Monday, August 24, 2009

Full Circle

When we returned home Sunday, KevAndDonna came full circle in more than one way. As fate would have it, August 23 was the day we left last year for our road trip to Milwaukee. Then, we were strangers riding together for the first time in a group of 11. 365 days later, we return home from the road together as a couple.

Also coming full circle were Mom and Dad. As was hinted about in the first post, they were celebrating their honeymoon together in Niagara Falls. 43 years ago, they left for their honeymoon in a borrowed car that never made it. They figured one day they'd be back, but never thought it would take so many years and a trip planned by their son. We intended to have a bottle of champagne sent up for them, but it didn't work out. We're sure they celebrated anyway.

The theme this year was the late days on the road. Caused in equal parts by overeager planning, weather, road construction, borders, and bike problems, it made for sort of a hurried atmosphere for most of the week. I'm glad we at least planned two easy days for the end.

Through that, I am more sure than ever that I would take Donna anywhere. It seems an awful lot of people buy motorcyles and leather jackets and run from bike night to bike night doing the Marlon Brando thing because they think they've somehow become cool by writing a check. I just have always loved to ride; don't claim to be cool and never really bought into the whole "ride hard" thing - I'm not even sure what that means. But if it means 400+ mile days on the hottest day all year, riding dirt roads in the rain, in the dark, with 50 miles to go and all the signs (including Moose Crossing) in French, eating out of gas stations at least once a day, and riding from above the clouds to the sea in the same day, then I guess Donna rides hard. Kept plowing through anything I led through, and never said a word. I'm sure a lot of people who have that phrase on their t-shirt or helmet or whatever have no idea. Out-ridden by a girl. Without a windshield.

What we ended up missing was the ferry across the St. Lawrence (we really didn't need to get up at 5:30 after that mess the night before, and the highway upstream to the bridge was quicker anyway.) That, and the castle in the Thousand Islands, and Fort Henry. We also skipped the northern route around Lake Ontario and cut across New York. Donna was disappointed that we didn't see a moose. I was just glad we didn't hit one that rainy night.

We did see the huge lock in the Seaway canal, and supposedly there was a ship in it, but I guess I didn't see it through the rain, and I was a little stressed at the time and afraid to shut the bike off to take a closer look. We also saw the northern end of US 1, so that when we get to Key West one day, we can say we rode to both ends. After this week, Mom and Dad can already say that.
We found that traffic on I-95 in northern Maine is so light, they can close down one of the two lanes and traffic doesn't even slow below 55 mph. Try that around here.

We saw a thousand little white churches. We saw the colonial districts of foreign cities, saw 12 states/provinces, lots of locals, lots of tourists, weirdos, porcupines, got scowled at and even yelled at by French Canadians [bastards] , and gained 5 pounds.
We did make it to the falls and had a relaxing day getting soaked on the Maid of the Mist and all the other tourist stuff you do there. We lived large in a suite overlooking the falls.

We found that whenever my bike breaks down, it's 1,000 miles or more from home. We proved for the third time that when we are in crisis mode and need a hotel NOW, the only game in town is a Hampton Inn (or better) and we pay through the nose. Doesn't it figure?

In the end, we got to see and do an awful lot of cool stuff, in a way that most people don't. And, we made it home safe and on time. Mission Accomplished.

No comments:

Post a Comment