Embarking upon a new adventure, traded up to a 2009 Honda Gold Wing in March 2009 and took to the roads! Tomorrow promised to no one!
March brought a quick trip to Michigan, learning how to dress appropriate to weather conditons & pack light - especially how to keep ones feet warm.
July we set out for destinations unknown, finding back roads, country roads, scenic byways.
Meandering down through Southern Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri (visiting Branson), Arkansas through the Ozark Mountains (Eureka Springs along the "Pig Trail" highway & Hot Springs), Oklahoma (first Gold Wing Convention), Kansas (Dodge City), Colorado through the Colorado & Rocky Mountains (sadly the Pine Beetle is destroying the pine forests), Wyoming (Cheyenne), Nebraska prairies (found abandoned old church - piano still inside - lost in time), South Dakota through the Black Hills (Dead Wood & Lead - towns of times long ago - now leans more toward tourist traps than history past; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation & Wounded Knee - everyone should visit at least once or research the history, sad the history behind a once great nation & how misunderstanding another people and culture became a sad place in American History - learned history never taught in schools), Iowa (wonderful windmill farms along the roads), Illinois and "back home again in Indiana"! About 4400 miles traveled.
Traveling via bike - you experience nature, sounds, smells - pine trees, wild flowers, fresh mowed hay fields, fresh air and yes - oncoming rains! One sees & feels so much more, finding hidden treasures along the way - covered bridges, rivers & streams, water falls, old forts, ghost towns, abandon buildings telling stories & sharing history of years gone by.
We road through all weather - high 90 temperatures & low 100's heat index, sleet, snow & low 30's up in the mountains, rain, severe storms, hail............one learns to watch the navi system, read & "feel" the weather............stop and suit up in rain gear quickly on a moments notice along the road side and hall a** to any cover located.
Venture out of home and car - get acquainted with nature again! Awesome for the soul! You will not be disappointed!
One learns to pack light & for all weather! Blessed with a navi system, helpful tracking weather and severity of storms. Provides assistance in avoiding, preparing or out running bad weather. One can smell and feel the rain coming. Watching an approaching storm, no description accurately describes the awesome light show lightening displays. Like watching a neon light show at a concert - above and below the clouds - beautiful, yet dangerous if caught up in the storm. Leaving the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, site of Wounded Knee in South Dakota at dusk, we spent hours avoiding and trying to out run a severe electrical storm. Ahead of us was an astounding, vibrant light show by lightening and behind us was the most incredible, beautiful sunset! Then crossing though the Bad Lands National Park at 2 am at night trying to avoid buffalo and park animals, yet still racing to avoid & out run the fast approaching storm. Adrenaline rush and anxiety............
Starting the journey homeward to Indiana through South Dakota on I 90 presented one of those memorable moments. Disliking interstates, we try to avoid them. Along I 90 was a country road running almost parallel with the Interstate. No traffic being on the road should have been the first clue.............finding an access point, we took the country road. Shortly there after hearing & feeling objects hitting the bike & us, discovered with all the fresh mowed hay fields grasshoppers had taken to the same country road!!! Thousands and thousands of grasshoppers!! Quickly stopping to discover we were covered and so was the bike. What does one do in a situation like that?? Being a farm girl, I still hate grasshoppers. All I could do was look at my husband, smile to keep from screaming or crying and say "well Hardy, another fine mess you've gotten us into" (Laurel and Hardy - comics from long ago). No recourse but to continue on, slowly, dodging grasshoppers until an opportunity to get back onto the interstate and continue on home!
Would I do it again..............of course! Could not wait until 2010 vacation!