The Stress of Family Touring
When I did my bike trip from Alaska to Argentina, it was just two of us who started, and over the course of the trip we rode with two others for some periods of time. We were all in our 20s, and while safely was a big concern, there were things we did that I can't really consider doing with my family.
We did a ton of what we called "wild camping." That was where we would load up on food and water in the afternoon, ride until we found a suitable place to hide out from the road, where we could also have dinner, and then pitch a tent at dusk if all seemed safe. Then we'd go to bed and in the morning, after packing up, say, "I wonder where we'll sleep tonight. " We could go for days doing this as it was free, and we didn't have an unlimited budget.
We still don't have an endless funds, but we can definitely spring for lodging this time around. (And also thanks those who have offered to pay for a hotel here and there) The issue we've run into is that there are no hotels or campgrounds at times. We've been through some towns so small that they offered no accommodations whatsoever. This is a real source of stress that I had not anticipated.
I spent a lot of time plotting the route. But one can't really look at each town along the way and try to find a place to stay. And even if I had, one little change and all the planning goes out the window. But now I'm paying for it. It is stressful looking at the next day's route and having the options of biking a short day at 45 miles, hoping we get there early enough to snag a campsite or bike 70 miles to a town that has only a restaurant and no other services.
Adding to that is the fact that people are out and about. The pandemic really created a huge demand for people wanting to do some travel. Every one is roaming with their campers or booking hotels and taking up what would normally go unused. We were in Soda Springs, ID trying to get a hotel a about 10 days ago and there were none to be had. We were like beggars sitting outside the motel office trying to decide on where to go. Luckily for us, that day, there was a cancelation and the lady waved us into the office to offer us the room.
I'm a huge believer of thinking that the road will provide what we need, it has thus far. This morning, lying in bed, I think I pieced together a suitable route with layover from here to Omaha. But we'll still have to look ahead to the nex day's town to find where we're staying. Hopefully, there will be a motel or campground or a Warm Showerrs host with room for us