How many times have you been riding along on your motorcycle enrapt in the most brilliant, concise and clear thoughts? With each passing mile the answers to life’s questions making themselves plain. Your problems? Solved. The great novel that is your life spills through your mind with brilliant clarity.
Then as soon as you turn the key off, those strokes of genius dissipate into the ether.
In even more simple terms, I find that even remembering where I saw something, what was said, what town I passed through on a given day has become more of a challenge. Given that I have always been the type to chronicle things, writing these snippets down when I’m traveling is a natural fit.
This morning I cracked open a little notebook that was in my tankbag and found this gem written in there:
I feel beautiful when I’m riding my motorcycle.
Since I wrote it down, I guess that is something I figured I would forget.
A few years ago, in addition to having little notebooks or pads tucked away in my bag, I started to make little books out of old cardboard and sheets of paper. While I’m traveling I stick scraps of paper, postcards, pamphlets and notes in to them. I seem to make one for each big trip that I take.
Even if I just jot down the most rudimentary outline of information, like the date and a town name – that in conjunction with the photos I took help to jog my memory and keep the story straight.
Do you chronicle your trips while you’re in the middle of them?
In 2005, Kenny and I spent some time visiting Mt. Rushmore. It was something I’d always wanted to see. We did very little planning for the trip. With little more than a few scribbles on paper, we threw our clothes in our bags and set off. At that time in my life, I was much more apt to say “Yeah, let’s go!” at the drop of a hat. These days it seems like I’m a little slower on the draw.
While in the neighborhood, we decided to swing over to Yellowstone National Park. It seemed like a good thing to do since we didn’t know if we’d ever pass that way again. And as it turns out, we haven’t been back since. Maybe it was a smart decision after all?
Kenny’s black Speed Triple was brandy-new then. If memory serves, it had just crested it’s break-in mileage right before we set off. My old ’98 6R was just happy to be along for the ride.
Throwback Thursday, popular on Twitter and Instagram is a great opportunity to dig back throw old photos and take a walk down memory lane.
My parents were vagabonds in the early 70’s, crisscrossing the States in my mom’s ’68 Firebird. I wrote of it a few years ago.
This past week on the heels of my photographic trip down memory lane, I asked my mother for a copy of a photo that was burned into my mind as a child. It was a picture of my dad standing near the Emblem, Wyoming sign.
This photo was taken in 1971:
Here is the photo I took while on our bike trip to Yellowstone, 34 years later:
In over 3 decades the town never grew in population. I find that fact pretty amazing.
How about You?
What is the “smallest town” you’ve ever been to?