Travel Thoughts

In his book, ‘Travels With Charley’, John Steinbeck wrote, ‘We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. …The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.’

This is so true; you can plot a route and  plan an itinerary; waste of time – as we have learned after…. yes, 44,000+ miles on the Guzzi, 5,000 on the Honda, and around 50,000 nautical miles on our various boats.

So, yes, we had planned to visit Cynthia Rose and see the swamps and Savannah in Georgia, explore some caves in New Mexico…. lots of things that didn’t happen. We got lost a couple of times – usually in big cities and we had hoped to return to a couple of towns but didn’t, BUT, we found places we had never heard of and were thrilled to have seen something so great and so unexpected.

At the end of that same book, Steinbeck wrote that a journey begins before the departure date and can end long before you get home; this is also very true. A lot of the pleasure is in the planning, getting into a routine occupies the early days of a trip; you settle down into pattern and now you can start enjoying the places you see, the people you meet.

But often, well before the end of a trip, tiredness sets in, you feel worn down, your senses are so saturated with the sights you have seen – particularly when you are seeing spectacular scenery, as is the case in states like Utah – that it almost overwhelming. Wonderful people you meet and feel you will never forget slip into a little area somewhere in the brain as you meet more people along the way.

It is a little like having a very rich and large meal – wonderful to savour the different tastes to begin with – but you become overwhelmed with it all in the end. You need time away from food for a while, time to digest. Gradually, your appetite returns and you begin to remember the distinct flavours and the textures, the aroma and…. voila, your appetite and enthusiasm returns with a vengeance.

So, after all that spouting, I’m going to be really lazy (again) and post lots of photos with a snippet of information. Once I’m over the indigestion stage and my memories are recovered, I will write more of events that happened. I know that many hours, sitting on the back of the bike, were spent thinking how to tell of some interesting or exciting happening…. only for it to float clean out of my aging mind. It will come back though.

Friends

To start, the most important part of life – to me – is the people we meet, the friend we make and grow to love. And, sorry if these photos will mean little to many people reading the blog, but I want to say ‘Hi’ to people we have both grown to love and give a face to some of the folk you will have heard mentioned along the trip.

Pete and Barb: friends since the very early 90’s. We met them while cruising up and down the islands in the Caribbean. Pete came on one of our Atlantic crossings so he has seen us at our tiredest and our smelliest….

It has to be a photo with Pete and me on his beautiful old Harley… my first ever ride on any motorcycle was behind Pete on his other Harley.

Yee-Haw
The Odd Couple - Pete and MGM
Barb, my 'sister' . We got to meet a black leopard, called Shadow, at very close proximity; what a memory.

Mike is my favourite photo subject; he looks so bad and is so, well, un-bad! He is an angel in the guise of, erm, ZZ Top’s – check out this photo from Wikipedia -Mike to the right and, well, that has to be Pete on the left!

Mike

Michael..... oops
This was taken at the annual bike meet, Wetzels, where Lynrd Skynrd were playing - photo courtesy of Homer (see further down)

Mike’s wonderful wife is Roanne; a woman of fun and family with a heart of gold

Roanne and Booger

Last week, we were enjoying a few (more) beers. Roanne had her grandbabbies on her knee. Sweetie, Barb’s cat decided to join them. But he wanted the cuddliest spot – under Ro’s chin. He elbowed the poor little girls out of the way – notice the cat-elbow to the jugular.

Mike and Roanne’s daughter, Savannah; a cutie; witty and loveable young lady.

Bobby the butt of so many jokes – I made the mistake of saying (after taking his photo) ‘I’ll do that again – take the fag our of your mouth….. ‘. Now, as you all know, a fag in the USA is not quite the same as a fag in the UK. The poor guy had hell for the rest of the evening. Love him to bits.

Bobby - no fag in his mouth

Homer….. he is a darling, darling fella and he happens to love my quiches, which means he must have good taste; Jan says, ‘Real men don’t eat quiche’ but Homer isn’t afraid to show us his sensitive side.

The rest are just us, playing.

Down south, in Florida, are two dear friends – also people we met in the Caribbean. An incredible coupe who are tireless at work and adventure. Pat and Norm have built houses from the ground up – one high in the Smoky mountains of Tennessee, living in a caravan during a very cold winter whilst doing so. They have built planes, which Norm used to fly…. and they built ‘Grand Folly’ their (about, I think) 58 foot (on deck) 70 foot (overall) schooner. They are an incredible couple. Actually, I think Norm would make a great stand-in for Donald Sutherland.

Pat – she has far more energy than I do – dragging me on one mile walks each morning 🙂

These folk were what brought us to the USA in the first place and we miss them a lot when we are back home. They are our ‘family across the pond.

Next post, tomorrow, I’ll show you some photos of Michigan – well, mostly Port Huron – and also, finally, tell you how Barb and I got to meet Shadow 😀 Oh, and join us in Lansing, Michigan – Larry and Brian – doyens (or is that a female thingy?) of Guzziology – and all things bikey.

TTFN and, Ride Safe all bikers – non-bikers – stay alert for the biker!