New addition to the family

The Mistress and Lil’ Sassy have a new adopted sister in the family…yet unnamed.

Capable of comfortable riding on asphalt, interstate, highways, gravel, forest roads, packed dirt, light trail riding, etc.  Always wanted one, looking to expand my riding horizons to areas the Ultra Classic could not complete the journey.

Thanks for the great deal, Bob.  I promise she’ll see as many miles of this fine country as she allows herself to be taken.

Bad news, good news

Life is such a challenge, isn’t it?  One sees a direction in front of them and after aligning their selves to easily surmount the obstacles to each side, some barrier arises in which it becomes impossible to continue.

The 2014 Alaska trip is no longer.  It has been ascertained that taking 23 days off at this time presented too many issues with other obligations that life presents to me on a daily basis.  I am able to venture out on two wheels for a period of sixteen days, but this prevents me from having the length of time needed to accomplish my personal goals of what the Alaska trip would be about.  So, bad news is that the Alaska adventure, for this year, is not possible.  I will attempt to do the Last Frontier in 2015, should all the stars align perfectly next year.

However, being able to take sixteen days off will allow me to postpone one bucket list trip on a motorcycle and to move up another trip that can be done in the given time frame.  So, all is not lost…and I am sure that I will experience lifetime memories on this trip as well.  So…where to?  Drum roll….little bit more…shade more…ok, that’s enough.

I shall be headed to Utah.  Via a serpentine passage through Colorado, I shall enter the Beehive State at Cisco, and exit at Kayenta, Arizona before hightailing past the famous Four Corners and headed back to the Hoosier state.  The plan is to ride like the wind across the Midwest and Plains states to reach the wonderful scenery and the mountainous curvy roads of Colorado, at which point I shall back off the throttle and mosey along as the miles become conquered.  I have the route already laid out since it was a bucket list trip on my list, and should be very doable.  Perhaps I’ll put up a pic of the route in a near future posting.

When it was established that I would not be able to go to Alaska, I was very disappointed.  Plans had been made for months, with a friend who still will be going up north, and much research of routes and sites to see had been completed.  But I come to realize something…appreciation.  Sometimes life changes for reasons we do not understand, but I appreciate the fact that life has treated me well enough that I am able to take such journeys in my life.

A few days ago, I was in downtown Indianapolis when a homeless person approached me, asking for a few dollars for bus fares.  I watched him grab the next bus and make the payment with some of the funds I had handed over.   I think back to this gentleman, struggling to find enough funds to pay for temporary transportation to get from point A to point B in life…and I was frustrated about the prospect of having to put a journey of ten thousand miles on an extravagant motorcycle on hold.

So, I am blessed that I am able to go to another of my dream ride locations this summer, leaving on the same date as originally planned but returning a week earlier.  In a way, being able to leisurely ride the pavement for days and to appreciate what I am seeing every second would overshadow the hustle of tying to make Alaska and back in just one more week of given time.  There’s always 2015 for Alaska…but I am focusing on Utah for now.

If my luck holds out, tomorrow may allow me to bring a new tool into the home that I have wanted for many years, but never been able to afford, find, and acquire.  We’ll see if I have built up enough good karma to allow this set of stars to align and for something off my bucket list to materialize.  Stay tuned.


Adventure vs. Vacation

Yesterday’s temperatures started in the lower 40s but quickly escalated to nearly 70 before lunchtime.  It was a great day to take the Mistress out, so I jumped on the chance to participate in the annual breakout ride with the local Harley Owners Group chapter and get some miles on the old girl.  About thirty bikes participated on a nice leisure ride of a couple of hours through counties of Indiana’s empty fields and little countryside traffic.  Lunch was found at a small town local bar who had opened early for the influx of leather clad riders and passengers who would make this stop their food and watering hole for a couple of hours.  The company and service was great…the food was lousy.  Two out of three isn’t too bad.

Conversation came around to my upcoming Alaska ride, in which one of my fellow HOG members asked if I was getting excited about my “vacation” that was fast approaching.  This question got me thinking on the ride home…was I really going on a vacation to the northernmost state?  Or was it something else?

To me, a vacation is a location in which one goes to do the three R’s:   rest, relax, and recuperate.  It’s lying on a chaise lounge over the hot sand, inches away from the lapping waves coming up on the beach.  A cold drink in one hand, a book in the other, and quickly growing sunburn.  A vacation is not caring what time it is, what your plans are an hour later, or the completion of minor commitments.  When getting back home from a vacation, a person feels rested to the point that they can go back to work and deal with the stress of their employment and family for months to come until the next vacation comes due.  You sit at your office desk, the sunburn long changed to a dark tan on the body, and recount tales of cold beverage drinking and expensive excursions with your co-workers.

What is a motorcycle ride to Alaska, if not a vacation?

Well, to start with, ten thousand miles on  Harley in bad weather and worsening roads  isn’t what I would call a vacation.  It’s not in the same realm as dancing over hot sand as you make your way to a chair to take a nap in.  No, a trip of this magnitude is what I would call…an adventure.

An adventure is one of those trips of a lifetime.  It’s planning a general way to get someplace overall, but not worrying about where your head will touch a pillow every evening, where your next meal will come from, or even caring whether to turn left or right at the next intersection.  An adventure is full of self and worldly discoveries; moments both of pleasure and pain; maybe even times of momentary terror and experienced bliss.  One goes on an adventure excited and seeking…and comes back home exhausted yet fulfilled.  An adventure tests a person’s fortitude, patience, and their willingness to overcome pains, long hours, personal handicaps, doubt, and declining weather patterns.  Challenges are presented to the adventuring soul and decisions lead to one’s destiny.

The adventure awaits.

The countdown clock trickles down…