Young Son has always been a very determined guy.
When he was 8, he asked me to buy him a shovel because he (and I quote) "wanted to dig a hole big enough to put him bike into." And he did.
When he was 9, he and three other boys in his classroom smuggled digging tools onto the playground every day for months to unearth a bolder. Into the mystery and adventure fiction genres, they were convinced there was treasure under that impressively large rock. When the stone was finally moved and no plunder was uncovered, he simply moved on to the next big challenge.
I could plot a timeline for this that included almost every single year of his 23 years on this earth. I was most impressed when he cycled in a 100 mile cancer benefit ride in D's honor one year (found here), and in D's memory the next. In August. In Texas. "No big deal, Mom."
It should have come as no surprise to me when he said he was leaving September 1st to ride his bike from his home in Austin to California. (CALIFORNIA, people!) He and a friend were setting out to complete the feat before student loans came due, accompanied by the necessary Real Jobs.
They headed to the Dallas/Fort Worth area first for a pedicabbing gig at Arlington Stadium to pay for the first leg of the trip. They finished that job and headed for the panhandle of Texas. He said one evening they were eating at a local cafe in a mapdot town. They asked the waitress if they could camp in the city park. "Sure, honey!" she declared. Her brother was the "director of parks" and she could fix them right up with one phone call. They were given permission for camping, but someone forgot to tell the person in charge of the park sprinkler system. Which went off promptly at midnight and soaked everything they owned.
There was a call from Roswell, New Mexico to let me know they were headed to Albuquerque next. They'd hit a few days of hard rain, blown inland courtesy of the last hurricane. He said the rain was a welcome relief from the heat. The hardest part had been the headwinds they were running into. (I asked him if he'd considered that there was a (how do you saw it?) desert on the way. "YES, Moooooom." If you are the parent of a 20 something child, I'll bet you can hear that tone of voice in your head right now.)
Anywho. Apparently: California, here they come.
I've loved watching the comments on his Facebook page. Friends encourage him on as if he is completing this journey on their behalf. This quixotic trip has captured the imagination of so many, and they are along for the ride via iPhone updates.
Ahh, youth. Peddle hard, Young Son. You may never pass this way again.