New Season

A friend reminded me that this blog was here so I thought I would come in and unpack a little.

My daughter and new son-in-law are about to mark their first anniversary. They went camping in Cherokee, North Carolina so I thought as the dad/father-in-law I could give them no better gift than surprising them and moving in beside them.

Okay, it was a few spots away, it wasn’t a surprise, and they actually wanted me to come hang out with them a bit, or at least made me feel like they did. I loved it. Saw my first wild elk. I’ve been up and down the Smokies but have never bumped into one of these guys until this trip.

I truly love my new son-in-law. He’s a fantastic addition to the family and the way he and my daughter are entering into this marriage helps me sleep well, even when I’m sleeping in the trees.

Comfy into the 40’s, and it all fits on the bike!

And I’m starting to hone my moto-camping gear to fit my very specific needs and desires. It’s not easy when you want enough gear to keep you comfy, want to sleep in the woods, but still don’t want the bike to get too far away and off the pavement. I’m hoping to make a longer trip this summer to upstate New York, but I’ll save those details for another post.

For now, it’s enough to put this post up and start a great new season. I hope your season of life is full of peaceful rest and just enough wildness to keep it fun.

Dusty, isn’t it?

I thought I’d come into this blog and see if the lights would still come on.

Wow, some cobwebs and dust, but it’s still part of the viable interwebs.  Well, since we’re here…

Every since I could remember anything, I’ve been aware that I get a kick out of looking forward, anticipating, planning.  From planning the next round of cops and robbers, to mapping out plans A, B, and C for our family Disney vacation, I was making maps, dreaming up “what if’s,”  and imagining the fulfillment of all my hopes.  These traits have always been a part of my personality.  Maybe growing up with mountains around me opened up the pathways in my brain to always wonder what was just over the next hill.  Maybe it’s just something God put into my wiring that helps me get up out of bed and want to begin a plan or project.

You may think this character trait would lead to restlessness but for me it has really only stoked the fires of passion and discovery.  I like to see a plan through to the end.  It may not end the way I thought, but at least I’ll be there at the finish line to learn something for the next one.

This blog started as a way to document the preparation and experience of my cross country ride.  Since then it’s been on the back burner of my creative outlets.  I’ve only picked it up to throw in a picture or two, or turn loose a thought that was sloshing around in my brain for too long.

Well, it’s time for another project that I think may fit pretty well in this space.  I know the world has lost it’s collective mind a bit more than usual over the last year.  I know that anyone that reads this is all too familiar with discussion of infection rates, masks, and social distancing.  The shake up of jobs, lives, plans, and families has us all looking for peace in the middle of the madness.  Some people are eating their way through the crisis.  Some people exercise.  Some express themselves creatively.  Some crawl into isolation like a warm blankie on a stormy night.

Me?  I went a little nutty and committed to another crazy idea.  Well, really, two crazy ideas.  I’m once again on track to challenge myself and check something off my bucket list.  Last August I rode my first Iron Butt Saddlesore 1000.  Yeah, it’s a real thing.IMG_7594

The IBA (Iron Butt Association) certifies various motorcycle endurance rides and gives certificates marking them for the rider.  The baby ride is 1000 miles in 24 hours.  Yeah, that’s the shortest one.  Last August I rode with a group from Indian Motorcycle of Marietta as part of Southeast Iron Butt Inaugural ride.  At the last second I was given the title of “ride leader.”  This was my first attempt and now I was supposed to ‘lead’ the group.  Yikes.  But(t) we did it.  We finished it in about 20 hours through some rough weather.  We made it.  We are now official Iron Butts and along the way we raise some money for https://operationhomefront.org/

After I could walk without a limp, I apparently forgot how difficult it was.  So I signed up for the second Southeast Iron Butt Tour.  Again the money raised will go to help veterans and their families through Operation Homefront.  Again, I am the ride leader.  This time, though, I have experience.  One whole ride.  We leave at 4am on April 30th and finish that night at American Biker Indian just outside Charleston, South Carolina.

Last time I got to see my older sister and nieces at a stop.  I’m hoping to find them again this year at some point in the journey.  They have the world’s best cookies!IMG_7582

Over 200 bikers will be funneling in from 15 different states, all doing their own route of 1000 miles in 24 hours.  After we all get a few hours of sleep there will be a party on May 1st from 12-5.  We’ll give out awards, have a silent auction to raise some more contributions, and just avoid sitting on our bikes for a few hours.

From now until then I have to try and stay excited.   Aw, who am I kidding?  It’s not like I have to try and stay excited.  I actually have to try and keep a lid on things so I don’t attack people with the passion of a vegetarian/crossfitter/activist.

So, as I’m dusting off the shelves in this blog I will have something to talk about.  Our group, and all the other groups could use a few prayers for safety.  Oh, and if you ride and would like to join us here’s the link – https://sites.google.com/view/charityironbuttrides/home

Meanwhile, I hope you are staying well, and loved, and mustering through with your own brand of coping craziness.