Coonabarabran and return
This trip took a month of my long service leave in March 2011. I planned to ride to Coonabarabran, a favourite childhood place. If possible I wanted to ride on up to the Queensland border, but this was always going to need the wind and road conditions very much in my favour. Time was the issue!
Lyndal Irons from Insights Magazine interviewed me not long before I left. I think she understood what I was on about quite well.
His destination was dependent on the elements but his intentions were very clear: he was preparing to enter a new phase in his life, find answers to questions and get closer to God. And he could do all that by getting in tune with the physical rhythms of his body at work.
“I just finished a three year contract in a parish and need to make decisions about how to make a living,” he said before the trip.
“There are some fairly exciting but risky enterprises I could get involved in. I want to be clear about my motivations and to gain wisdom without distraction — this is a wisdom seeking exercise.”
The journey of endurance riding, he said, was a discipline that “allows things to happen”.
Blood pumps, the body is in tune with the elemental, away from screens, calls and distractions. The brain and body enter a different gear and, often, things appear clearer.
“It recharges batteries,” Mr Prior explained.
“You become an elemental person who isn’t sitting in cars or drinking coffee all day. Endurance riding is going back to a fairly physical way of being.
“Sitting in an office and going to late-night meetings isn’t always prayerful. Scripture reading and praying can be pushing water uphill with a stick, pushing away an artificial environment. Here it’s a downhill run because already the body is doing what it’s designed for.”
It was a great journey, recharging batteries, and leaving me a lot to ponder.
The trip map is below, and you can click on it for a larger version.