In 2005, Kenny and I set off for Yellowstone National Park on our motorcycles. Neither one of us really had any idea what we were doing. We just threw our stuff on the bikes and set off with little more than blind optimism guiding the way. Everyone starts somewhere.
At that time, I had 2 bikes – a Ducati 996 and a ’98 ZX-6R. The latter won in the comfort department so that was my steed for the trip.
The little red Ninja in Minnesota. Hiiiiii-Yah!
It is amazing how your approach to traveling changes in a relatively short amount of time. In retrospect, I didn’t really know how to savor what I was doing. Everything was so exciting and so new that I didn’t take the time appreciate things in the same way that I do now. I just wanted more, more, more! One day I will probably look back at this time and say the same thing.
Every trip is a learning experience. Gotta keep at it, keep exploring, keeping expanding that horizon.
Do you remember that feeling of your first “big” road trip?
Maybe it is a symptom of living in suburbia less than an hour from the megatropolis of New York City – but I find that it takes a while for me to adjust to really letting the magnitude of nature and even of people to find it’s way in.
Now that isn’t to say that I don’t look at things in the natural world and find them beautiful, I absolutely do. It’s more like – there is a shell surrounds my life that needs to get chipped away to get back to being “normal” when I leave this place. There is an unnatural hustle that needs to seep out of my pores so that I can relax. The pace of this area is fast and infectious.
On Thursday mornings I sip my coffee, my dog snores away on the couch next to me and I scroll through iPhoto looking at older pictures for a Throwback Thursday post. I don’t generally have a “plan” I just scroll through the galleries and settle in on whatever photo speaks to me at the time.
This photo of Kenny looking up at the redwoods was taken during our last trip to California in September 2011. When I looked at it this morning, I could absolutely remember the feeling that I had settled in to my happy place. That for the week prior I was free from the tightening vice of scheduling and “have to’s.”
Being away and wandering is when I feel free. Do you know what I mean?
This morning I was thinking about all of the wonderful people and unexpected friendships that I’ve made because of the internet. My upcoming trip overseas will be with Ed and Pimmie, people that I met on the internet. Hell, I met my husband Kenny on a group ride with people from a forum.
For kids who have been exposed to it for their whole lives, this may seem “normal,” but at 40 years old, I have been able to witness the progression of not having any internet, to some static-laden whirs and buzzes and you’ve got mail, to having the world at your fingertips in your pocket at all times.
What does this have to do with anything? Well,…
For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ve got a GoPro snapshot taken in California when Kenny and I were riding to meet up with Ed at the big shoe in Bakersfield. Out there in the dry hills there was nowhere to hide from the lightning. I remember feeling scared, not knowing if we should keep moving forward or turn around.
Opening up to meet people who you get to know online has been positive overall for me. I’ve gone to places and had experiences I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and ride the lightning.
In 2010, Kenny and I flew to Italy to meet up with our friend Pimmie and do some riding in the Alps. Our travels took us through the mountains of Italy, Switzerland and Austria. That trip still looms large in my mind as one of the most personally meaningful adventures I’ve been on. Travel changes you.
While in Austria, one of the passes we rode was Timmelsjoch (Passo del Rombo) not far from Innsbruck and on the way to the Dolomites.
Sadly our trip across the wiggly ribbon was ensconced in fog and rain. But, I suppose that is all part of the adventure.
We’re going to be heading back to play with Pimmie in the Alps this year. I’m excited that our friend Ed will be joining us, too. Just think of all the Throwback Thursday posts! 😉
When I first met Kenny, we were both sportbike riders. We’d go out on long day rides in search of full lean and speed and get up to shenanigans we had no business getting up to. But, it wasn’t long after we’d met that our interest in strictly hooning around changed. The desire to get out of our comfort bubble and explore started to worm it’s way in. We’d managed to find a partner in each other who was willing to move at a familiar, comfortable pace and had a willingness to take a leap of faith.
As we started kicking around trip ideas, we never balked because we both rode sportbikes. Those were our bikes. If we wanted to travel, that’s what we had to travel on. Go or don’t, those were our choices.
So, we went…
There were ninjas in Tennessee. ::karate chop::
At over 6ft tall, Kenny would fold himself up on his little 636 and ride hundreds and hundreds of miles. Yes, stops to stretch his legs were welcomed but the excitement of being out in the world trumped the discomfort.
Traveling on a sportbike was a no whining zone. It always came back to the same thing. Go, or don’t…
Over time things have changed. We’re both on much more travel-friendly motorcycles these days. Even so, when I think back there was something sweet, some pleasure in the pain of those early road trips with Kenny. It was just us against leg cramps and sore bums and we won the battle.