Newfoundland/Labrador: Ready to Go
Since I prepacked a half dozen times in the last two weeks and checked the bike over several times and did pre-ride planning since last fall, there wasn’t much to do today but take care of a couple domestic chores and drum my fingers on the table. I’m as ready as I can get and eagerly anticipate kickstand up tomorrow at 0700.
Just as we have great friends in Florida who gathered to wish Marilyn and me bon voyage last year when we headed for Alaska, so too do we have great NEW friends in North Carolina who also gathered today to wish me well during the next 30+ days. Marilyn and I are fortunate to have so many people who care about us. At least I think that’s what it is. It may be, however, that we just surround ourselves with people who latch on to any excuse to have a drink.
What was supposed to be a one-hour chips and nibbles happy hour turned into a two-hour, too-much food party in the pavillion of our cabin community. The organizer even had a “Newfoundland Quiz” that I wasn’t allowed to participate in since I’ve been reading about Newfoundland/Labrador for the past six months. I told the group about my ill-planned itinerary for the next month (i.e. go north until every sentence ends with “eh”, then head east and look for a big island) and related what I hoped to see along the way (e.g. gentlemen’s clubs and hot biker chicks).
Lots of laughs and well wishes. Good friends, many of whom will be on their porches at 0700 to wave goodbye as I glide by with Willie Nelson providing a musical send off, are nice to have.
I think I must be getting pretty good at packing a motorcycle for long trips, having done it every year for about the past decade. When I finally got everything packed I still had room left in my tour pack for my helmet. That’s a lot of space for “Newfie” souvenirs. I was so bereft of ride-related things to do today that I actually weighed all the stuff I’m taking. The clothing pack, which will be on the passenger seat behind me, came in at 21 pounds, including a full bottle of Jack Daniels, an iPad and assorted heart, cholesterol and diabetes drugs apparently prescribed for all gentlemen of advanced years. The right saddle bag has tools, rain gear, cold weather gear, first-aid kit, and assorted bungy cords and cargo nets: 15 pounds. Left saddle bag has chaps, leather jacket, tennis shoes and one pair of Levis: 13 pounds. Tour pack has camera, tripod, notebook, hoodie, and heated jacket: 11 pounds. Total weight: 60 pounds. Not bad.
I didn’t mention this on last night’s blog, but I meant to. Please feel free to comment on the blog. It helps me feel connected. Connected not just to people who understand the same currency and weights and measures as me, but connected to friends and fellow travelers. I know you’re there because I check site visits on the blog stats, but it’s nice to communicate, too. Say hi once in a while and I’ll say hi back atcha.
Tomorrow night I’ll be somewhere in the middle of Virginia. As the Jack slowly melts a couple of ice cubes and I review the day’s miles, I’ll fill you in on tomorrow’s journey.
Now there’s only one thing left to say: I can’t wait to get on the road again.