Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday

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.  

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