Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Summer Vacation - Day Two

The last time I saw my dad before he passed away, 7 years ago this month for both instances, I was packing the bags on my bike, getting ready to leave, as he watched. He had a look on his face, not his normal look of disapproval, but something else. Quizzical, I guess is a good word for it.

"What?", I asked, as I cinched down a strap.

" Motorcycles mean a lot to you; don't they?" he said.

I looked at him for a moment, then answered, "Yes, Daddy, they do. Motorcycles are a big part of my life."

Then, someone else walked up and the conversation took a turn. Daddy and I didn't speak of it, any more.

A couple of weeks later, I was flying back to Tennessee for Daddy's funeral. As I sat on the plane, drinking a vodka tonic, I thought back to that conversation. In truth, I wondered (and still do) if it actually took him over 35 years to realize that my love of motorcycles was not a "phase". Or, was there some deeper meaning behind it that, due to the interruption, I will never learn?

You see, Daddy and I never really got along.  He constantly disapproved of everything I did, and let me know what a disappointment I was to him. To the day he died, if he saw me with a guitar he would say, " Nice guitar. You should learn to play one, some day... "

So, as I thought about his motorcycle comment, I was trying to figure out some negative context for it. But, I could not. I have to hope and believe that he did, indeed, just finally figure out just how much the motorcycle means in my life.

I was thinking about that as I crossed the state line from Kansas into Iowa, this morning. I was heading to Des Moines, where I planned to turn toward Grand Rapids on US 6. The miles were going by smoothly, overcast skies kept the temperature down to a comfortable low-80s range, and the scenery was knocking me out.

I live in a place where majestic mountain vistas are easy to find, and I love it. But the Midwest farmland I was traveling through, today, has a majesty of its own. The green fields of corn flow across the landscape like waves on an ocean. One hundred fifty year-old farmhouses appear around every turn, and lead me to ponder the history soaked into the walls and floorboards. Do the descendants of the original owner still live there? How many doorframes are marked with progressive heights of generations of kids, now grown old or ... dead for decades?

Travelling slowly and forgetting to get in a hurry; those are my goals on this trip as much as getting to my various destinations.

I stopped alongside the road to snap a picture of this tank which guards the entrance to an RV park.

And, I pulled off the highway and explored the small town of Lucas, Iowa, just because the old architecture pleased me.

I ended up getting to the motorcycle museum, in Animosa, 45 minutes before closing time. The gal at the entrance gave me a two-day pass so that I could take a quick look, today, and return tomorrow for a more thorough visit.

I had a great ride, today. Rain sprinkled me outside of Des Moines, but not enough to worry about. The bike is running great, and I'm feeling good.

Motorcycles do mean a lot to me, and today reminded me of that at every turn.



At 8:57 PM , Blogger Pondero said...

Cool post. It takes my mind in a lot of directions. It reminds me of how my thoughts go when I spend several hours alone on a bike.

At 6:05 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, these posts are my attempt to recreate/tie together the stream of consciousness in my head as I ride. It's kind of therapeutic, to be honest!

At 11:26 AM , Blogger Steve A said...

It's sweet how sometimes the simplest of snippets stick in our memories.

At 7:45 AM , Blogger tintorcio said...

Thanks for posting sir. I really enjoyed it.


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