Not to be too cliché, but it seems like a lifetime since Larry and I started this trip. In actuality, we were away from home for about eight weeks. We puttered almost 10,500 miles on our single-cylinder, 650cc dual sport motorcycles. I’ve been asked, “Are you glad you did it?” Of course! Would I have gone on this trip knowing what I know now? Ignorance is bliss.
I started this trip greener than a spring pea fresh from the garden. I was a fair-weathered, newbie motorcyclist who knew next to nothing about riding in adverse conditions, and even less so on motorcycle maintenance. Larry was instrumental in helping me learn what I needed to know. Again, while I’d love to be cliché and say that he “took me under his wing”, it doesn’t convey the right fee
ling. Larry’s method of instruction, like many great teachers, is to throw you out of the nest whilst yelling down the instructions. Just do it and learn as you go, you might say. Thanks for your guidance, Larry. Thanks for the tough love.
As my own father is quick to point out, not many people have the luxury of taking an eight week vacation. It’s one of the many benefits of being Mr. Mom, the “Domestic Engineer”, as it were. But even with all the free time in the world, this trip would not have been possible without the help and fervent support of Ada and Laurie. Ada took my place in nearly all respects – cleaning, cooking, and keeping the kids in line. Laurie found some way to work eight hours, keep our finances straight and get the kids back to school. I was starting to wonder why she keeps me around at all! Without her encouraging words (OK, insistence) that I keep a photo log AND a blog AND a journal, many of the trip’s details would surely have been forgotten.
I would be amiss if I didn’t give credit to my trusty steed, the bike I now affectionately call “my little oil-burner”. That motorcycle cranked out over 240 million revolutions to get me from point A to point B, to point A again. Who needs a fancy BMW to ride around Alaska, anyway!
I was asked the other day to name my most favorite part of the whole trip. Was it the places we reached? Absolutely. Was it the people we met? You bet. How about coming home? Funny thing is, I can’t name just one favorite moment. It’s a package deal. You’ll just have to try it for yourself and find out.
As for Laurie – will she ever let me go on another long trip like this again? Give it a few years. Ignorance is bliss.