And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Loss of an Old Friend

I’ve always maintained that RV’s are like a magic carpet—whisking you away to whatever new realm you choose to occupy, far beyond mere trucks and cars. A sister ship has surely been our Goldwing motorcycle. We rode on her back above and beyond time, traversing avenues we never dreamed existed. Weather was a constant since you feel every nuance when you are exposed—totally unlike riding in an enclosed vehicle or as motorcyclists call it “a cage”.

Memories gained on her back are sharper and more cutting than other types of travel. You taste the air as you suck it in, breathe it and smell what is there every foot of the way. Passing fragrances heighten the experience as you marvel at the shadow dancing alongside. Sometimes it’s you; sometimes it’s something else as the tree shadows pass your vision like light flickering on an old nickelodeon. The world seems much larger from the seat of a two-wheeler. Well, it is. After all, you have the entire sky dancing overhead.

The power of takeoff rumbles in the seat of your pants and in your chest as gravity throws you back and the exhilaration is unleashed. With 1800 cubic inches of engine between your legs, it is little more than a hop, skip and you are well ahead of any car traffic on your tail, doing 100 mph in what seems like split seconds. Merging onto the freeway any kind of chore? Ha! Catch us if you can! You are one with the air. You lean to the curves and become the machine as she tips so low to the ground it’s a fight to maintain control against centrifugal force. But that power is alluring…and sucks you in to become even more daring, racing through the curves.

We all know it’s a dance with death. One little mistake, one second’s lapse of attention, and she will sail like a lead weight off in a straight line into a ditch or off a cliff. Although I am not a risk-taker, that allure even captured me for a time. Despite my fear, I climbed aboard and went for the gusto. I became a little different person that year.

I stand in front of her now; this trusty steed we are selling to a new joy rider and wonder how I will miss her. I find it funny, looking back, that the last best year of our lives was in 2006—the year we put over 12,000 miles on her just roaming the highways and byways of Wisconsin on weekends. We made her pull a trailer so we could camp; we covered her in her blanket when we had to be away for a few hours. We met terrific fellow riders and felt we fit in. I was terrified at some near misses—cars passing mere inches away and not paying attention; foul weather like rain and sleet on the freeway or winds that had us leaning against them at a 30 degree angle. But beyond and in spite of it all I knew I was living. That’s what being on the edge does to you. And we were happy. I remember being supremely happy. There was always a new adventure waiting for us—just twist the key and go.

The world has changed since then. She is an asset we can no longer afford. Future dreams of any escape on her back have long gone by the wayside although at one time we had many long, cross country trips planned. We will miss out on those forever. We feel like crying at the parting of this old friend who represents so much of what we used to be that recent life has taken from us.

Her name is Road Gnome. Go Road Gnome, and find a new home with someone who will ride you as exhilaratingly as we once did. You are ours no longer—but you were born to run. Much like Camelot we can never return, but we will always have the pictures and memories of those few exquisite years of daring. Man, I can’t tell you how this hurts….a chapter of life closing that you know you will never have again.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

Life hasn’t really inspired much in me lately so I’m finding it’s been very difficult to come up with something entertaining for my blog. In fact, I’ve been wondering if it is better off shut down. The moment I think along those lines however I also think well, what happens when I may have something I want to say or communicate? Or some sweet, glorious pictures I want to show off?

One of my favorite RV blogs has recently shut down. Not off entirely; but just going on a hiatus of only intending to post when something so inspirational happens, that they feel they can do so willingly and joyfully and not feel it as an obligation. As Marc and I move towards probably what is going to become a much more static and stationary experience in one location, I am left wondering if anything inspirational or novel will happen that I want to blog about? Does a blog of one’s mundane existence really qualify to reach out and grab readers’ attentions when so much else is going on in their lives?

Every one of us has the minutia of everyday life that is similar. It was never my intention to regurgitate explicitly what we do with our days, starting off with what we ate for breakfast. I had always hoped to capture at least the spirit of a new day, a new thought, a new perspective, a new horizon. Without traveling and new scenery, how does one do that?

Bear with me as I ponder through this impasse. Expectations are hard to fulfill sometimes.

Meanwhile, life under the undercarriage continues since Marc’s return from Bend. The task of the axle change-out has proven twice as hard and difficult as he ever imagined. It had to be done, but on the other hand is like a “if I knew then what I know now” situation. It’s probably a good thing he is at the no going back stage, eh?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life at the Crossroads

I have always loved this picture of Marc and it seems to aptly describe our current situation. We were in Wisconsin on one of our every weekend bike trips when the road suddenly petered out and offered up a “Detour” sign. Like any good navigator does, I offered him up a road map so he could see the bigger picture. The bike has GPS built in, but often the bigger picture looks somehow different.

In most lives, there comes a time when we are presented with those crossroads that Robert Frost so aptly wrote about. Take one and you go on to live probably a vastly different life than had you chosen the other. The problem at the time is how do you know which one will be best?

Marc and I have spent agonizing hours contemplating our next move. Recently we’ve felt on the edge of one of those Y’s in life—go left and be flung off to this trajectory; go right and travel to a far different destination. Life isn’t going to allow us to remain on our previous main path; it just doesn’t work that way.

So, once we have our trailer axle fix done, it will be time to choose one of those pathways and commit to something we hope with all our hearts won’t be the lesser of the two. For us, the choice boils down to continuing our wandering ways or to dive back into a static lifestyle of routine and commitment to one location, for likely the rest of our lives. Hey, most others manage to do it….