Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

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So the question I keep being asked is "why are you going Gary?"  Well, for two reasons.  The de-facto reason is to attend Primary Officer Training in Las Vegas.  I was asked to be the Lead Road Captain for the Seattle Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG).  In that job, I have to supervise a corps of Road Captains who put together and lead the motorcycle rides that the chapter goes on.  That makes me one of the officers of the chapter and every year HOG puts on Officer Training and the dealership pays for the school and some of the expenses.   But the other reason, as I alluded to in my earlier post, is to allow me time to reflect on the things that are wrong (as well as the things that are right) in my life, and what I need to do about it.

Truth be told, I've been very busy with work, and the stress it has caused and spilled into other areas of my life.  I've changed and I don't like what I've become.  Home is not as happy as it once was, and so the only way I can figure things out is to get out on the road.  This trip will give me the solo time on the bike where I can just be alone with my thoughts, to figure out what I need to do, to maybe become the "Gary" that I used to be,  or to figure out what I need to do to make me happy again. 

There is nothing like being out on the motorcycle that allows me to focus -- much like meditation can be for others.  I'm alone, there is no radio to distract me, I can't "talk" with anyone but myself and my thoughts, and the open road that stretches out in front of me, leading me on, and the rear-view tells me where I've been.  I've never been one to look back and wonder what might have been -- I find it a useless exercise.  I figure that I chose a road and it's lead me somewhere and what's in my rear-view mirror is just that, I can't go back and change it.    A good friend told me the other day "Gary, you are the only one who can make the changes that you need to make -- you are the one in control of your life -- you need to make those decisions."   It's just like the riding the motorcycle -- I'm the one in control of where I'm going, when, and how I'm going to get there.   The funny thing is that I don't have an idea of how I'm going to head home, and I won't think of one until it's time to head home, and a lot will depend on how much I'll figure out when I'm headed south. However, I feel my life is out of control at this point, which is a feeling  I hate.

Now I know how I'm going to get to Las Vegas -- but getting home, that's another story.    Going down I'll be headed east from Seattle at 6am on Tuesday, meeting my riding friends in North Bend, WA at the foot of the Cascades and head over Snoqualmie Pass and dropping down Yakima Canyon into Yakima, Washington.  We'll head down the Yakima Valley and into Oregon near Pendleton, and south on US 395 as far as Burns, Oregon on Tuesday night.  Early Wednesday I'll head south on Oregon 78 into Nevada, then jump on I-80 for a few miles east to Nevada 305, and south to Austin, Nevada for the night.  Then on Thursday, I'll take  US 95 into Las Vegas.  I'll be in Las Vegas until Sunday.  After that I'm not sure.  I'm only hoping that I'll feel free and easy as I head on down the road home...

"A pair of boots and a sack of clothes, free and easy down the road I go...
Hanging memories on the high line poles, free and easy down the road I go...
I keep rolling like an old banjo, free and easy down the road I go...
Ain't no telling where the wind might blow, free and easy down the road I go...
I got the sun shining on me like a big spotlight, so I know everything is going to be all right."*

I'm anxious to get going.

*From "Free and Easy Down The Road I Go" on Dierks Bentley's CD "Long Trip Alone"

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