What’s a little motorcycle trip among friends?

On Americans’ wanderlust:
NBC’s John Brecher recently photographed and interviewed people who were buying into a hopeless dream. They were purchasing Powerball tickets in Queens, NY. Each of them understood the futility of their action. One man even admitted to wasting money. However, each of them also held onto a tiny slice of hope as they placed their money on the counter and clutched their Powerball ticket. Brecher spoke with each of them, and a common theme emerged when he asked what they would do if they won…

  • “I’d take my husband on a beautiful trip.” ~ Vivian Curry
  • Travel maybe, buy a car.” ~ Shirley Marano
  • “Probably I’d travel, I love to travel.” ~ Norm Chin

I was recently having coffee with a friend in Seattle. Our conversation drifted across the recent landscape of our lives; work, former co-workers, motivation, exercise, kids and finally our spouses. It was then that she paused, leaned across the table and said, “You should take my husband along on one of those motorcycle trips.”

“Yes, yes I should,” was my uncommitted reply, and I quickly changed the subject.

Every serious motorcycle trip I’ve taken has been a solo ride. I’ve done this for several reasons. First — riding two-up on my motorcycle for a long distance is painful and exhausting, and there just isn’t enough room on my bike for two people, clothes, supplies and camping gear. Second — going with another motorcyclist can be complicated because of different riding styles, schedules and agendas. Third — motorcycling simply feels like a solitary experience to me. Being alone has always been part of the aesthetic.

However, I recently came to the conclusion that it’s healthy to stretch beyond my comfort zone. It’s good to have friendships and do things that foster their growth. So, a few days ago I sent a Facebook instant message to my friend’s spouse (who is also an old friend) to see if he’d like to go on a motorcycle trip.

“Yes, when do you want to go?” he asked.

“How does the weekend of Aug. 10 – 11 work for you?”

“I’ll have to check in with my wife, but it looks good right now,” he typed.

from-twispSo, we’re both preparing our bikes, supplies and camping gear for a weekend trip through the North Cascade Mountains. We’ll leave the Seattle area Saturday morning with the plan of rolling up to Hway-20, and then east through the North Cascades National Park and over Rainy Pass . The trip through this forest is one of the prettiest stretches of road I’ve seen. Our goal will be to reach a campsite near TWISP, Wash. Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, we’ll continue south, down the Methow Valley, following the course of the Methow River all the way down to Hway—97. We’ll pass Chelan, Wash. and continue south to Wenatchee, where we’ll get on Hway—2 for the return trip over Steven’s Pass and then west to the Puget Sound.

If everything goes as planned, we’ll return to Seattle on Sunday evening with a few pictures, a good story and a re-energized friendship.

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