It seemed like such a good plan. But then they always do. I’d leave Brewster, Washington on the motorcycle on August 1st, making a leisurely ride home on the Sportster. I’d stay off the Interstates as much as possible, and visit friends old and new along the way. I guess the question is why I ever thought it would work out that way?
Brandon showed right as I was supposed to leave. He had been one of our copilots last year, and we had become close. I wanted to spend some time with him, so that put my departure date off a bit.
But I had houseguests as well. I have a big place in Pensacola, Florida and a number of my friends have keys. They know they can always stop by and stay…whether or not I’m there. I like that. In this case, my friend Gene would be in town from August 8th through the 12th. Jacob and his new bride, Melisa announced they were coming a couple of days after that. I needed to be home.
I finally left Brewster on Wednesday, the 8th. My planned route home worked out to be about 2,850 miles. I figured it would take four solid days of riding.
When you embark on such a long motorcycle trip you always wonder how things are going to go. You plan for the worst weather, and for mechanical breakdowns. In my case I packed a good rainsuit and some plastic money instead of tools. I am an optimist. As it turned out, I needed neither the rainsuit nor tools. Things went surprisingly well.
Originally, on the way up last year I thought I could do 800 miles per day on the bike. That turned out to be a wild fantasy. Six-hundred was about all I could endure. And even then, when you’re only averaging 50 mph, 600 miles takes 12 hours. This year, for the return ride I knew I'd have to average more than 700 miles per day. It was gonna be rough. And it was.
The trip ended up being 2,950 miles. I did make it home Saturday evening just before dark - four long days after leaving Washington. Unbelievably, not one drop of rain touched me or the motorcycle. The Sportster performed flawlessly, never missing a beat. My aging, aching body…not so much. Trips like this remind me that I’m not a kid anymore. I just act like one.
I will take the Sportster back up to Washington next year…only it’ll be on a trailer hooked to the back of the car.