I was picked up at the airport by a deluxe bus that was well stocked with cold drinks and appetizers. Several of the travel writers were already on board and we began our trip from Portland to the coast. There were a few unscheduled stops for wine tasting, so we were already behind schedule and perhaps a little tipsy. I, an abstainer of most things fun such as alcohol, arrived clear headed and delighting the other writers with my constant complaining and insightful observations about how my feet had swollen from the flight and all the free pretzels I had consumed. I would have delighted them even more but they all seemed very intent on taking notes about the trip thus far- I figured I had better put on my travel writing cap (resembles a wizards hat but without all the queer stars) and take some notes too. They will find out I’m a fraud soon enough, no sense in blowing my cover so soon into the trip.