WE MADE IT!!!
Via and I rolled into Newberg Sunday afternoon, June 1st about 3:30pm. Very tired but in one piece and still speaking to each other. When I traded my 2011 RT in at SpyderFest, I forgot to note how far we had traveled. My guess is that the total trip was right about 9,000 miles, 47 days , at least 20 States (some multiple times) and who knows how many pictures and Motels. Our goal was to build memories and I think we did that in Spades. It’s impossible to really grasp what a huge country the United States is, what geographic diversity and cultural outlooks there are until you see it on a motorcycle. To feel and smell the different regions, here the different accents and taste the food in small town cafes gives one a sense of what a great Country this really is. The unobstructed vistas and sky above, being too hot, too cold, wet, are all part of the experience.
Three weeks before we embarked on this adventure, Via had only been on a motorcycle once for a brief ride. She had never seen a Spyder. Today she is a seasoned rider, photographer and navigator. My hat is off to her for her courage, willingness to take a risk and put her life in the hands of a man she had only known a few months. Come to think of it, that may be a new definition for “crazy”. Whatever, I love her very much for taking this journey with me. What a undertaking for a couple of kids in their 70’s. Will we do it again? Next year is a long way off but there are lots of rides ahead of us for this summer.
We never forgot what made this trip possible and prayed together to the God of our understanding to watch over us and keep us safe. Guess it worked, because I’m here to give thanks for that. Along the way we had a chance to meet family from both sides and we saw friends from our other lives in Mexico. We made some new friends and learned a great deal more about ourselves. Does a trip like this change one’s life? Maybe, only time will tell.It’s nice out, think I’ll go for a ride….
Notes from the Back Seat
Yes, I think I am definitely courageous, adventurous, and probably a little crazy to have embarked on this 9,000 mile Spyder ride with John, but we both survived in good form and still best friends so that’s a good thing. I learned a lot, too much to share here, but I will mention a few things. As some of you know, Spyder riding is weather-driven. Most of the time we would point the bike in a general direction and then determine the exact route by checking the weather and avoiding storms if possible. This strategy gave us a journey that was remarkably good, weather-wise, better than we expected or hoped for.
The GPS is an amazing device. Sometimes it took us in circles when a simple U-turn would have sufficed. But sometimes it introduced us to new routes that we did not think of ourselves. Best example, coming home through southeastern Oregon instead of California. I learned to dress for weather and when it was cold my leather vest over my leather jacket kept me toasty. Wouldn’t leave home without them. The GPS and the ability to communicate with John over our helmet headsets while riding made me feel safe and informed as we moved from point to point. This long-haul journey gave me a new sense of awe about this country of ours.
The Spyder vista is so much wider than riding in a car. You can see the landscape in all directions. Hard to capture on my cell phone camera. I loved traveling with the clouds and seeing the weather ahead through the clouds. I loved the open spaces, ranches, farms, forest, salt flats. The cities were less appealing to me. Freeways and bypasses and, thank goodness, we passed through them pretty quickly. The open spaces went on for hours and hours and days and days. I think I am a cowgirl at heart although I don’t remember all the words to the cowboy songs we tried to sing. I loved that I could sit behind John, let him do all the technical work, zen out, commune with clouds, and nature, and figure out ways to stretch even though I was sedentary. I was able to stretch off hours at a time, arms, shoulders, neck, wrists, fingers, hips, ankles and more. What an opportunity. I will not be able to duplicate it off the Spyder. I don’t have the environment or time for it.
I loved seeing my family and our friends and getting to know John’s sister and her family. And meeting strangers was easy because the Spyder attracts a lot of attention. That was fun. Finally, I want to thank John for inviting me to undertake this amazing adventure with him. I definitely would not have and could not have done it without him. And now we both have memories for a lifetime and bragging rights for a while. Life is good and very good.With love to all, John and Via