Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pipe Dreams

The thermometer shot up to 62 degrees this past week. Stepping outside and breathing in the air without having my nostrils constrict was invigorating. I could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on my face, and I had to loosen my scarf and unbutton the coat to fully enjoy the brief moments from car to desk the day allowed me. That moment gave birth to a day of dreaming about motorcycles. Attending to the work at hand proved challenging.

On my return home that evening I found the motorcycle storage shed doors still 1/4 obstructed by snow and a few feet still sitting on the ramps. It is hard to believe that last year we were out riding in March. With only a few weeks until then, there will need to be a succession of 60 degree days for that ramp to be revealed. I survey the landscape and notice a few shoveled spots where the ground is free of snow. Like the earth that is slowing becoming exposed from this long and snowy winter, old dreams are surfacing as well; like a ride to Sturgis this summer.

There are several reasons why I’m seriously looking at such a long ride; and yes, this would be a ride. No trailers this time. Here are several reasons I’m considering such a long road trip this season:
1. We have been talking about it.
2. If I wait for the perfect time, it will never happen.
3. I have to stop worrying about “what if” and just go for it.
4. I’m not getting any younger.

This last reason seems the most prominent in my mind. March isn’t only the start of riding season to many of us in New Hampshire; it’s also the month I turn another year older. That puts my riding partner even more ahead in years than I am. If I want to do this, it should be sooner than later. I have to find a way to make it happen.

My mind starts churning away. We can allot two weeks for this adventure. That is a considerable amount of daily interstate riding for not many days worth at the destination. We have to prepare for events out of our control such as the weather, unexpected repairs and delays we hadn’t expected and the possibility that some or all may prevent us from getting there. Yet it isn’t so much the destination as the journey I remind myself. Having traveled this route by car I know there lots to see along the way. Also too, it’s the people we meet that make any adventure more interesting.

I decide in the end to put the details out of my mind and just envision the event taking place. While the wind-chill today is reducing the 32 degrees to feel like 18, I sit in a sunny window with my eyes closed. I’m on the open road with prairie land slipping past me on either side. I see herds of elk in the distance. Then on the horizon, the still snow capped peaks of the Black Hills just as we once witnessed in July so many years ago. Along the way we’ve stopped at Devil’s Tower, Fort McKinney and the Corn Palace.

It may seem like just a pipe dream, yet all of reality begins in our minds. With the birthday on the horizon, I’m reminded of a quote; you’re not old until your regrets outnumber your dreams. The good news here is that I’m not as old as I thought if I can still have dreams. Why stop my dreaming in South Dakota? I’m adding the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge in Montana to my list. After all, life is full of infinite possibilities!


SonjaM said...

You will notice that traveling on a bike cannot be compared to pulling a trailer and doing the occasional trip at destination.

Riding can be hard work, especially when exposed to adverse weather conditions, but at the end of the day you feel like you have accomplished something.

You manage to travel light and let the bike lead the way. Yes, things might not go the way they are planned, but that's where the adventure begins.

There is a reason for the saying: the reward is in the journey.

Just do it!

Kate said...

I don't think I need to lecture you on the reasons to DO the ride. :) :)

some of my thoughts: I90 across South Dakota is not as flat and boring as one might think if you enjoy Wall Drug billboards. I was pretty entertained by them, as I had no idea what that was. I took a detour to visit. I think it is worth the effort to see the kitchy touristy Americana of Wall, South Dakota! Put on your happy hat and have fun, get your nickel cup of coffee and free ice water. Be careful of the selection of cowboy boots, I fell in love with a pair.

Needles Highway to Mt Rushmore is a must!! compact and twisty, a very welcome change of scenery after I90. I was giggling my way through it.

You will be so glad you did this ride! I am in the start planning stage for another BIG ride next year. Santa Fe NM is the destination. If you only dream about it, it will never happen. You go girl :)

VStarLady said...

Pat - SonjaM is so right - the reward is in the journey. It may sometimes by grueling, sometimes spectacular, always exciting and in the end you can stand up and say "I did it!." Gotta say, I loved Montana - but then I've loved it all from PEI and Maine to New Orleans to Wyoming, and back. Go for it!