Tomorrow at first light, I roll out for a weeklong motorcycle trip through Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, there to meet up with the family in a town called North East.
As I did last year when I rode to Des Moines, Ia. … I feel feel obligated to explain the appeal of "vacationing" on the back
of what Hunter Thompson called "a monster steed with a fiery anus."
Here's what I wrote a week after returning from my first motorcycle journey, a three-week, 5,000-mile round trip to Nova Scotia four years ago:
I’m squarely back into the disorganized daily churn of ambition versus money, small pleasures, regular chores, pointless guilt, bad habits, familiar worries, self-doubt, occasional panic, exceptions to rules, special favors, other people, tight schedules, awkward moments, boring mornings, unplanned-for joy and the whispering hint of a toothache.
What I miss about the trip is the way it organized my life: Gave it a focus—the broad focus of the years and months and weeks of laying the groundwork at home and at work, logistical planning, emotional preparation.
And then the daily doing: Wake up, drink coffee, get on the motorcycle and ride. Take spontaneous detours, or stop only for gas: your call.
The journey was a happy, easy place to live.
Home, I must acknowledge, is where the real adventure is.
But I'm not selling the motorcycle.
And now I'm headed back to that tidy place, where I tuck my torso snugly in among my luggage and sit still with my mouth shut while the world tears past—windy and loud and hot and wet, but unable to slow me down.
Back here next Wednesday.