Great Alaska Adventure: Family Interlude

Not much motorcycle activity today. After copious rain and road splash over the past week, a little TLC for the HD seemed in order, so I had a two-hour assignation this morning cleansing the accumulated grime and grit from both bikes and trying to make them look worthy of their HD badges. I know, of course, they’ll be doused again with rain in the next few days, but I wanted at least to have a clean bike when Hanna saw it for the time. After gently removing dirt from Georgia, mud from Kentucky, dust from Illinois and bugs from everywhere, neither bike seems to be too much worse for wear in the first 2000 miles of this adventure. Of course, we still have about 10,000 more to go. By the end of the trip I’ll be less inclined to spend two hours cleaning them only to ride in the rain again than I am now. By then I’ll probably see a rain storm as an easy way to clean off the dirt from the previous rain storm.

The purpose of the two-day stop in Madison was to attend my older daughter Heather’s ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. She’s been a pastor for five or six years, but this was an important step in her personal journey and it meant a lot to her to have us here, even if we were dressed like grizzled bikers who just came in off a 2,000-mile road trip. Which we were.


You would have to know my daughter to fully appreciated the appropriateness of the situation, but she celebrated her ordination on crutches from a blown knee requiring reconstructive surgery in a few weeks AND she had just gotten out of the hospital Friday after a bout with colitis that kept her in a hospital bed for four days on a diet that would make a humming bird the winner of The Biggest Loser. She was exhausted and pained in several parts of her body, but keeping her from this appointment with the conference bishop would have been as hard as it was to keep me from my appointment with the Great Alaska Adventure.

Parents don’t get to choose what their kids grow up to be, so all we can do is be happy if they’re happy. And she is. And so are we.


Her two older daughters–Megan and Hanna–drove from Bloomer/Eau Claire today to be here for the ceremony and she had brought her youngest daughter, Lucy, with her yesterday. The family gathering gave me a chance to see Marilyn’s great-grandson, Leo. (He’s my great-grandson too, but Marilyn seems so much more deserving. Not because she’s old but because she’s great.) As three-year olds go, he’s pretty cool and liked to play with my beard. I enjoyed stuffing him full of candy knowing I wouldn’t be responsible for controlling him when the sugar overdose exploded in his small body.

Marilyn’s ankle is better and quite colorful as the purple bruises fade into hues of blues and yellows. Unfortunately, she also injured her ribs in the parking lot fall and that impairment is taking longer to heal. Hopefully a few non-riding days will help.

Leisurely ride tomorrow to Bloomer for a few days as we make final preparations to strap Hanna and her gear to the bike for the next leg of the Adventure.

“I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

Location:Madison, WI

4 responses to “Great Alaska Adventure: Family Interlude”

  1. Robert frobish says :

    Glad you could be there for Heather and you’re right, Leo is a cool kid.

  2. Mark says :

    What a great day for the family!
    Glad to hear Marilyn is healing.

  3. Ski says :

    Glad to hear that your riding partner is healing.

  4. margie says :

    thanks again for sharing.Tell Heather she’s in my thoughts and prayers and Marilyn too. Cute little boy.

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