Friday, October 09, 2009

American Highway


My family had the good fortune to take a vacation in Disney World. Since I no longer get on (or in) planes under any circumtances I chose to drive. My wife, kids and in laws got there in just over two hours. I got there in about two days. Its a little over sixteen hundred miles by car. I loved it.

Now I considered taking one of the bikes. The Harley would have been the first choice since its a decent tourer by my own standards. But the family thought I could bring along more luggage with the car so the '98 Camry did the task. I even had the advantage of a Garmin lent to me for the trip. A surprising little tool so long as you program it correctly.

More often than not I drive a car in silence. Whether the distance is long or short. Conversation usually just flows from me but when I drive I must be trying to get as close to the riding experience as possible. That's what my wife thinks anyway. I'm sure she's right. She likes to take naps when I drive. I'm a very predictable driver.

So the drive from St Cloud Minnesota to Orlando Florida was a vacation in itself. Heavy rains through Atlanta. My first time actually doing the driving through that city.

When you hit Florida you think, based upon everyone whose visited the ocean, that the state is as flat the waters that surround it. But once you hit the turnpike toll road you realize there's more to the beatiful state than just year round summer weather and palm trees.

I saw roads sweeping away from main arteries which made me think about getting a scooter trailer. I could fulfill luggage duty for my family and take advantage of my night owl proclivities . A quiet Vespa prowling tropical tree lined Florida byways. The memories I would have. Warm summer nights in the dead of winter.

I thought about those roads as I began the return home last Saturday. I thought about hundreds more as I passed them in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. For a northerner with his roots in the snow its pretty amazing to think about people riding comfortably in autumn clothing after September. I drove silently into Wisconsin and yet another reason begged me to think hard about a scooter trailer.

A river seperates Minnesota from Wisconsin. The bridges I've seen are all posted at highway speeds and traffic flows at even higher rates. An LX150 is at its limit around 65-70mph. While the bike can ride wide open throttle on country roads devoid of steady traffic, its nearly a death wish to pin the throttle down and try to keep up with cars treating you as an obstruction and an obsenity. A GTS 250 would solve it. It can attain and keep speeds to seventy and above. But I love the bike I have. Getting over the river is just an obstacle to overcome safely.

Four days on the road by myself. The return trip was the more enjoyable one. Recalling things you saw on the way down, for instance. And it never quite looks the same as it does while you're getting there.

I find the road a quiet personal pleasure. A solace. You're moving but you're still. I think I wrote that somewhere once before, but it warrants writing again. Its a big country with a million sights to see and interesting roads from which to see them.

My family loved the resort and their vacation.

Me, I most loved the distance between A and B.

I can't help it. I'm a road bum.

Harv

6 comments:

cpa3485 said...

Your post today has hiked up my desires to travel. I am planning a trip up to Topeka next weekend for a reunion. Will be taking the scooter If the weather looks decent. Maybe 350 to 400 miles round trip, which by far will be the longest trip I have ever attempted on a 2 wheeled vehicle. It will be on back roads and state highways rather than an interstate. That will mean a longer distance, but better scenery and with leaves turning, I am hoping for a lot of good pictures.
Thanks for adding to my already high level of excitement for the trip.

American Scooterist Blog said...

That sounds like a fantastic trip! All the very best on the ride and for the weather too.

Harv

bobskoot said...

Harv:

I'm a road bum too. For vacations I look at a map and scan all the roads that I have not ridden/driven before, then plan my route. It's all about the road and sights along the way. I'm always hoping that I never arrive

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

American Scooterist Blog said...

Bobskoot, ain't it the truth? I wish I could do that more than a couple times a year myself. I envy you that. Being in that stage of life where the kids are young and family allows only so much I take it where I can. But the roads will be there when I'm ready. And I'll be looking to guys like you to tell me where the best roads are.

Thanks for the kind words

Harv

bobskoot said...

Harv:

it's a very well kept secret BUT the best roads are in "Oregon"

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

American Scooterist Blog said...

bobskoot, I've heard some of the tales of the great roads you guys have. One of the places I would definitely want to ride through someday.

Harv