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Sunday, April 14, 2013

AOG Journal- SOLO Mission

Check out this quick SOLO Mission recap from AOG Teammate Sean in the Southeastern AOR.

Late on a Saturday afternoon, it took just 15 minutes to pack up the KLR with the gear I needed to spend the night, or several, outside in the mountains of upstate SC.  With most of it ready to go in a bin on the shelf, I just had to grab some food, fill the water bag and strap everything down on the bike.  I mentally checked off the list that I was indeed prepared; to include the small first aid/survival kit that accompanies all my trips no matter the length.  Following the old travel light philosophy has served me well over the years as I have found that simple essentials combined with just enough comfort items are all that one needs to move fast and enjoy the experience.

After calls to my wife and a good friend to give them my itinerary and location in case of an emergency, I was quickly heading west to a place I had scouted on a day trip last fall.  When I reached a perfect spot at the end of a gravel road, I was greeted by some guys wrapping up their day on the river as they loaded their canoe.  We exchanged some stories about past experiences that each of us had in the area.  They were a little surprised by what seemed to them was a late arrival for me to hike in and set up camp.

The fact is, that regardless of the time of day or night, I am comfortable moving through the woods and doing whatever is needed.  It was actually the golden hour when I reached a good spot to pitch the tent and I had time to prep for a fire.  Once lit and fully stoked, I fixed dinner and cracked one of the cold beverages given to me from the fellow travelers I just met.  Then I watched last light reflecting off of the river and considered the blessings that allowed me to once again take time to recharge.

The night crept from cool to cold and the liner from my motorcycle jacket was just right to fend off the chill around 3:00 AM.  A restful sleep was followed by a beautiful morning with nuts, raisins, juice and coffee to fuel my hike out and ride back home.

As I enjoyed riding the twisties back down the mountain, I took the time to pull off to scout another area in preparation for a future adventure.  Once home, everything was aired out, organized and placed back on the shelf where it is ready to go in the event of an emergency, or the next adventure.  This simple outing once again revealed that preparation combined with action teach us new things about ourselves that are significant if we just take some time to gain the experience.

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