December 22nd, 2010

PA Barns

Both Hands on the Wheel

Normally I write about road trips on the motorcycle.  I've not really taken a road trip in something with more than two wheels in seven or so years.   However this year for the Holiday season I decided I'd take a bit of a long road trip as air-fares and rental cars are both hard to come by and expensive -- plus I love being out on the road anyway.  I plotted a trip that will take me first to Boise, Idaho to visit my step-sister and family, then on down to Salt Lake and my own family for Christmas.  After Christmas I'll head south to Palm Springs for a few days with friends, before turning North and up through the Central Valley to the Pleasanton area East of Oakland and visit my 'lil buddy Ben and his family, and finally back home to Seattle after New Years.  
So I'll be driving from rain to snow to sun.  I've packed skis, ski clothes and motorcycle gear too!  Its a good thing I have the Hummer and it's just me.  I have to say I've forgotten what it's like to "drive" long distances.  There is a big part of me that wants to be out on the bike, although I've been driving through snow and sleet and slush all day and on the Interstate the whole time too.   I miss just stopping every hundred miles or so and stretching my legs, taking the back roads and meandering and wandering. 

The Hummer is named Hummerbear -- and has the custom license plates to prove it -- plus there is a stuffed bear that rides the dashboard with me so I have some company.  I was loaded up as the sun was coming up, but as usual got delayed leaving and finally left around 11am and headed off eastbound on I-90.  Unlike the bikes, the Hummer is like driving a huge Lay-Z-Boy recliner with heated leather seats and a Bose sound system.   Between the CDs and XM radio I had plenty to listen to and unlike the bike, was able to enjoy the music and the comfort of the cage while the wind and snow and sleet blew around me.  The road was very familiar from having both driven it before and ridden it on the bike -- but the perspective was so much different. 
No wind in my face, no smell of the pines, no roar in my ears.  I didn't "feel" a part of the road or the trip -- more like I was passing through and passing time.   I didn't swing through any towns, and only stopped twice between Seattle and Boise for gas and once for lunch -- and at a fast-food drive through!   Its definitely not the same.

Yet still, there is the magic of the road -- even if it is playing tag with the truckers on the Interstate and watching the world whizz by.  I'm going someplace, I'm in control of my ride, my time, my route, my destination.  That freedom is still there, and that is what draws me to the highway.  I may not have two fists in the wind -- but I've got two hands on the wheel (most of the time).
  • Current Music
    I'll Be Home For Christmas -- Garth Brooks