F&F Day 20: End of the Road (For Now)
After two full days with John and Sue, I said my goodbyes and gave them my heartfelt thanks for being part of this year’s F&F tour. Then I fired up the V-Twin and hit the road for home. Most days on this trip were warm enough to border on hot, but today, the final day on the road, I wore leather for the first time since leaving the mountains almost three weeks ago. It wasn’t cold–temperatures rose to the mid 60s–but at 75 miles per hour the air feels about 10-15degrees colder and my well-worn, 13-year old, scruffy motorcycle jacket warded off the fall chill in the air.
As I cruised contentedly along the asphalt for the final four hours and 260 miles of this year’s journey, I thought about who I had seen and what I had done. By the numbers, it looks like this:
- 2 daughters and 1 son-in-law
- 5 granddaughters
- 2 brothers and 1 sister-in-law
- 2 nieces
- 13 friends
- 3,920 miles on a 4-year-old Harley-Davidson with more than 85,000 miles on it
- 1 motorcycle museum with 400 motorcycles in it
- 1 civil war battlefield with 13,000 monuments on it
- 2 worn-out motorcycle tires that will have to be replaced soon
- too many smiles and laughs to count
- about 75 solitary hours in the saddle
By just about any set of metrics, this was another good ride.
I had thought about skipping a long ride this year after booking the Grand European River Cruise for two weeks in July. I’m glad I didn’t. I haven’t spent enough time watching my grands grow up, and this helped make up for that neglect. I don’t spend enough time talking to my girls, and this provided special communicative opportunities. And I’ve lost touch with too many once-dear friends over the years not to take time to visit people who have helped make my life special when I can. So here’s a shout-out to all the wonderful people who contributed this year to my memorable motorcycle meanderings: THANKS!!
While I’m already planning a 7,000 mile trip to explore the adventures of Lewis and Clark in 1804 during the summer of 2019 and a 10,000 mile ride in 2020 stretching across Canada from St. Johns, Newfoundland, on the eastern-most reach to Victoria on Vancouver Island where the sun sets each day on Canada, I don’t have a ride planned for next year though I do have an Alaska fishing outing in the works. It will be hard to keep me out of the saddle, I think, and it’s likely I’ll find a reason to go somewhere. Maybe it will be F&F again. Maybe it will be history related. Or maybe I’ll just make a pointless peregrination with no destination in mind. There are still a lot of roads out there I haven’t ridden that deserve my two-wheel attention. At any rate, to all those who followed along again this year, thanks for joining me. I hope you’ll come back for the next ride.