Saturday, August 29, 2009

You Can’t Get There From Here

From motorcycle saddle to the home-life saddle has been a shock to my system. The roar of my engine and the wind in my ears has turned into the dryer buzzing, phone ringing, kids fighting, and then screaming for a referee. There’s always some sort of “jet lag” to process when you return home from any trip (there’s a life metaphor for you!). Change/adapt, change/adapt…such is life!

This road trip was unusual for me; it was truly a metaphor for the dark sides of life I’m certain we all encounter…relentless storms you can’t seem to get away from, conditions that keep you from where you want to go or detain you from getting there when you want to be there. Knowing at the core of my being that the sun will shine again and the road I need to get to where I want to be will rise up to meet me, is still a big bite to swallow when your face down in the shit. As I write this, it’s another gloomy wet day…and I know, it won’t last forever and I trust that the sun will shine again and the next road I need to travel will become evident once the clouds and haze dissipate. Life situations, like the weather, are also NOT permanent and the sun will shine once again.

Relentless dead ends…can’t go that way; road construction…not that way; bridge out; definitely not that way; lightening! “You can’t get there from here” was the message that kept repeating itself in my head. Surrendering to what is…giving up the fight. The resistance I put forth when I want what’s on the other side so bad, is an exhausting trip!

The weather was fucking with me on this trip…actually my mind was…the weather is the weather. It took 11 hours to get from Milwaukee to St. Louis…probably a record, at least for me. All was well and good until we crossed the Wisconsin state line. It started to sprinkle as we headed to Rockford to travel IL 2 along the Rock River. The sprinkles gradually turned to downpours, hampering my vision and soaking the scarf around my neck. Frequent stops became the order of the day. All the rerouting due to construction as well storm dodging, felt like I was riding in circles. Wrong turns, poor choices for alternative routes…where the fuck is St. Louis??? You can’t get there from here!

The rain cleared, gifting us a two hour smooth sail to our destination. As I crossed the Mississippi into Missouri, a beautiful eagle perched on a branch welcomed me, assuring me I did indeed get there. I felt the same sense of comfort when I stopped for the night at the home of a dear friend. Seeing a familiar face on the road is just like being home…than again, it is.

We were delayed in leaving St. Louis to wait out a thunderstorm, which gave way to a beautiful day…things aren’t always what they seem! Shortly out of St. Louis, ended up rerouting toward Lake of the Ozarks to avoid a storm coming in from the west…You can’t there from here! In route, a bug hit my upper lip, felling like I had been nailed by a pea shooter…later, one on the finger that left two digits completely numb, all aiding me in keeping focused on the present moment…snapping me out of the relentless chatter in my head. Thank you very much!

Skies slowly began to darken in the west, changed the plan again, and headed toward Springfield…You can’t get there from here! Tried to outrun it, but ended up in a driveway frantically wrestling with my rain suit. A woman ran across her front lawn motioning us to come over, yelling for us to get our bikes under their carport.

As I sat waiting out yet another storm, I pondered the life metaphor before me; no matter how bad the storms get, I have the knowledge and tools to continue my journey. And when my own resources whither or become ineffective, someone always shows up to support me….perhaps even with a towel, a cold glass of water and a freshly picked tomato…with salt!

The storm passed within an hour or so, intended destination…Wichita. Thirty miles outside of Wichita, the skies darkened once again, cranking up my adrenaline…I cranked up my throttle. My determination to make it into town dry (not to be confused with a dry town), proved futile. The rain started out light and steady. Hotel row was in sight. With no restaurants within walking distance from the hotels, we set back out down the highway, grateful to see a Holiday Inn on the opposite side of the highway with a restaurant connected to it…perfect! The rain increased as my visibility decreased…road construction kept me from making the left turn to the hotel…lightening moving in…we had to head a mile north before I could make a u-turn to head back south to get to the driveway of the Holiday Inn. A torrential downpour began as we sat waiting at the red light keeping us from the Inn. You can’t get there from here! Oh, shit…here we go again…reality and my plan once again, part ways.

The downpour I woke up to became a mere drizzle by the time we were ready to leave; first stop, air for the tires. I headed for a car dealership just off the frontage road…could not find the way to the service department…road construction, coupled with user unfriendly roads…You can’t there from here! Fuck it! We hit the road, bound for the open prairie. More rain…heavy rain…combined with gusty crosswinds, gifted me with Mother Nature’s facial and microderm abrasion. There was no way there could be any dirt left in my pores, let alone skin on my face!

A stop for gas and a much needed reprieve from the rain, I checked my oil. Needing to top it off, I went into the station to purchase a quart (of oil), only to be directed across the street to Wal-Mart. All the gear went back on. Fifteen minutes later, I threw my leg over the saddle and crossed the road in the incessant downpour…pulled in the drive next to Wally World to expedite my mission…You can’t get there from here! Back onto the highway and down to the NEXT driveway.

On the road in the rain, once again…intended destination; Manitou Springs, CO. The rain slowly dissipated as we headed west. I was elated when we finally crossed the state line into CO. I was filled with anticipation of seeing and feeling the mountains by day’s end. That was a short-lived fantasy. As we meandered through Las Animas and set out on US 50 for La Junta, blackness filled the distant canvas, the kind of darkness that has my stomach swallowing my heart. We turned back to Las Animas; my instincts telling me to wait this one out. You can’t get there from here!

I’m uncertain as to how long we waited for that storm to hit, but it was long enough to entertain thoughts of walking to the drive through liquor store just down the ally. With the lightening now behind us, we suited up once again. As I gave my rain suit zipper its final snug up tug, a pick-up pulled into the lot in which we had taken refuge and asked which way we were headed. When I replied, “west,” he urged us to stay put due to a tornado warning in effect; there were sightings just to our south. So, wait we did. You can’t get there from here!

As soon as we caught glimpse of the slightest clearing, we headed west…intended destination…the next town, La Junta, 19 miles west. Meandering through town…a left here a right there…over a bridge and onto the open road… then, bug-eyed by the blackest sky I’d ever seen! A short distance away, I saw my welcome home sign; Hampton Inn…exit, stage left! The storm hit within 15 minutes of our disembarking. Howling, wicked winds with heavy rains as their companions. I surrender! Whatever I think I should be doing, or the way I think I should be going, is not the way it is…damn it! I reached my “saturation” point. Perhaps I can’t get there from here, but I will get there when and how I’m supposed to get there!

As I walked through the lobby, the desk clerk threw her commentary at me; “We sure must have done something to piss Mother Nature off. This weather is crazy and unusual for this area, this time of year.” She informed us that three tornadoes touched down just to the south of us, a hail storm to the north requiring the plows to come out, and a small earthquake within the same area.

OK, so maybe I am on the right path after all!

Set out in the morning on dampened roads with clearing skies; the beauty of surrender... destination; Manitou Springs…a cute little cottage on the river to dump all our baggage, while we hit the back roads, under sunny skies for the rest of the day, returning for a delightful dinner. And that’s just the way it went.

The following afternoon we took a slow, scenic ride into Keystone after spending the morning dealing with a front flat tire. You can’t get there from here! Keystone was a rather quiet, subdued environment, particularly with a motorcycle conference in town. The scenery was worth the trip…the ride up Loveland pass rejuvenated my soul as the energy of the mountains restored my trust in the workings of the Universe. I no longer needed to figure out why things went the way they did. I was home and I CAN get there from here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


August 10th, 2009
The trip to Door County started with the Toilet Busters getting into a knock down, drag out slapping fight in the backseat merely 20 minutes outside of Milwaukee, over some “unfair” move during a video game competition. I pulled off the highway to wait for the fighting to stop then, I confiscated the games. How is it, when shit hits the fan, I forget my own Medicine; lose complete knowledge of everything I’ve learned, practiced, and preached? And I find myself in a knock down, drag out fight…with reality, desperately scanning my mind for the antidote!

I’m driving along in my Wrangler, watching motorcyclists cruise down the road solo, fantasizing that it’s me. I had a flash of a Hal’s Harley-Davidson billboard on I-94, showing a woman driving in a car, lusting at the motorcyclists passing by; a look of envy in her eyes and a yearning to be riding one herself…a bike that is. I decided the real marketing ploy is to have two kids fighting in the back of her car while she’s doing that! Gone are the days of “Calgon take me away”; let me take my own ass far away, by myself, on a motorcycle with one seat…mine!

The first stop we hit on the lower portion of the peninsula, in Luxemburg, was Otto’s Meat Market for fresh homemade beef jerky, brats, bacon, and salami. From there it was Ron’s cheese shop for fresh cheese curds that squeaked so loud it hurt our ears; not quite as much as the screaming fight an hour earlier. If you’re not familiar with cheese curds, the sqeakier they are, the tastier! Before leaving Luxemburg, we made a quick stop at Salmon Brothers Meat Market for “the best hotdogs in the world.” The Jeep smelled like a smoked sausage rolling down the road. Even dogs were chasing us.
Finally arriving in Sturgeon Bay, indicating our arrival into The Door, we rolled through the downtown area and I noticed an awning I hoped my children wouldn’t see. Suddenly Wyatt exclaims; “Now, that’s the place to go; toys, chocolate, candy, and ice cream!” I kept driving. Down the road, we spied a farmer’s market and stopped for fresh produce, then headed over to the grocery store for a few things to accompany the food we’ve already gathered…like cold beer and a lime! The grocery store was like a nightmare I couldn’t wake myself from. It started with a chase scene through the isles; myself pretending I didn’t know whose children those were, continued with a “poopy fart” and emergency run to the restroom, followed by an explosive…no, thank God…cherry Dr. Pepper. The white shirt Schuyler was wearing…now an original work of art.
As we made our trek up the northwestern side of the peninsula, we found the spot for “the best caramel corn in the world.” No one told us they had the best gelato in the world!
Door County is infamous for cherries. So…we had to stop at Hyline Orchard for cherries, cherry pie, cherry jam, cherry syrup, and pure organic, made right there, maple syrup. I’ll be making blueberry pancakes with fresh berries from the farm market for breakfast! As I’m writing this, I’m thinking, “Oh, shit,” literally…that last run is a recipe for disaster!

So, it took us four hours to get to Ellison Bay from Otto’s in Luxemburg. Most people get to Ellison from Milwaukee in less than four hours!
There may be some toilet bustin’ on this trip after all!

Tuesday, August 11th

We started the day with fresh blueberry, malted pancakes with 100% pure maple syrup, and a side of Otto’s awesome bacon…heavenly!
We then headed down the road to Fish Creek and rented bicycles to go into Peninsula State Park. Being that it’s been 12 years since I’ve ridden a bike without a motor, I was hoping the boys would decide they weren’t up for the trek…no such luck. We were set up with the appropriate bikes; mine with a big seat to cushion my spoiled ass being used to a leather Corbin , though I still think I may need to sit on the ice packs instead of leaving them in the cooler. Unfortunately, there were no bikes with a throttle or clutch. I set out wobbling down the trail freaking out over the mass of people coming towards me on the narrow trail. Bike riders were EVERYWHERE! I envisioned myself being attacked by bicyclists like the swarms of grasshoppers I once experienced on my motorcycle in South Dakota.

Though my mind feared my ability to ride a bicycle again with ease, my body remembered everything it was supposed to do to keep me upright and on the trail. A great metaphor for life; “Let go of the steering wheel!” I suddenly envisioned myself as the Wicked Witch of the West, riding her bike through the sky during the tornado, with that jaunty “do, doot, doo, do, doo, doot, do, doo,” tune in my head; I started laughing my head off…humor is the best Medicine!

Now, feeling rather comfortable, I cruised down a small hill at a pretty good clip, approaching the curve, I grab the lever on the left handgrip to downshift! Following a quick fishtail maneuver and a mild stroke, my body quickly flooded with memories, reminding my mind that the left lever on a bicycle is for the front brake! I managed to remain upright and on track. Good thing, I needed to be physically and emotionally available for the two children who simultaneously crashed half way through the trip. Far be it for me to tell them how to ride up a steep grade in first gear as opposed to sixth. Then again, why bother? They just figured it out for themselves. Sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of willpower not to laugh hysterically; like being inchurch whn someone in the pew ahead of you farted.

Three miles to go and two injured riders who have no other choice than to buck up and ride back. Time to focus on the gorgeous setting…”Let the trees hug you!”

A quick game of mini-golf and chess on the way back, a stop at the Door County Confectionery (I love their licorice caramels!), and a shot at Go Karting in Sister Bay…a real bust, as Wyatt is 54 inches tall and regulations say you must be over that. They both went in the mini-karts…mini is an understatement! They basically sucked; I was bored watching. A three year-old may have thought it was a gas, but not a 9 and 11 year old. The look on their faces was classic, only too brief to capture on film.

Back at the ranch, Salmon Brother’s hot dogs in swine intestines. My boys don’t like casings on their wieners! Great! Raising two boys who don’t like casings on their wieners…I’ll let their dad handle that subject.
The day ended at the drive-in outdoor theater to see G-Force from the back end of the Wrangler. I converted the back of the Jeep into a loveseat recliner…now that was the cat’s ass! The experience was not only deluxe and memorable, but a flash-back; the ads were the same ones they showed the last time I was at the drive-in…probably 40 years ago!

Returning to base, a fight erupted on the recliner which I chose to walk away from, forgetting the back doors were inaccessible from the inside and it was pitch black out there. I was summoned back to the vehicle by screams. Hopefully there are no nightmares involving cased wieners coming out of the woods attacking small children.

Wednesday, August 12th

I threw in a load of laundry this morning in order to soften my duties when we return home. The scent of strawberry wafted through the air as I opened the dryer door. That old familiar scent was NOT from fabric softener; someone left gum in their pocket! It was apparent we weren’t the first to wash and dry gum. S.O.S. to the rescue! So, we got off to a late start today due to a dryer cleaning delay.

Starting the day with something gooey and sweet was a precursor for most of the day’s events. Our first stop was at White Dunes State Park. Naturally, the first thing I had to do was use the restroom. Oh, yeah; the smell of something gooey alright, but not so sweet…the ‘ol outhouse. Oh, how I loved my scout camp days. Funny how a disgusting smell can bring about sweet memories! Such is life; lots of times the things we think to be so horrible, bring about the greatest treasures.

We staked out our territory on the sandy beach where I sat watching my children frolic in the waves of Lake Michigan; feeling more like I was at the ocean up than a Great Lake. My soul was instantly filled with delight. The worries I let plague me earlier in the morning simply vanished, and I was truly able to bask in the beauty of the moment as well as the sun.

A couple of hours at the beach had us screaming for something gooey, cold, and sweet, so we drove over to Ephraim to the famous Wilson’s, for homemade ice cream…delicious! Snarfed those scoops right down and set out on another adventure.

Off we drove to check out the towns on the other side of the peninsula. In route, we HAD to stop at The Door County Bakery for one of their famous Dooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Cookies; a glob of peanut butter baked between two peanut butter cookies. There were a lot more tantalizing items in there besides big-ass cookies…OMG! The breads made my mouth water and my eyes nearly popped from their sockets as I scanned the cases… macaroons…triple chocolate brownies…spice cake bars, frosted…I looked up at the double wide doors in that joint and thought, “how appropriate!” Then, the crème de la crème, Corsica bread sticks. Big, fat slices of Corsica Bread, drenched in olive oil and butter, smothered in toasted sesame seeds…to die for! The oil dripped down my chin and fingers as it oozed from the bread with every crunchy bite. It’s been a long time since I felt that way. In fact, it was probably the day I discovered Gail Ambrosius Chocolates in Madison, WI four or five years ago.

My children looked out of the car like something was seriously wrong with me; and trust me; it’s not the first time. A couple actually pulled into the lot and watched me finish my delight, inquiring as to what it was I was eating with such ecstasy. They told me I should go ahead and have another, so I took their advice and ate two pieces right away.

One last town to check out, Rowley’s Bay…a real sleeper. Nothing much there but a resort housing Grandma’s Bakery, aptly named as that end of the peninsula appeared to be heavily populated with grandmas and grandpas. A Swiss bakery no less; hadn’t been to one of those yet, so naturally, we stopped. By then, I was ready to purge but the bakery still looked good. We walked out of there with a cherry turnover and gooey cinnamon roll (for Schuyler) and a bag of this funky, really tasty treat called Skorpa. All I can tell you is it’s a Swedish coffee dunking treat; sweet, crunchy, and habit-forming.

The kids were now screaming for dinner; mind you, they hadn’t been eating any of the bakeries we’d purchased thus far. I, on the other hand, needed to go for a 20 mile run, though a walk would have sufficed. I’m sure you can imagine how well that bowled over. We made it about 4 blocks before heading to “Al” Johnson’s in Sister Bay. They have grass growing on the roof tops with goats grazing around up there. Dinner on the other hand was nothing to write home about.
Within about five minutes of returning to base, you needed a number to get into the bathroom. Gooey-dooey was the name of that tune. As you may know, there’s little ventilation in older cottages. I am, however, grateful for indoor plumbing and that I didn’t have to live with THAT cooking in the pot for the next few days.

Thursday, August 13th

Woke up to a perfect summer day; in the low 70’s under crisp blue skies, along with the sweet smell of summer coasting along the gentle breeze. I started my day with an 8 mile run; a small percentage of what needed to be done to counteract the prior day’s lack of moderation. There was a t-shirt in the Door County Bakery boasting, “Everything in moderation…even moderation.” I took that advice, no prob.

The day’s events unfolded as if moderation were the plague; “Avoid it at all costs and go full-bore! Life’s an adventure; live it!” And so we did.

We arrived at the 10AM passenger ferry to Washington Island just in the nick of time. I quickly grabbed our swimming suits, a bottle of water and a bag of Sun Chips, leaving everything else I had packed in the cooler behind. We opted to forego the car ferry as our plan was to ride bicycles to School House Beach and back when we got there. How long could that take? It’s a small island.
I ate those words and inhaled a whole host of others. If my ass could talk, you’d get an earful right now. Actually, my kids would tell you my ass does talk, so let me be more specific; the bones in my ass were killing me! And this is how it all started…

I overheard a woman on the ferry say it was 5 miles to the beach; roundtrip…you do the math. OK, I just won’t say anything and the kids will never know.
Upon arriving to Fantasy Island, we headed straight over to the bicycle rental facility. Why were we the only ones renting bicycles? I, personally, was lusting over the motorized scooters, entertaining thoughts of riding alongside my children on their bicycles. Walking into the bike shed, I was hit with that huge sinking feeling in my gut…a blast from the past, no doubt. Most of the bikes resembled the one I had as a child; one speed with foot brakes and practically bald tires; really looking forward to this trek…ten miles??? Once Schuyler got a look at those bikes, kiddy cocktail hour started…he was serving whine and lots of it, no cherries. Now it made sense why people either take the “Cherry Train” or their own bicycles around this island.

We hopped on the bikes and headed down the road to Main Road…love the creativity there…which will take us to the road to School House Beach on other side of the island. I was really feeling like the Wicked Witch of The West on that classic set of wheels, and was certain Schuyler was convinced of it. My cheerleading was constantly interrupted by groans coming from behind me. Wyatt on the other hand was jamming down the road, totally digging the adventure. Two miles into it, it became real clear to me why so many people wear spandex shorts with pads in the butt, though personally, pillows and balm seemed better than pads at that point.

Schuyler, a bit of a distance behind, began yelling something I couldn’t quite make out, though I sensed the flavor of concern. I slowed to hear that we were being followed in the bike lane, by a car. I know he’s just dying for an excuse to get out of this activity, so I have little concern. Schuyler now picks up the pace to get closer to me, freaking out about this car behind us. He quickly turns his head once more, starts laughing and yells, “We’re being chased by the mail car in hot pursuit!” That was the only humor he experienced throughout the entire adventure. Who could blame him?

Now, getting lost on a motorcycle is one of my favorite pastimes…getting lost on an island with two kids, one who is particularly NOT happy with the experience in the first place…not good. In the midst of wallowing in my own misery, I had missed the cutoff for the beach. About a mile into it, I realized why there was no bicycle lane on this road! When Schuyler heard that news, I thought you’d be reading about me in the paper! The groaning that persisted started to sound like that of a low budget porn film (I think that was a redundant statement). Back down the road, and all the way up the big hill we had moments earlier enjoyed coasting down, we arrived at the road taking us to the beach. Two minutes later, we were there.

Beautiful beach, covered with perfectly smooth, white stones. The boys enjoyed a swim and lengthy rock throwing session. Schuyler was probably contemplating throwing rocks at me!

We downed our only bottle of water, snacked on a few chips and headed back to the bikes. The drag in Schuyler’s steps had me convinced he had broken the law and stashed about 50 stones in his trunks.

Back on the road, motivated by the incentive of juicy burgers and thick quart sized custard shakes at the Albatross, about 4 miles away. The ride back always seems faster, especially when you know how to get there and there’s food involved.

Waiting for the 2PM ferry, I concluded; Washington Island is for seasoned cyclists or at least bikes with gears and…a V-Twin engine. Next time, we’re taking the car ferry.
Island Ferry Tickets; $22.50
Getting lost on rental bikes; $36.00
Island lunch; $23.50
Cold Corona back on the mainland; PRICELESS!

Friday, August 14th

Operating in slow-mo this morning; feeling parts of my body I had not realized existed. Somebody get my oil can! Feeling rusty was in part, my body’s response to not really wanting to go home; we didn’t want the fun to end. The scattered thunderstorms helped in that regard. Spent a few hours cleaning up the house and packing up our “stuff”; I swear, half the load was food!
Speaking of food, we had to make one last stop at The Door County Bakery; yep, that was WE. $38.00 later…I had food stuffed into a make-shift frige I created on the floor in front of the passengers seat. I had it packed a foot above the seat with frozen foods and refrigerated goods, right under the AC vent, then covered the loot in blankets…worked like a charm!
I won’t even begin to tell you about the pastry I had at the bakery today. I’ll just suffice it to say, my arteries need flushing in a bad way.

Nearing Sturgeon Bay, I had to fulfill one last request before leaving The Door; a stop at the “fudge, candy, ice cream, toy store.” Good thing I had to pee badly; got them out of that store within eight minutes and only a $16.00 deficit, knocking off three out of the four. Ice cream wasn’t desired much after that last bakery run.

Somewhere south of Algoma, on some back road, Wyatt needed a restroom. As I was looking for an inconspicuous spot to pull over, he opened an empty soda bottle; you can deduce the rest of the story. Coincidentally, we were, at the very same time, passing Schweiner Road. I announced for Wyatt to make sure that he keep his schweiner in that bottle. I, on the other hand, was wishing I had a schweiner and a bottle, but I had to hold it until I found a gas station. I practically pissed my pants walking to the door.

We made it home in 5 1/2 hours. I unpacked while managing a few loads of laundry and a new pile of “stuff” to pack up for my motorcycle trip to Colorado on Sunday.
As I looked into those sweet little eyes of my boys this evening, I said, “I love you guys. I really had a lot of fun with you on this trip.” They, of course, felt the same, then Wyatt interjected, “That’s because you made it fun, Mom.”

I’ll miss those inspiring little cherubs next week, though the homecomings are always the best part of the trip!

More BLOG entries below this huge space I don't know how to get rid of!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting ready For A Road Trip

While I’m away with my boys, Lucy, my motorcycle is going to go through a bit of a transformation. I like to look at Lucy as a metaphor for my life. She’s going in to have her engine cams replaced; I see it sort of like knee surgery, her old parts are wore out and need to be replaced with new ones to extend her life on the road. Replacing cams in a bike is like replacing thoughts in me. The timing is perfect…as I pack for a week long road trip to CO, I look forward to the boring-ass ride through Kansas and Eastern CO because that is where I can really do a lot of work on replacing my old beliefs with fresh new ones that serve my desires and keep me on this road of life. A lot of annoying thoughts come up when I’m on the straight, hot, breezy plains roads…a good space for leaving excess baggage on the pavement!
As I stroll from living room to bedroom, I observe the mass of “stuff” needing to go on this 5 day trip with my kids…their stuff, my stuff, and our stuff…stuff we need to survive …Legos, card games, sketch pads and markers, blankies and pillows. Then I walk into my closet and in the corner is another pile of stuff…this stuff will all go into the bags on my motorcycle. A relatively small heap in comparison, because I can only pack what I need and not what I might need. I love the simplicity of it…and the fact that I’m ecstatic about leaving home and all my “stuff” for 8 straight days. Aside from the bangles I wear…my trademark I guess…I’m attached to nothing I bring on this trip. I have what I need to protect myself from the sun, and comfort myself in rain, and cold…a few pair of jeans, a couple of shirts, bathroom bag, nutritious snacks and herbal supplements; my Premium Fuel…and I love it. I love living out of three small bags for a week. I have a great set of saddlebags, made in Eau Claire, WI by Iron Max. I look like Mary Poppins with her magic carpet bag as I load and unload these bags. These bad boys have 85,000miles on them!

Speaking of bags…something I have a fascination with…I don’t carry Wal-mart around on my shoulder; pockets on my jackets and jeans are my preferred purse…but I do love large bags for holding my stuff for an away from home adventure. I also like small bags for holding a few necessary items; camera, wallet, room key, phone, for when I don’t feel like dragging my jacket around. Check out this hand crafted bag! Hooks right on to the belt loops of my jeans! If I have no belt loops, a strap can quickly be attached for throwing over my head. These awesome bags come in a variety of colors and some varying styles at The Lakes Gallery in North Lake, WI

While in CO, I’ll be spending a day in Keystone checking out the National Women’s Motorcycling Conference. doing a bit of networking and spreading the word about Motorcycle Medicine. I’m looking forward to the stories I’ll have to tell from the road!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It’s a stormy day here in SE Wisconsin…cutting into my riding time, however, my gardens needed this rain badly. We’ve had strange weather this summer; most days feel more like September than July or August. Today, however feels like the tropics. I’m waiting for the storms to pass so I can get a little riding in today, being I’m off duty this weekend as my boys are with their dad.
I’ve spent portions of the last week getting ready to take my boys, fondly referred to by my sister as, The Toilet Busters, (that’s a good tale or this winter) on a 5 day trip to Door County, WI…way up at the top of the “Thumb”, Wisconsin’s peninsula though, the Interstate may be in order for the return trip. Funny how I can fit everything I need for a two week motorcycle trip into two saddle bags and a T-Bag, but I’m hard pressed to fit what the 3 of us need into the back of a 4-Door wrangler!
We’ll be taking the “Scenic Route”, words I dreaded to hear from my father’s mouth when I was a kid …funny how it’s become my favorite pastime. We have a few stops planned along the way…a few unplanned as well…you never know what may intrigue their wonder eyes and curious minds as we travel north. A must stop is Otto’s Meat Market in Luxemberg for the finest fresh beef jerky known to the toilet busters, as well as an inquiry while there for Salmon Bros. hotdogs…we’re told they’re the best.
I am often perplexed by the tremendous focus and references toward food. When someone mentions a place they are going, someone automatically makes reference to a restaurant, bakery, candy store and the like. I do it, too. What's up with that? I was told by a friend to stop at the Popcorn Store because they have the best caramel corn in the world and my sister told me we HAD to stop at the Swiss bakery North of Ellison Bay for the “bestest” damn peanut butter cookie she’s ever tasted in her life! Someone also suggested the traditional Fish Boil, however the thought of any food boiled, aside from an egg just doesn’t appeal to me. In fact, it reminds me that I have a gag reflex.
To balance eating all the best of as we go, I plan to try to reintroduce my kids to the joys of hiking. WI has beautiful state parks and there are 5 on the peninsula; Potawatomi, Peninsula , Whitefish Dunes, Newport, and Rock Island. A ferry takes you from the mainland to Washington Island, then another to Rock Island. Sounds like a great adventure to me, however…
…coupled with the sounds of nature will be incessant whining from my 11 year-old, Schuyler He’s a rather sedentary bloke…video games, building Legos and jamming on the computer. When something involves physical exercise he instantly develops a whole host of ailments like leg cramps, foot pain, and hot flashes…oops, I own that one. He might as well record his gripes to save his energy because he’ll tell me 100 times that he doesn’t want to walk, "it’s too far, how far is it anyway, how long is this going to take, my legs hurt, my back hurts"…and I walk along 10 stps ahaead saying, “Ommmm”, even though I really just want to scream!
My 9 year-old, Wyatt, is his polar opposite; one is my Yin, the other my Yan. Wyatt loves to run, and discover new things by foot…he loves the adventure of a new path to explore. Wonder where he gets that from? He’s full of surprises, usually in the resounding form of bellowing tantrums for the world to hear…gotta love his persistence and panache…from a distant future.
We’ll have fun, no matter what. I love watching my children see and experience things for the first time. That’s the experience I look forward to…priceless! I trust we’ll return renewed and refreshed with sound minds, sound bodies, and no busted toilets.
We’ll take lots of pictures so when we return we can share the beauty of Wisconsin for those of you who have never seen it, or need a refresher course.