2014 is the 10th anniversary of my Summer of Dreams. This was the summer I had off due to Early retirement from the Mary Davis Home and a series of trips I took that first summer on my bike.
For the next few months Flashback Friday will focus on both of those events.
And a gentle warning to my readers: "Time flies."
This was the motel I stopped on Day One of my trip to South Dakota on August 26, 2004. This was in Winner after a good 12 hour ride. What makes this especially interesting is that around this time I noticed the rear tire and saw that the tire was about bald. Remember when taking a cross-country trip: check the tires. Grab the phone book and see that there is a Kawasaki shop in Winner, but after a call you find out they don't service motorcycles. Expand your search. Discover closest Kawi shop in Rapid City. It is around 260 miles away. Can I make it? Panic starts to ferment in my head.
Either way, I am glad to be resting and start looking around for a place to eat. I notice a restaurant across the street and have a great meal and a couple beers to ease the stresses of the travel. A nice waitress and a couple real-life Indians and their girlfriends/wives in the place. Winner is very much in Indian territory. I chose my route to include Pine Ridge Reservation, the place of the Wounded Knee massacre. Great roads, very little traffic, nice scenery, and the homes indicative of Indian poverty, I can't wait till I travel this road again.
Later that day, as the sun is setting and ready to go to bed, I took this picture of a fairly low point in the trip: bad rear tire, and now rain. Would I be stuck in rain the next morning? Would I be stranded along the way, with no way to get a tire fixed in what is BFE, South Dakota? These questions weigh heavily as I turn in for the day.
As luck would have it, the new day dawned with just smattering rain the next day; nothing to prevent my progress. Yeah! And I made it into Rapid City to get my tire fixed without mishap. I guess it was one of those times when it proved the old adage that most things you worry about never happen. Stay tuned, then for a summer-long revisit to my world in 2004.
But at this moment when I took the picture, I was a thousand miles away from the only thing I'd known, work and Chambers Street, G-Burg. The feeling of isolation, freedom, fear of the unknown, the need to figure it all out on your own, the challenge of riding a motorcycle itself can be daunting enough, let alone everything else. It was something I had not felt before, and yet, I did it again this past summer. "Never pass up the opportunity to travel…" said Dr. Richards from college a long time ago. Well, I travelled 7000 miles from that bike that summer. It was a summer to remember.