Jul 9, 2012

What's Wrong with This LIfe?

I've been working on a book about my road trips and . . .  stuff. It's no fun because writing is work and I'm lazy. However, I fought my way through a section that I didn't know know how to write last night and went to be feeling incredibly dissatisfied; not with the book but with myself.

Today, My wife and I rode down to Fountain City and back, down by WI35 and up by a collection of WI letter roads. We stumbled on to County Road F and 100 miles later we were on 10 heading back home. All the way home, that same feeling of dissatisfaction stuck with me.

Of course, part of the problem was that Elvy, my wife, has "grown" over the years and I was sitting on the freakin' tank to make room for her. That and the fact that I generally don't like passengers on my motorcycle and I am a lousy group traveller made the trip fairly uncomfortable. My nuts are still squashed. That wasn't all of the problem, though.

The rest of the problem was that I've been waiting for my grandson to get out of his dreary teenager period, so we can get back to doing stuff together. While I'm waiting, I got half of a new ass last December. I churned through all of the medical crap my doctor has been nagging me to do since three or four years ago. Maybe longer. I sorted out a year of screwed up business accounting, thanks for a pair of hard drive crashes and Quicken Home and Business 2009's inability to do a proper backup. I polished up some skills my day job expects me to have to continue teaching. I dedicated myself to getting into some kind of shape after surgery and before I trash my other hip and need more of the same. I scrimped and saved and sold stuff and replenished our savings after the previous winter's massive house damage due to ice dam leakage and some long-put-off house repairs, plus the hit to the same cash box with the out-of-pocket portion of the cost of last December's surgery. I did all that painful, boring, useful shit and the result was . . . I'm restless.

That's what I figured out on the ride today. Working on that book of past adventures and catestrophes started me toward getting to know what was wrong. Riding 350 miles today finished the chore. I need to go somewhere. There are lots of places I haven't been, but right now the only place I really want to go is back to Alaska; this time, on my own. So, this summer, next fall, and winter are going to be dedicated to getting the V-Strom and me ready to go to Deadhorse.

Now I feel better.


  1. Cool! I just rode down the highway last week on my 30 year old airhead. I'm on my way to CA right now before heading back north near the end of the month. And took it to the Arctic Circle last fall.

    It sounds like you've been looking through ChrisL Flickr gallery...

  2. First, I followed Chris' trip with some nervousness, because I suspected his plans were a little shy of complete. Watching him cope with big variations in his initial expectations eliminated that worry. Then, I just checked in regularly to see how he was doing and add some of the stuff he did to my own list of "where to go." He travels completely differently than me, fewer miles per day and stays in motels and friends' homes. I tend to look for a small town campground or pull off on a dirt road and camp between some trees. A motel every 4-5 nights, if I can't take a shower in a truck stop or campground will do me.

    I think looking through my own Alaska photo album did some damage, too.

  3. Way to go! I always feel most alive when I'm traveling.

  4. Good you've got a plan to go on a trip. It has clearly been too long. Why not the WR?

  5. Honestly, too boring. The loop around Lake Superior last summer pointed out how miserable US highways (and a lot of the US) is for motorcycle travel. Getting from Minnesota to something interesting would be the problem. Couple that with the fact that the WR gets no better mileage than the DL and . . . what's the point? I have 100 miles better range on the DL (with 2 gallons more fuel capacity) and it will go most anywhere I want to go on a 12,000 mile trip. If the WR got 65-70mpg, it would be a different story.

  6. Having a big trip to look forward to always brightens one's outlook. It is the pursuit of the American Dream that keeps us from realizing our true dreams of exploration. Limited vacation time has me spending a week in Alaska next month instead of the entire month. Stop by in Washington and I'll bring you a few unique spots along your trip.

  7. Count on it Sean. I'll be knockin' at your door. It will be good to see you.


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