Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 16 - Home

I'm on my way
Well, i'm on my way
Home sweet home
Tonight tonight
I'm on my way
I'm on my way
Home sweet home
-- Motley Crue


I woke up and packed up the bike, trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake Doug and Sheri up. They insisted I make myself at home, but I didn't want that to include waking them up from all my clomping around. I snuck out to the garage and got the bike all loaded up, but Sheri was awake feeding the dogs when I came back in. I truly hope I didn't wake them.

Doug decided he was going to take his Super Duke out to scrub in the new tires in preparation for his trip next week to the ST.N national, and to escort me on my way. Very cool. Oh, and don't let Doug's nice-guy exterior fool you. When he gets that Duke on a twisty road, he's GONE. Again, I was riding pretty conservatively on the rain-covered morning roads, but Doug... GONE. ZOOM!

Hooligan! Razz

We split off at the Maryland border and I continued on my way, heading East towards home. I decided that once I got into Northern MD and into PA, I would bag any further highways and stick to the country roads I know in the area. Turned out to be a great day of riding, one thunderstorm not withstanding. Around Hanover, PA, the skies dumped on me for a few minutes. It was a small but very intense storm. I blasted the rest of the way home trying to beat the storm. I pulled into my driveway at about 2:20pm, and the storm hit here at about 3pm. Just made it ahead of the storm the whole way. Awesome! Thumbsup

Tons of bikes were on the road, and I was following a woman riding a Ninja 650R for a while on MD-77. There were also about a dozen women all riding Harleys coming the other way in the same general area, then another woman got behind me on some kind of smaller Japanese cruiser. I'd like to see more women riding. It's cool.

So, I'm home. At last. But I still feel like that part's kind of a dream. Part of me is still back on some of those roads. I've seen some intense sights. I've done some cool stuff. I've ridden MY motorcycle 5900 miles across this great country, met some interesting people and heard and told some amazing stories. I've climbed mountains on my bike and I've ridden through landscapes that will take your breath away. I've had my perspectives and perceptions turned completely upside-down. I have felt true fear, true loneliness and near-absolute desperation. I have screamed "waaaahooooo" in my helmet while pushing myself and my bike to limits I never dreamed I would, I have ridden roads only imagined and I have felt true serenity while viewing mountains and gorges and animals.

Part of me wants to remove the pictures from online and even to completely trash them, knowing that they can never truly do justice to the memories and experiences I will savor for the rest of my life. Part of me wants to tell everyone that I can't show them the pictures because they just have no context unless you've been there and done that. Until you've ridden down these roads, seen the colors and contrasts, felt the temperatures, experienced the vastness of it all, smelled the scents, heard the sounds... none of it really comes across on the screen or even in the printed pictures like you would hope.

If you can ever do a trip like this... on a bike, in a car, whatever... get out on the road and see the world. I've only barely scratched the surface; there are countless more roads, people, experiences and sights out there. But then, how much is enough...? I don't ever want to be jaded and not savor things like this. But there is just so much more out there. People who fly to a destination and spend their entire time locked away in a resort or theme park are missing some great times.

Well, that's it for now. Look for a post-trip follow up in a few days. I'll talk about the bike, the gear, the problems, everything that doesn't fit into the "here's what we did today" kind of stuff. Thanks for taking the time to read it all and look for posts from the other guys on the trip, too. I'm anxious to read others' perspectives on things I saw.

In a word... AWESOME!

4 comments:

Tony (Xodus) said...

Glad you all made it home and had a good time...

Tony

Dan said...

Congrats on completing a hell of a ride.

- Dan

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Glad you made it home safe & sound. After reading about your travels through parts of Utah, I've now included a couple of those stops in my upcoming Colorado trip in July.
You did had a most excellent adventure!!

Marc (Grampa)

chornbe said...

Make sure you do Mesa Verde. That was a definite highlight in Colorado.

And Zion is complete eye-candy if you can there.