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The Post-Road Trip Hangover

When setting off on a road trip your imagination is full of best laid plans and wonder. There is an excitement that takes over your thoughts as you watch your shadow riding along with you on the road. You wonder – What will this adventure have in store for me?

While you’re in the thick of things, in the middle of living your trip – are you the type that just wants to gobble up every moment? Your eyes constantly moving, trying to absorb every detail – it’s like a high. You only have so much time to be out on the road, it would be criminal to let something go unnoticed.

I often find that when I return home, though I am always happy to be with my family, there is a kind of lull; a coming down. I am gripped with a fidgety-ness like I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Some of my Twitter buds made suggestions of how to stave off that feeling: Plan your next ride, go for another ride and read about riding. All good ideas.

What About You?

What do you do to fight the post-road trip hangover?

Muffler Man: Plantation Man from Chicopee, Mass.

A few weeks back a commenter named Bill left me a note on my Muffler Man Photo Gallery asking where the big man from Chicopee, Massachusetts was.

Well, Bill – here he is:

I snagged him a few weeks ago on what was probably the hottest day in the history of forever. I didn’t even get any ticks or spiders on me walking through the high grass trying to get a good look at him.

You can find out more about the Big White Guy on Roadside America.

Dancing with Strangers on the Road

Riding your motorcycle instead of your office chair feels a little extra sweet, doesn’t it? On this particular Wednesday after hopping off the ferry and heading north I found myself heading up route 8 north from the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

While the tires of my bike began to eat up the road I spotted another rider a few turns ahead. As I closed in on him, I discovered that it was a gentleman on a vintage bike. He was out enjoying his midweek ride, too.

Did you ever notice that you can “feel” something happen between you and another rider on the road? Though you don’t really know anything about each other, as the gap of distance closes between you, there passes some similar knowledge or understanding; some kind of connection. You become acutely aware of each others presence in a way that you never would in a car.

The two of us rode along together for about 10 miles. I watched the rider’s body shift and lean through the turns and wondered how many times that old bike had made it’s way along those roads.

When my pavement dance ended with my anonymous partner it closed with a wave and a smile. Time well spent together.

Carm's Restaurant - Charlie's Garage - Chester, Ma.
Carm's Restaurant - Charlie's Garage - Chester, Ma.

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

When the shadows start getting long, that’s when I start missing home. I continuously walk the line of having the curiosity of a person who likes to wander and one whose heartstrings reel them back home. Those two facets of a life can be hard to manage.

I’d wound my way around to the edge of Catskill park. This was where things started to get “familiar”. These were the roads where I cut my teeth riding.

I have to believe that everyone who leaves home finds themselves gripped by moments of loneliness. When you’re standing on the side of the road drinking things in with your eyes and there is no one to turn to and say, Did you see that? or to share an unspoken, knowing glance with – that divide can feel immeasurable. Those moments can feel like an eternity. Being “close” to home made it all that much harder.

Gripped by my own sentimental weakness, I began my decent from the atmosphere and started working towards home.

In many ways it felt like a failure that I wasn’t able to work past my suddenly overwhelming homesickness. But, the idea of sleeping in my own bed started to push those clouds away. There was just the pesky matter of already having 450 miles on the seat for the day and a solid 200 more if I wanted to head home the “un-fun” way.

Decisions, decisions…