As I have previously written, I have been planning (lightly) a motorcycle trip to Alaska for many years as one of my bucket list items. The recent illness and passing of my mother kicked this into primary focus for next year, and I find myself excited with the accomplishment of knocking off another check box in a very long trip preparation schedule.
All of the desired motorcycle parts to upgrade my Ultra or to replace worn out parts is now sitting in my garage; awaiting the end of the normal riding season so that weeks can be spent doing the needed work while the temperatures continue to drop outside. I have divided up my list of “need to do things” into major sections, and the first of them, parts acquisition, is finished. One of six major things have been accomplished, and a celebratory Hostess cupcake and a glass of milk was the award this evening.
I started this preparation for the ride to Alaska by myself, and had every intention to go up there solo. However, word got out regarding the journey to the local HOG chapter and its hundreds of members, and questions started getting asked. Of course, a number of people believe I am nuts for undertaking such an adventure, but others have shown their support. In fact, three people approached me with the desire to accompany me to the largest state in the union; each of them showing excitement about participating in such an epic life adventure.
Within two weeks, the first person dropped out. He quickly realized that there was a possibility for too much wear and tear on his bike (his wife warned me there was no way he would go, regardless of the interest that he expressed). No problem. It’s an adventure that will be long miles ridden every day, in weather that must be endured regardless of intensity due to the time restraints I face, and over roads less than in ideal shape for many miles.
The next person is a person that I did not know who approached me with the desire to come along. Once they were given the preliminary information about what I was planning for the three weeks away from home, he disappeared from contact. No problem…again, it’s easy to express interest in doing something, but it’s totally different to actually sit down and realize what the commitment requires. But to not respond to repeated emails…well, I guess that’s a good indication of reliability. Not a good trait for somebody you would be traveling with for weeks and having in close proximity.
The third person is LJ, the first person to approach me with an interest in going, and the last person to back out. He was kind enough to approach me today at one of the HOG meetings, and pull me aside to let me know he would not be able to tag along. He had been looking forward to doing it, but life got in the way for him, which is understandable. We had a good talk, and I respect the guy for seeking me out to chat in person. Perhaps down the road, opportunity will arise and I’ll be able to give him some pointers or even accompany him on a trip that he may plan.
Yesterday, it was a month since my mom’s passing. Amazing how a “milestone” can mean so much more than any other “regular” day. It was a hard day for my wife and I yesterday, and even today she was having a bad day. Life continues on, but we both know that the tough memory days will always be there in the future. With the outpouring of verbal support at mom’s passing, we set up a memorial fund in her name sicne people said they wanted to do something in her memory, but very few of the people that knew her or us actually participated. I did have a very close friend come up to me and tell me that he was moved about reading about my mom’s life from her memorial page, and that he appreciated getting to know a little more about her. That meant the world to me, and it was nice to see her recognized by the comments of another person.
Life continues on. One day at a time. And each day gets me closer to the journey of a lifetime.
Oh…over three weeks now, no tobacco. Put off the exercise and dieting plan a while longer until I acclimate to the most recent body-changing event of not smoking. Haven’t gained a ton of weight…but that’s because food actually does not taste very good to me now, so I’m not having as many second helpings as I previously have as a smoker. Not sure why this is.