The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Thursday, May 31, 2012

School is out--

Finally, after months of planning, preparations and waiting, the trip to Alaska is about to start. This is going to be a brand new experience for me. I've done a lot of camping, backpacking, and even bicycle travel, but I have never done it on a motorcycle before. I find myself trying to pack far more than I need because, after all, Odysseus will be doing the grunt work. Still, a man is possessed by his possessions, and I don't want that.  So, I keep unpacking, throwing things out, and packing again. I think my wife is starting to get a laugh out of it, but I have managed to whittle out a lot. There is no more left to eliminate.

This is Odysseus and me. We are in front of my house in Illinois. Soon, these trees and all this greenery will be behind us, replaced by the browns and wide-open vistas of the Prairie of Kansas and the High Plains of Wyoming.  Green grass and broadleaved trees are something I am always glad to get back to when I come home.

But first-- goodbye to my eldest daughter, Jessica, who is driving up from Atlanta. And to my youngest, Victoria, who has to stay here and get some classes out of the way this summer. And to my wife, Patrice, whom I will see in Denver at the airport in two and a half days. Patrice and I will be driving from Denver up to Wyoming for our granddaughter, Alyssa's, wedding.

This is my sister, Dena. I'm the one on the right, but I bet you could tell that. Dena and her husband, Larry, have already left for the wedding. They are driving their motorhome up through Michigan and over the top of Lake Superior. That is a long way, but it sounds like fun.  See you in a few days Dena.

Odysseus and I are all ready to set sail --- by trailer? Yep!! Why? Because I'm a lilly-livered, yellow-bellied, striped-back chicken if you must know, and I will argue with anyone who tries to tell you different. And it is all because the highway between St. Louis and Kansas City is bumper-to-bumper, 80 mile an hour, scare the pants off you dangerous. So lets hear it for seat belts, air bags, and lots of good solid metal around me. Hooray! Hooray!

And then comes the prairie-- from Kansas, through Colorado to Denver, and on up to Wyoming. Can you say bo-o-o-o-r-ing. Yay for satellite radio, books on tape, air conditioning, and reclining seats.

So I will pick my wife, Patrice, up at the Denver airport in two and a half days, and we will ride up to the wedding in style. Then I will leave my car and trailer at my son's house, Patrice will fly home, and Odysseus and I will head off on our adventure.  Check back in about a week, OK? Talk to y'all then.