Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nice and Concise

Dear Diary,

Well I am certain that you can tell I haven't written in a while. That is because I got terribly lazy at one point and fell behind in my writing, only to get a job and become extremely busy.

Because it has been so long since I have written about this trip I have had to re-read all of my entries in order to rekindle the spark of adventure and humor. My, it really was such an amazing journey!

I will continue from this point, Diary, but I am going to combine the final days of the journey into one Diary entry, so that I can move on to present day musings.

It seems Diary, looking back now, that the weather on this trip was much less than perfect. I don't think I have ever ridden through so much rain and cold in my life. And, though riding in the bad weather was exciting in the moment, I think it had a deep and abiding negative effect on me on a cellular level. No, seriously! At the very hint of wet weather my skin prunes up, my toes and nose go icy and my hair POPS into a state of frizz that can only be called 'afro' like!! I begin to shake and shudder and before I realize what I am doing I am running from room to room, upstairs and down, randomly pulling on and tearing off protective outer-wear garments.

Ok, let me explain.

We left Minnesota to ride 230 miles on one of the most beautiful, scenic roads around the northern shore of Lake Superior to get to Marathon, Canada. We rode in the damp, cold, gray, spritzing, drizzly, awful, disgusting ( ok, you get my drift ).... it was less than perfect weather AND it was freakin' freezing cold. We had done our usual stopping and starting in order to shed inappropriate clothing and don warmer, appropriate, dry clothing. However, by the time we pulled into our hotel that night in the near darkness, we could barely speak we were so cold. We could, however, scream with laughter which is, of course, our signature move.

As we approached our destination I could barely think straight. I was not even wet at that point because I was frozen. My GPS counted down the miles for me and the decreasing number was what kept my resolve to get there,if not strong, at least intact. I wanted to convey the mileage information to the ladies behind me, as they had no exact information about how far we needed to go in order to pull off for the night. But short of stopping, which I wasn't going to do, there was nothing for it but to keep my speed up and hunker down over my tank and ride. When we pulled into the parking lot of the hotel I could barely squeeze my brake. In fact Twitter didn't use her brake. In a frozen brain fog I could hear an odd scraping sound coming up from behind me and around to my right.

As I stopped, my boots broke free from the bike pegs and my legs unfolded, sending thin shards of ice flying off of them in all directions. I knew my feet were squarely on the ground, not because I could feel them because I could not, but because I had not fallen over. I immediately burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. (It was that or fall off the bike and lay face down on the pavement in a fit of uncontrollable sobbing but I figured if I did that my tears would freeze my face to the tarmac and I wouldn't get dinner, a hot shower, or a bed to sleep in for the night.) Coming in behind me and executing an, albeit unorthodox, stop was Twitter. Her choices had been few since her fingers had frozen solid and weren't receiving any information from her well cooled brain in order to work the brake lever. She could choose to jump the curb and come to a stop on her side, pinned under her bike in the grassy but deep ditch on the other side of the curb or drag her boots along the parking lot surface the last thirty feet to slow herself down enough so that the curb would actually stop her when she rolled into it. She chose the later, thank goodness. The odd scraping noise that I had heard was her new braking system being deployed. Still on the bike and draped over my gas tank, I am convulsed with laughter as I watch Twitter, who isn't even watching where she is going because she, too, is draped over her gas tank, laughing hysterically and watching me laugh at watching her. The jolt of the her bike hitting the curb brings her momentarily to her senses and she manages to get her feet down and bring down the side stand. Bev rolls in (happily knitting) behind us and then poor Scarlett behind her. Scarlett is already laughing as she gets her side stand down and we all stumble into the lobby of the hotel where it takes no less than five minutes to quiet ourselves long enough to realize we didn't die and then begin laughing hysterically again out of pure relief and celebration of that fact.

Though it was only 8:30 or so by the time we are settled in our rooms the area has closed down for the night and there is no where to get dinner. No where! So, God Bless him, the cook from the hotel dining area shares his home made chicken soup with us and we are all more than ready for sleep.

There were other things that happened there...like the mama bear and her baby that visited the kitchen's back door and that we awoke to Scarlett having to replace her back tire because it was well and truly flat!!!

The flat tire led us to meet several male characters in Marathon who will forever have Scarlett to dream about. Not to mention having another laughing fit ( of spectacular proportions) at the coffee shop when we were waited on by a Canadian Filipino who kept trying to serve us another cup of "Mother Fuc*ing Coffee!!!!" The first time she said it the four of us, collectively, took in a gasp of air while trying to keep coffee from spewing from our noses as yet another fit of laughter formed in the bowls of our beings. To no avail. Fifteen seconds later she reiterated , and waited for an answer. She was actually fairly patient, Diary, as our bodies became bent and tortured with laughter. I had one hand clasped over my mouth in an attempt to keep the latest gulp of coffee from showering the innocent patrons near me and my other shoved between my legs trying desparately not to pee my newly dry pants and leathers.

When Scarlett's ride was all ready to get back on the road we continued on to Wawa, Canada in the drizzle and rain. It was while we were in Wawa that we decided that we should find a dry, safe place for the night and spend our last night as a troupe of four.

We found a delightful cabin with a great fireplace.
We talked, ate, and talked some more. Twitter and I had one more big laugh together as we recorded Scarlett's little mouse snores ( link )

and the next morning we were off in the rain again.
We made it to Michigan where Bev and Twitter left to head west and back to their homes.

Scarlett and I spent several more days on the road where we met a sweetie of a bartender who when we introduced ourselves as Tink and Scarlett thought we said Tish and Carla....Somehow they fit...and stuck.

When we got to Wellsboro, PA we met a lovely woman, Margaret from Maryland, who had always wanted to ride a motorcycle. So we put her as close as we could get her to being on them and snapped these photos.

We found a fun diner absolutely FULL of frogs!! HAHAhahahaha!!! How appropriate was that??!!

When my hubby arrived with my middle daughter we knew it was just about to end.

It had topped any trip I had had to that point. I laughed, cried, sang, prayed and rode and rode and rode my way through some of the most inspiring beauty the earth has to offer and I met some wonderful people along the way.

I am thankful for the days I get "after fifty"! I am thankful for the family who let me go on this Epic Journey. I am thankful for those who opted in and made the best of all of it! Most of all I am glad I said "yes" when my spirit said "go"!

I'm ready to see what else I can say "yes" to !!

G'night Diary...Oh, and Diary.....Thanks for all the prayers!