I’m counting the days down now until I leave to back up to Brewster, Washington to do that cherry-drying thing again for the summer. I’m kind of excited, as you can imagine. The chance to be a part of that gang and fly those old Sikorsky helicopters again is great; it’s like a three-month vacation from life. Mikey is already up there, preparing the two ships that his boss owns. I’m sure that as soon as I arrive we’ll take up residence again in the SweetRiver Bakery, sitting in the open backyard/patio that overlooks the lake, drinking lots of local wine and eating too much pizza. And maybe if we drink enough good wine we’ll even sing a little bad karaoke, as if there was any other kind.
But honestly – I hate to admit this – what I’m really looking forward to is jumping on the bike at the end of the season and riding it home. Ironically, I may be looking forward to that more than the summer of flying itself. I miss riding…miss my Sportster. Jacob was/is looking to sell his Honda motorcycle recently and I was half-tempted to buy it just to- a) keep it in the family, so to speak, and b) give me something to ride in the meantime. Hey, I may own a Harley but I’m not prejudiced; I’ll ride anything.
I’ve been dreaming a lot about the route I’ll take home – planning it in my head. The Grand Canyon is high on the hit list. Vegas, not so much. And there are people I want to visit/meet – like a pilot friend/helicopter owner (and frequent blog commenter) Russell in Texas who I’ve been wanting to meet for years now. Well this is the year!
A southerly route is called for this time – don’t want a repeat of last year’s freezing foray through Bighorn National Forest. I shudder very time I think back on that part of the trip up to Brewster. It was so crazy/cold/dangerous/stupid. Just horrible. Instead, I’d like to head down into California to Hal Johnson’s place, and then scoot down the coast (the PCH!) to L.A. and then head west to see Joshua Tree National Park, and the Joshua Tree Inn where musician and fellow Sportster rider* Gram Parsons used to hang out and eventually died. But it just might be too far out of the way, unfortunately. We’ll have to see.
Either way, it promises to be a fun summer. And this time, unlike last time I know what I’m coming back to. I’ll have a job waiting for me. Yes, it’s the same job I’ve already tried to quit once (unsuccessfully). But things are different now – different as in “better.” As long as I don’t crash the motorcycle and break my arm again, everything will be cool.
(*Well, at least he sat on one for a photograph. In truth, he doesn't look too comfortable on it.)