I’m recovereing from a great time at Roll the Bones. Instead of trying to get a post together I decided to revisit an old post from a prior trip.
In 2010 I led my first group of bikes down Rt 66. It was almost a disaster. We worked everything out but it was hard going for a while. I was struggling to blog during the trip because I didn’t want to share all the problems we were having while they were going on. This particular blog was first published the day before the trip finally took a turn for the better. I can absolutly read between the lines of this blog. I can hear our frustration, our anger at each other. I can hear my bad decisions and Mr. Man’s temper. I can hear Zippo’s struggle with the heat and Spyderman’s general frustration with everything. The wonderful thing is that after the fateful breakfast I talk about in this post, things really did get better. We ended up with an amazing trip that we all enjoyed. The funny thing? It’s not even the trip I talk about here. We didn’t go to Barber. Weather forced us to change directions again and instead we continued on Route 66 riding about 100 miles a day. It was the best decision for that particular trip and I’m so glad things worked out the way they did. This trip in many ways was the crucible where I became a road captain. It also taught me that blogging as I go works great for solo travel. But with a group? A little perspective is often a good thing.
Yesterday was our first day on the Route. We started across the gorgeous thirteen miles of smiles that is Kansas. I stood in front of the Rainbow bridge again and realized that to some degree, no matter who I take this trip with, this road and this trip belongs to myself and the Diva. I missed her sharply and wanted more than anything to stand with her on the Rainbow bridge again.
I did get to see something new. We stopped at the shop where the original Tow-Mater was located. It was very awesome and the owener of the shop was quite informative. I’ve come to expect that of Route 66 shop owners. They are all knowledgeable about the route they work on and have a vast and powerful network of other shop owners and can point you on your way. This particular shop was called 4 Women on the Route. If you are ever in Galena, check them out.(edit: sadly, last I heard, this shop is now closed.)
After Kansas, we crossed into Oklahoma and began our trek across the state. I was leading and doing fine with it until Miami. Once again, I miss a turn or take a turn or something and…..I am leading three other bikes down Oklahoma’s Ribbon Road. Miles of gravel concrete and asphalt. Everyone made it through fine and the opinion of the group seemed to be that we were all glad we got the experience. However, it was unnerving. I was fine on three wheels and Spyderman was fine on three wheels. However, Mr. Man and Zippo were on two wheels. Yikes! But Yay! that we had that experience.
The rest of the day was a pretty fun ride all the way to Arcadia where we had dinner at Pop’s and hauled ourselves to the Hotel in Yukon. Unfortunately, our 230 mile day turned into a 270 mile day somehow. We where wiped out and fell gratefully into the pool. I blame google maps….although the side trip we made to see a totem pole may have also played a role.
There have been many things going wrong with this trip all along the way. We’ve had credit cards stop working suddenly for no reason (’cause they were paid on time). We’ve had leader switches and lane position switches, flaring tempers, impending migraines, bum knees, overheating persons, missing motor mounts, and sore elbows. All in four days. When we checked the weather and saw that our ride to Amarillo would be accompanied by 22 mile an hour winds from the south I felt sick. Then broke out in hives. Seriously. I was up until 2:00 this morning routing…and shaking…and crying. Then I was up at 6:00 to start the ride to Amarillo. 270 miles in the wind. When I came down to breakfast, Spyderman and Zippo let me know that they didn’t think they could handle the rest of the trip. Zippo had been ill all night from the heat and Spyderman had unexpected knee problems. All I could thank of was “Thank God I don’t have to take us to Amarillo today.”
After some talking, we decided that we still wanted to continue riding together, but in a different direction with shorter days. Mr. Man is now taking us to Birmingham, AL to the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum, the Grandaddy of Motorcycle museums. We’ll burned a day in Yukon and start tomorrow on our new adventure.
So how do I feel about this? Well, I am not entirely disappointed. The Route 66 trip was not going smoothly. I’ve learned that sometimes it is not enough for The Divine to point you down a new path, sometimes you must be hit over the head with it before you notice it’s there. So Route 66 was not the trip we were meant to take together at this time. This new trip is our new path and I welcome it. I have accomplished my goal for this trip in spite of everything. I helped inspire an appreciation and a curiosity for my beloved Mother Road. I think we’ll be back on it together….in November perhaps.
So tomorrow look for a post from Ft. Smith, AR!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blast from the past. It was fun revisiting this and great to see how far we’ve come as riders. Enjoy some pictures I got from this day.