A Ride to Cure Me.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rikkitik, May 17, 2006.

  1. rikkitik

    rikkitik More toys than time!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Greetings,

    This is going to be a long and winding trip report filled with pictures and some of my thoughts and commentary. Background is required so bear with me as I ramble my way through the process that got this ride off the ground.

    February 11, 2006 my wife of 33 years lost her war with cancer. It was one of those brutal wars filled with some skirmishes that were won, battles that ended in a tie, and battles that were outright defeats. The end result was the loss of the war/campaign. Diagnosed in August of 2004, we fought the good fight for 18 months.

    After the dust started to settle and some things were falling back into place, I decided what better way to honor her life than to take off on a trip without end that would encompass some of the things we talked about doing, places we never saw or wanted to repeat, doing the thing we both enjoyed doing together - riding a motorcycle. Karen was not a fantatical rider, but rode with me because I do love riding.

    I picked an arbitrary departure date of April 10th so I would have a goal to work towards. Everything leading up to that date was making choices of the best way to make the trip, choosing the right equipment, and hours of plotting on the atlas and then GPS with a highlighter.

    No, this isn't going to be a wild adventure through single track since the Gold Wing just doesn't do that well. It was a great ride filled with awesome scenery and loads time to ponder, think, pontificate, experience an ephiphany or two, and generally get myself mentally prepared to deal with the future.

    Hang in there with me as I start to recount these events and enjoy the pictures if nothing else. If I get too verbose, sullen, reminiscent, or downright moody, put me back on track.

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    The wheels on the bus go round and round. Home away from home for the next month or so.

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    I spent 21 years playing soldier and sleeping on the ground. No more ground sleeping for Rick. Wish I had one of these to tow behind my Hummer chasing bad guys all over the world.

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    Ready to roll.

    I'm going to write and post this as quickly as I can. There is already a blog of the trip at: http://ricksmotorcycleride.blogspot.com I'm gonna rewrite as I go adding, deleting and changing.

    Stay tuned as we tour the Southwest.
    #1
  2. Raidrallyrider

    Raidrallyrider I am bored

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    360
    Location:
    Ankara
    :ear
    #2
  3. flip18436572

    flip18436572 Broke ex-YMCA employee

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,046
    Location:
    Red Oak, IA
    Very sorry for your loss, but I am really anticipating a great long ride report.
    #3
  4. JonC

    JonC Out there

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    So sorry for your loss, rikkitik... Great way to honor her memory. I'm looking forward to reading this as it evolves. Heal well...
    #4
  5. g-bike

    g-bike beerdrinkin'fuckaholic

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    Limbo Ga. long story!
    I am sorry for your loss. I've often thought about a road trip as a healing process as well, seems to put things in perspective, trips taken and trips not taken. How short life is,....... live everyday
    #5
  6. rikkitik

    rikkitik More toys than time!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Greetings,

    OK, so I have a little extra time this morning and a fresh cup of coffee.

    The intent of the ride was to avoid superslab at all costs and for the most part I did just that. With a home base in Alabama, I head off to Louisiana for my first nights stay in the hacienda.

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    First night setup was a breeze. Lots of strange looks at the combo seen here.

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    I have a weakness for good sunrise pictures. This one was pretty awesome.

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    My intent was to ride the coast taking in all the Katrina/Rita damage. The main bridge into Bilouxi, MS was out so I picked my way around on the backroads north of there. Scenes like this were repeated over and over. Note the closeness to the road. This one had a 4 Sale sign. Anyone interested in a tugboat stranded on dry land?

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    Another one was available right across the road.

    Blue tarps were the roofing system of choice even months after the storms. My guess is 50 percent of the standing structures still had blue tarps on them. Roofing contractor anyone?

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    Sunrise at Grand Isle, LA. The southernmost point of LA accessible by road. This spot in the trip was April 11th - two months after Karen died. I found myself being quite morose that evening and just had to make myself fight it off and keep focused.

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    What's a trip the the beach without a beach picture. What you don't see are the remnants of the storm. Pilings sticking haphazardly out of the sand everywhere noting a previously existing pier.

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    Southern Louisiana is drawbridge heaven for those who are turned on by drawbridges. This one opened way in advance of the passing tug/barge so I got to sit and watch for a long time.

    Adventure note: Never clip a cell phone to an exterior bag regardless of how good a clip it has. One big bump and all I saw was cell phone pieces parts bouncing down the road in the mirror. They do destruct quite nicely on asphalt at 50mph especially when every car behind me thought running it over was good sport. I couldn't even salvage the SIMM with all my numbers and addresses in it. Cingular couldn't get me up and going that day since their network was down nationwide. Amazing how lost I felt without a single phone number written down and very few of them stuck in my memory. So off to Wally World for a prepaid phone card and making my one check-in with a recalled number. Arrgggh!

    The next few days were spent visiting friends from Army days in Texas. Next stop on the tour is the Hill Country outside of Austin/San Antonio. I couldn't escape without giving Nancy a Gold Wing ride though. Now it appears that there will be a new one in their garage this week. Hey....I love spending other peoples money.

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    Nancy gets a Wing ride.

    The Hill Country is next. Stay tuned for more fun.
    #6
  7. mmmpies

    mmmpies 101 in a 55

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    VA side of the Potomac
    Roll Tide, roll. Enjoy your trip.
    #7
  8. RICHXHELL

    RICHXHELL Scooterist

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,222
    Location:
    North Somerset, UK
    You know, many rides seem to have some sort of 'process' behind them. Looking forward to reading all this.
    Best wishes
    Rich
    #8
  9. TomN

    TomN Long timer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,511
    Location:
    Chalfont, PA
    :lurk
    #9
  10. Manzek

    Manzek Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    231
    Location:
    Rome
    Enjoy your trip, Rick

    :clap
    #10
  11. Slimie

    Slimie Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,087
    Location:
    East Debon
    A very good way to get your head straight, I'd have thought.

    Sympathy, and best wishes too.

    -Simon
    #11
  12. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    24,841
    Location:
    Where the stupidest people on earth run things
    :lurk
    #12
  13. Reg01

    Reg01 Got Adventure?

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,188
    Location:
    Vol State
    Sorry for your loss. Enjoy the ride!
    #13
  14. Meathead

    Meathead tin man

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,667
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    I'm terribly sorry for your loss. :cry She sounds like one helluva woman. :nod



    No way better than your way. :thumb







    :lurk
    #14
  15. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,501
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    What a great day that I'm lucky enough to do an entry onto the thread which will be in the tradition of the great ones here; MikeO, Rough1, Glen.... you get company!
    #15
  16. Sanam

    Sanam Dare to Win Well

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,262
    Location:
    OUT THERE
    I didn't know Karen and I don't know you, but I'm betting her spirit smiles down on you now.

    PS...You're still fighting the good fight.
    #16
  17. turbotiger

    turbotiger What's my credit limit?

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    NE Nevada
    Our most sincere condolances... I lost my Mother when I was 21 years old to cancer. That was in '79 and it still brings tears to my eyes to think about it.

    We'll be on your shoulder all through your trip.

    Let's go!

    Lance & Jan
    #17
  18. Mike955i

    Mike955i Future Escapee

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss but a memorial ride is a great way to remember a loved one. Thanks for sharing it with us, best wishes to you.
    #18
  19. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,060
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    If you're still in louisiana, head up to alexandria and we'll have lunch.
    #19
  20. Johnny Dakar

    Johnny Dakar Fuckin' Smartass

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    15,631
    Location:
    Escondildo
    Keep rolling and posting, Rick. And in those moments when you feel overwhelmed, GET overwhelmed.
    #20