Saturday, June 5, 2010

Route 66 Trip

Yes, I know it's been days since I've updated and I'm somewhat sorry about that. It just feels like this trip has been a very contemplative one for me. I've needed to soak things in before I shared. I've also been falling into bed as soon as possible every night.

The night before we headed towards Alabama, we watched Cars. I think it made all of us sad about not continuing down the Route. At 1:00 that morning, Mr Man woke me up to tell me that we would be heading into massive rain pretty much all the way there and all the way home. He had come up with another solution. We could go 100 or so miles each day on 66 and reach Tucumcari before we had to head home. We ran the plan by Sypderman and Zippo the next morning and they agreed to do it. It would mean shorter days so an easier recovery from the heat. It would also mean we could stop and see more.

So the first night we hit Elk City. Then Amarillo to stay two nights in order to ride Palo Duro Canyon. Tonight we hit Tucumcari. I could go on about the facts, we saw Cadillac Ranch. Hit two museums. Rode down dirt 66 today and it was hot and challenging. We stopped in Glenrio to mourn a town that didn't make it and spent money in Clinton, Elk City, and Adrian to support towns trying to make it. We ate too much food at the Big Texan. My bike is developing a few leaks we'll need to see to when we return.....I could go on and on.

But that's not what this trip was about. This trip was about letting go of expectation and allowing the trip to come to you. Feeling the Motheroad vibrating up into my body through my bike was unlike anything I've experienced. I've cried almost every day because of something wonderful the day brought me. I've let go of any expectations as to what we'll even see. We made it here tonight and aren't staying at the Blue Swallow, aren't shopping at the Tee Pee Curio shop and aren't eating at Del's because we are tired from the road. Today the road was it's own reward. I have been reminded that 66 is not a souvenir shop (although I've bought some to help support the business and the people who run them) 66 is a journey. Maybe you'll see a historic building, maybe you'll just make it down Dirt 66 between Glenrio and St. Jon without putting your bike down. It's all a win.

We saw an apple at Cadillac Ranch. It was sitting perfect and untouched in the pasture. I gave a nod to the Chaos diety Mr Man honors and reminded myself that nothing can be taken for granted on this road, not even the road itself.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Route 66 Day ?

Yesterday was our first day on the Route. We started across the gorgeous thirteen miles of smiles that is Kansas. I stood in front of the Rainbow bridge again and realized that to some degree, no matter who I take this trip with, this road and this trip belongs to myself and the Diva. I missed her sharply and wanted more than anything to stand with her on the Rainbow bridge again.

I did get to see something new. We stopped at the shop where the original Tow-Mater was located. It was very awesome and the owener of the shop was quite informative. I've come to expect that of Route 66 shop owners. They are all knowledgeable about the route they work on and have a vast and powerful network of other shop owners and can point you on your way. This particular shop was called 4 Women on the Route. If you are ever in Galena, check them out.

After Kansas, we crossed into Oklahoma and began our trek across the state. I was leading and doing fine with it until Miami. Once again, I miss a turn or take a turn or something and.....I am leading three other bikes down Oklahoma's Ribbon Road. Miles of gravel concrete and asphalt. Everyone made it through fine and the opinion of the group seemed to be that we were all glad we got the experience. However, it was unnerving. I was fine on three wheels and Spyderman was fine on three wheels. However, Mr. Man and Zippo were on two wheels. Yikes! But Yay! that we had that experience.

After that it was a pretty fun ride all the way to Arcadia where we had dinner at Pop's and hauled ourselves to the Hotel in Yukon. Unfortunately, our 230 mile day turned into a 270 mile day somehow. We where wiped out and fell gratefully into the pool.

There have been many things going wrong with this trip all along the way. We've had credit cards stop working suddenly for no reason ('cause they were paid on time). We've had leader switches and lane position switches, flaring tempers, impending migraines, bum knees, overheating persons, missing motor mounts, and sore elbows. All in four days. When we checked the weather and saw that our ride to Amarillo would be accompanied by 22 mile an hour winds from the south I felt sick. Then broke out in hives. Seriously. I was up until 2:00 this morning routing...and shaking...and crying. Then I was up at 6:00 to start the ride to Amarillo. 270 miles in the wind. When I came down to breakfast, Spyderman and Zippo let me know that they did think they could handle the rest of the trip. Zippo had been ill all night from the heat and Spyderman had unexpected knee problems. All I could thank of was "Thank God I don't have to take us to Amarillo today."

After some talking, we decided that we still wanted to continue riding together, but in a different direction with shorter days. Mr. Man is now taking us to Birmingham, AL to the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum, the Grandaddy of Motorcycle museums. We burned a day in Amarillo and start tomorrow on our new adventure.

So how do I feel about this? Well, I am not entirely disappointed. The Route 66 trip was not going smoothly. I've learned that sometimes it is not enough for The Divine to point you down a new path, sometimes you must be hit over the head with it before you notice it's there. So Route 66 was not the trip we were meant to take together at this time. This new trip is our new path and I welcome it. I have accomplished my goal for this trip in spite of everything. I helped inspire an appreciation and a curiosity for my beloved Mother Road. I think we'll be back on it November perhaps.

So tomorrow look for a post from Ft. Smith, AR!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Route 66 Day Three

Correction to my previous post: The rider formerly known as Speedy will hereafter be referred to as Zippo.

Anyway, I'm in Joplin, MO getting ready for our first day on Route 66. This is actually my second trip down the Mother Road but my first one on a Motorcycle. I'm beyond excited. After some logistic rearranging, I've made the decision to take the lead position on almost all our days. I began by rotating lead however, a few days on the road has shown me that Mr. Man is right and the consistency of one person who is visibly in charge is important to a group. So...yikes, now I have to familarize myself with much more of the route than I had intended. Therefore, this is a short post. I'll close with a few things I learned today. Trucks that pull out in front of me very slowly and then continue to drive slowly should go stand in a corner until I pass them. Also, Missouri highways are still awful and they get me lost. OK, routing time. The next blog will be from Route 66!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Route 66 Trip Day One and Two

We've begun our roadtrip. Myself, Mr Man, Spyderman, and Speedy are traveling down Route 66. The first few days are just getting to Joplin, MO where we will begin our adventure. Day One was a long hard tiring push up I35 at night into Denton, TX. Five hours later we rolled out on our way to Muskogee, Ok.

I have really profound thoughts on the bike. I try to hold them in my head but they never stay put. I held on to one thought today so I could put in my blog. Spyderman, who rides in front of me has a Tourmaster Jacket. All Tourmaster Jackets have a reflective triangle on the neck with the pointy side up. I just kept thinking it was like a reminder, "this end up". Upon reflection, that is not as profound as I thought it was.

Today was rather pleasant. We did about 220 miles today. I can tell two things. One, I've been off the bike way too long and I'm out of shape for it. Two, the time I've been spending in the gym has paid off and I'm not in as much pain as I would have been this time last year. So yay for my efforts.

Tomorrow we have a short day to Joplin so we can do a Wal-Mart run and pick up things we forgot. I'm exhausted from the cumulative days riding. I'm pick this back up tomorrow.