Sometimes I wonder if that psychologist was right. Recently my wife asked if I truly had a grasp of the enormity of the project I am about to undertake? I confessed that I do not - I only know I must do it. Perhaps then, my friend's counselor was correct. But aren't all people who climb mountains a little crazy? Aren't sailors who sail the far seas a little looney? Aren't any people who do what others do not - by definition - different? In this respect, I accept the term while at the same time question my own sanity.
Yet, looking over my past, the foreshadows were present at an early age. Growing up in eastern Ohio, I sought solace from a troubled home by exploring the rich Appalachian woods. Hiking for miles I would wander and wonder of the Indians who had once roamed the very same hills, had drunk from the very same springs, and had explored the very same caves that I now explored. In addition, I have always enjoyed studying America's western migration - in particular, the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Oregon Trail. Many were the times I wondered if I, too, could have walked with the wagons to Oregon had I lived in those days.
Now, I will soon begin a 3,000 mile journey. Ironically this trip will not be to Oregon, but rather - from Oregon. Alone, I will wander in search for what Americans believe about their country. What really does being an American today represent? I know not what trials and adventures await, but in 15 days - I will begin to find out.
Perhaps that psychologist was right.