Our recent motorcycle trip refreshed and energized me.
Yet, it also left me longing for more. 3000 miles and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I’ve had a hard time re-adjusting to the chaos of life and miss the freedom of the road.
The ride allowed my mind to settle long enough to reflect on several issues I’ve been wrestling with. It also brought me the gift of self-awareness in a couple of unexpected areas.
Travel by motorcycle is unique in many ways. The view isn’t really any different than by car; but I feel part of the landscape, not just an observer. The smells are also a big part of riding. Sometimes they’re pleasant; like fresh cut hay. Other times they are downright foul; odiferous evidence of rotting road kill. Nature is in charge of the temperature; chilly or scorching, there is no dial to adjust.
Though some people wrinkle their eyebrows and shake their heads at me, I realize what I like best about it is how Real the world feels when I’m riding. I feel so alive!
My husband and I planned our trip very thoroughly, including a list of must-see places. As we all know, though, the best laid plans are subject to life’s unexpected turns.
The first few days went as planned; we rode beautiful Lolo Pass, had a wonderful visit with my 2nd grade teacher (whom I’ve stayed in touch with all these years), were awestruck at Devil’s Tower, experienced wild-n-crazy Sturgis, and enjoyed Mt. Rushmore. Then nature threw a curve ball.
We found out the Jackson Hole area was expecting heavy rain and thunderstorms. Grudgingly, we decided to head home via a sunnier Utah instead. Unfortunately, this decision wasn’t fool proof.
About 10 miles out of Douglas, Wyoming, the looming clouds began unleashing their fury. The winds tossed us around carelessly, lightning bolts struck far too close, and the hail pierced my gloved hands like nails. We were instantly soaked to the bone from the heavy rain; leather is not water-proof! There was nowhere to pull over until we reached town so we had to keep riding with several inches of water on the freeway. It was terrifying.
By the time we stopped I was shaking; both from cold and fear. The best hotel was a decrepit building that should have been condemned long ago, but it had a roof and hot water.
This was one of very few times I’ve let my husband take care of me. All my life I’ve instinctively fought dependency of any type and it’s extended into our marriage. That evening I experienced a healthy and good dependency. It was a growing experience and I was reminded how my fear of dependency has been based on my childhood.
I’m looking forward to exploring more about letting go of my dysfunctional perception of dependency and continuing to learn how healthy dependency helps relationships thrive.
It was a terrifying event in an otherwise fabulous trip. But more significantly, it was an important milestone in self-awareness.