Friday, September 14, 2007
(By the way, Denise, I finally succumbed to temptation and bought a pink jacket, like one of yours. It is extremely pink. I won't be able to ride incognito again. Ever.)
However, while I had no doubt that personal life would definitely continue to be exciting, I decided it was time to get on with the Herceptin Peaceful Protest Ride, which took place in March 2008 around the North Island of New Zealand. This project had the support of The Herceptin Fighting Fund, which comes under the umbrella of the Breast Cancer Aotea Coalition, and the aim of the event was to try and influence the goverment to do a u-turn on their decision to not fund the drug beyond 3 treatments for women who needed a full seventeen treatments. I was originally going to organise this ride to go down the east coast of Australia, but the timing of the expected decision on the current judicial review on the government's decision, to fund or not to fund the treatment, suggested that the North Island would be a more appropriate location, with the ride planned to end at The Beehive, New Zealand's seat of Parliament, in a peaceful but hopefully effectively noisy protest just before the decision was expected to be handed down. It also meant that participation would be a lot more possible for a lot more riders and pillions, and that' was the whole idea. Numbers! Bikes! An impactive, collective voice! That's what we were after., and that is what we achieved. And, as pink is the Breast Cancer colour, we saw lots of pink bike jackets happening (and even the most macho fellas donned pink t-shirts to help champion the cause).
On 6th April 2008 a group set off from TePapa Museum on Wellington's waterfront and made the journey around the North Island, arriving at the Beehive at lunchtime on 12th April, where a petition was delivered and formally lodged, and a speech was given to the government. 30-odd big motorcycles roaring onto the steps of Parliament (we did get official permission!) created a sufficient furore to drag most of the politicians out of their offices and onto the forecourt to see what the ear-shattering noise was all about.We had TV crews there filming us for the evening news, and we had the support of various breast cancer groups who were all battling for a change in the law.
We achieved our aim of throwing the issue onto the political table in the run-up to a general election, and making it a national hot potato. While the existing government steadfastedly refused to change their position, the challenging party vowed to fund the full course should they be elected. I met with John Key, the now Prime Minister of New Zealand, who personally assured me that if his government came to power he would fund the full course of Herceptin for women with HER2+ breast cancer, and would make it part of his initial 90 Day Manifest.
John Key's government WAS elected and he was as good as his word. Not only did he make full Herceptin funding part of his 90-day manifest, he actually backdated the funding to the day he was elected. What that meant was that thousands of women who might otherwise have had to fundraise or sell their homes and other assets to raise the money for their treatment, or face dying if they could not, were able to get treatment without begging or having to face losing whatever financial security. they may have had
I got the phone call from a government aide to tell me the news, and I was driving at the time. I don't mind telling you all that I pulled off to the side of the road and cried like a baby. It was a very emotional time. All those lovely women, who now had a real chance at survival or, at the very least, more time with their children.
Riding across the States opened my mind to the possibilities of what one person can achieve if s/he really wants to do something. What came off the back of that experienc was, The Herceptin Peaceful Protest Ride which remains one of the proudest achievements of my life. Through the ride across America, I learned a lot about myself, and the Herceptin Peaceful Protest Ride taught me a lot more about the generosity of others, the extraordinary spirit some people manage to cling to when faced with the most appalling of choices, and just how many people really care about making a real difference. Iit reinforced my belief that despite its challenges and the fact that mankind is riddled with self-made atrocities, the world is still an inherently good place, with many, many good people in it. I'm privileged to have met so many of them, on my journeys, and long may my journeys continue.
Cheers, and happy riding to y'all, worldwide.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Hard to believe I won't get another chance to hug these amazing guys, or Gwyn Gorgeous, for a whole 'nother year. As far as Gwyn goes, the photo I have of her riding a tyre-puppy in the main street of North Conway with a crazy look on her moosh will sustain me for quite some time, as will her often humorous and always astute reflections and perspectives on certain "train-wrecks" that have punctuated her own life and mine. Gwyn knows exactly what kind of a brat I can be, and she loves me anyway. That in itself is extraordinary, and I love her right back, for that, and a lot more besides.
Huge thanks too, ToFeather, for the lovely gifts you gave me. See ya next year, Team Hamster.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
EEERRRRMMM, I don't THINK so...
... so I politely explained the importance of not letting it out of my sight to get knocked and internally stress fractured, whereby the first I'd know about it would be if I came off my bike at 100+kph and both the hat and my head split wide open. They considered this graphic little vision, nodded sagely, chewed their lips in contemplation for a few seconds, then said they still didn't like it. So, I argued the toss and when that didn't sway them either, I let myself get a little agitated, and then, right out of the blue, with no warning to anyone, I hit them straight in the face (so to speak) with The Look - the one that even the toughened, badass Macster lives in quaking fear of. Guess what, folks? Yep! The sea parted. The Delta people whimpered for a few seconds then stopped ranting at me, stepped aside, and let me on the plane with the helmet. RESULT. A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. I wasn't gonna have a seven hundred dollar crash hat thrown into the hold to bounce around for thousands of miles like your average happy football. No, no-no-no. I'd rather succumb to that awful temptation to manipulate somebody into giving me some leeway, than risk losing my head. Although, to be fair, some might argue that such event happened a long time ago, and they may well be correct (she said, with a disturbingly insane, vacant grin on her face).
I'm reliably informed that the weather is less than troppo at home, and guess who stoopidly shipped her one and only jacket with the bike, so I'm still deciding whether or not I really wanna go, or whether I should stay here in happy Los Angeles, with the most stressed and unhelpful people on the planet, most of whom drive cars and are actively trying to kill pedestrians at every conceivable opportunity, because aside from the perils of crossing the streets, which thus far has proved far more hazardous than the worst day on the worst road on The Bomb, its warm and sunny, and the hotel has a pool and cute staff, and its close to a good shopping mall with a Macy's, where the shoe sale continues, and with a ton of yummy restaurants less than a block away, and the beach is close, and... ooops... dammit ... small detail of having reached the end of the holiday budget, happening. Ah, well, I miss all 21 legs and 7 tails of the critters at home, anyway, so it looks like I'll be taking off and landing a couple more times yet.
Oh well, better brace meeself for another round in the boxing ring over the helmet, this time with Air New Zealand. Yippee. I'm praying to be checked in by a fellow motorcyclist. What a bonus that would be...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
ALL of the celebratory qualities that combine to make me the "extraordinary person" people keep describing me as, I received as gifts from my parents. The joyful passion for all things shoe-related, the love of bright colours and animals, and the desire to keep going out there to examine the world, are all sunbeams from my Mother (R.I.P.). The gun-fun, the fine line I walk between bravery and madness, the imagination to make anything I want happen, and the determination and energy to put as much of it as I can in place, and the ability to laugh at illogical stupidity when I recognise it (even within myself) all come as moondrops from my Dad. The motorcycling and the adventurous spirit that go hand in hand with it are lightning bolts from them both (biker in the womb, Mum urging Dad to "go faster" - what chance did I have?).
However, the bloody-minded insistence on doing things my own (admittedly sometimes illogical and stupid) way, and the huge fault of a very real inability to empathise with or have much respect for all the easy-road couch potatoes and "gunners" I meet in life (i.e. people who spend all their energy moaning about how crap their lives are, and blaming other people, and TALKING about stuff they wanna do or change but never actually doing it)? Well, those qualities are mine alone to own up to, and I do. I make no apology for it either because, as the intelligent among you already know, just about anyone can do any of the things I've done. I'm not, in all truth, that extraordinary. I've just made choices that pretty much anyone else can make, and some do, and some don't. The fact is, anyone can make the decision to at least TRY to find a way to make whatever it is they want for themselves happen. Anyone can be giving of themselves in some way to someone else, knowingly or otherwise. Anyone can make a conscious decision to get off the sofa and dance through life, instead of watching it all through a window or - worse - a TV screen, and anyone can choose to spread happiness around as they dance, or even spread it inadvertently, and touch someone else's life in a positive way with their own moondrops and sunbeams and lightning bolts, as they spin by. We all have those gifts, in various forms. Its up to us , whether we use or ignore them.
I have always said, the worse thing imaginable for me, personally, would be to be facing the end of my life, thinking "I wish I'd done .............................." . I'd rather be there saying "I'm so glad I did that thing I wanted to do" or at the very least, "At least I TRIED to make it happen" .
So whatever your dreams are, blog-watchers, just try to make them happen. Get help if you have to, preferably from people who care enough about you not to attach any kind of price or complaint to it, and GO FOR IT. Some of the things I've done in this life already have had a HUGE amount of planning, organising, re-arranging and all that stuff attached to making them work, and I've needed a lot of help at times. That's ok. If this trip has taught me one thing, its that nothing really worthwhile and rewarding is achievable in isolation. People are an important part of everything that works, and I've met so many good people, as I've gone along, that it really does bring a lump to the throat to remember their extraordinary, random acts of kindness and positive responses to requests for assistance. I want to say thank you, again, to all the friends I've made in the USA on this particular adventure, who have given me practical and emotional help at times when I really needed it. Some of the strangers I met for brief moments along the way were more kind to me than some of my so-called friends have ever been, and they don't know about this blog, so they will never know the level of my gratitude for the bright beacons of light they were to me when I found myself in dark tunnels, and the level of positive difference their contributions made. The people who drove me 20 miles to get my oil bung and get me back to my bike, the gun-toting, patched biker at the gas station who loaned me his phone to make a critical call when mine wouldn't work, the woman who gave me gasoline and water and refused payment, the office receptionist who stood up within two seconds of my asking her if I could access her internet, when I couldn't find a computer and needed to transfer funds immediately online to a bank account I could access, to pay for my hire car in LA. The list goes on and on, and it all comes back to the same thing. The importance and significance of individual people. I make a conscious choice to let people in. I get a little burned sometimes, of course, because not everyone is kind, or interested, and there are people out there who have described themselves as friends to me, but who have ultimately u-turned and attacked me, directly or indirectly, in their own small, petty ways, for reasons that say more about themselves than they do about me and my choices, but I don't let it colour my perceptions. I still believe in the inherent goodness of the human race, and this trip has re-inforced that one-hundredfold, and I am a better person for it. To all of you who have affirmed my place in your hearts... I haven't enhanced your lives by accident! The reason I'm there in your hearts is because you trusted me to give you a place in mine. We're all just mirrors reflecting back what we get, give, and get again. Its bloody fantastic, if we all do it right.
Power to the next big dream, people... yours, and mine...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
But I am ecstatically happy with what I've achieved on this ride, the challenges I have faced and overcome and been shaped by, and the friendships I have made which I hope will continue for the rest of my life. It has been a truly fantastic experience, even in the rough patches I hit along the way. Something great and shiny and positive came out of every experience, ESPECIALLY the challenging ones, and I am better and happier for it. I've got to where I needed to get to, in my mind, in my heart, and in geography. The truth is, even if I took two years, or even five, I still wouldn't see everything this fantastic country has to offer, and I've had to make many compromises en route, and not see a lot of what I wanted to, because of the time constraints. I still have a list, and what is on it will wait for next year, when I can come back with company, in a cooler climate, perhaps in the fall, when the colours will be picture-postcard spectacular, hire a Harley, and see some more!
I've had an absolute BLAST!!!!!!!!! Despite some hairy moments, every day has made me smile, I've been showered with gifts, both real and intrinsic, and I wouldn't swap or change this adventure for the world. It has been awesome.
And its not over yet!!! Cherry is safely with a DECENT shipper, and I am in Santa Monica, spending time at the beach and generally enjoying the sunshine for a few days before jumping a plane back to Mac's for a while before coming home at about the same time as originally planned. A number of happy little souls will be riding to Macs for a reunion party on 25th August, from various places around the USA, so we can have a final fling together before they all wave me off, into the sunrise and onto the next adventure.
I just can't tell you all how happy I am. I'm really, really overjoyed at what I've done. Part of me still can't believe I've really done it. Cherry Bomb did me very proud. She's a real little star and I love her to bits, and we make a good team. I kissed her goodbye today, and I told her I'll see her in Dunedin, in a month or so.
Next big ride will be to the Burt Munro Challenge, Invercargill, November this year. Any kiwi blog-watchers willing to join that one?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
On one stretch of the freeway heading west, I looked around me and saw four separate storms, in different locations, all miles away in the distance. They seemed to be pretty intense, with a lot of forked lightning all around the streams of water. It was an awesome thing to look at!!! Not so great to get caught in, though, even though its usually a short-lived experience. You can see them sweeping along in their given direction, and when they come towards you, always a lot wider and faster than you thought they were when you saw them farther away, there's absolutely nothing you can do except keep moving, and think about how nice it feels to be cool for the brief few minutes they hit and drench you for, before they move on and you get cooked again. You don't stay wet for long enough, before the desert heat engulfs you again, with its hot, dusty wind, and intense heat rising up out of the asphalt. Ah well, at this time of year its all part of the adventure. Its only a hazard if you choose to see it that way. I prefer to think of it as an interesting experience I don't get many opportunities to have. Not that I'd queue up to continue having them, but it certainly is an unusual thing to be caught up in.
Monday, August 13, 2007
AT&T, God bless their little cotton socks, also say they cannot put collect calls through to New Zealand. New Zealand have, apparently, blocked AT&T's access. I guess Telecom NZ know a thing or two. Eeee, by gum, ya live and learn...
And I'm not finished there...
I'm feeling a bit homesick, actually. That surprises me, really, as I was looking forward to getting away for a bit. Feeling lonesome has took me all unawares-like! But I miss my house, I even miss that goofy Kerry-person, I miss my mad-faced Dad, certain lovely friends who keep me sane and giggling a lot (hi Flipsy, R-man, Arnie, Chelle, Liz), I REALLY miss the dog, and I even miss the grumpy Coz-cat, and that murdering zebra finch that pretty much ate her boyfriend before our very eyes, before I left home back at the start of July. Maybe I've already been away for long enough...
hmmm... pondering, pondering, pondering the options.
Oh yeah... and poor Cherry Bomb wouldn't start this morning. Dead battery. No idea why. And, guess what? The bike shop is closed for the day! I'm getting a bit fed up, to put it more politely than I normally would. For the benefit of those with sensibilities that might be wobbled if I REALLY let fly, I'm being quite restrained...
Normal life beckons from the shadows of my consciousness. What to do... what to do...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Its fifteen years since I did a roadtrip thru the USA that took me to Silverton, Colorado. At the time, while watching a mock gunfight in the old Main Street, with a black-smoking, cinder-belching, hulking steam locomotive as a backdrop, I promised myself that one day, when I had enough time, I'd come back and take that train ride. Today, I did it, and it was worth the wait. The trip was a fantastic experience, riding that great old train through the breathtaking back-country wilderness of the San Juan Mountains. Its 3.5 hours each way, with a 2-hour stop in historic Silverton...
...once a booming 1800's mining town with no less than 300 saloons and houses of ill-repute just in Main Street alone. Nowadays, the bordellos have given way to hotels, restaurant and gift shops selling all sorts of native Indian crafts and jewellery, t-shirts etc., but most of the original buildings remain.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
...to the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests, through Route 160 west...
... there are just not enough words to describe how beautifully, how unbelievably, the hand of nature has carved this part of the world. No photo, no postcard and no jigsaw puzzle box picture does it justice. As I made my way through that area, up and then down through winding steep roads, vista upon vista of the most incredible scenery imaginable just kept on unfolding in front of me. I held my breath to take it all in. By the roadside, about half way through, a deer stood, impassively staring at the cars as they went by. The Bomb's engine caused her to run for the trees, but before she did, I was treate to a prancing little dance from her, while shde decided which way to run, and that put a smile on my face ten miles wide. About a mile further up, there was a dead deer in the road. Sad, but a good reminder of the need to be careful and vigilant through that area. The Bomb had a wee splutter and a couple of farts along the way. I think the altitude caused her a few glitches, but it was nothing serious. It was pretty chilly up there, and after the heat of the desert, it felt kinda weird to feel cold for a while! I'd forgotten what that was like...
Once we'd made the descent into Durango it was hot again, and there was no more backfiring.
Lots of bikers on their way back from Sturgis passed me, in both directions, and all waved hello. I pulled into Durango, went to the Suzuki shop to get some oil to carry on board, as the girl does use some, and then I found a motel, where I ran into Jim and Aaron, a father and son team on their way home from Sturgis. They said something about dinner later. Sounds good. I find I'm not interested in food until the evenings. I think its the heat.
Friday, August 10, 2007
My motel is kinda cool. Its like a hacienda type structure, with a rampantly noisy air conditioning unit, but the staff are lovely, they put me right at the back, away from sight of the road, and apologised profusely for not being able to put me on the ground floor. After checking in and unpacking the bike, I went in search of a cyber cafe, and found a really nice one, tucked away inside a walled shady courtyard behind a supermarket, and they do really good iced coffee there. Its not the easist place to spot, but a woman in the town gave me good directions, after I called into an IT store to ask if they knew where I could go. Taos is a nice town. I came here once before, many years ago, and spent a very pleasant afternoon in the Old Town, which is very picturesque and combines architecture that's traditionally Mexican and Native American. Its quite touristy, but not in the kind of in-ya-face way you'd expect. A lot of the stores sell really good quality arts and crafts made by the Indian people, many of whom now live on reservations. I've already driven alongside a couple or reservations, and I have to say they look like pretty soulless places. Taos is set against a backdrop of stunning mountains, and its really pretty here. I feel safe in this place. The Bomb is safe too, and we've had a really good day together. The scenery in from Santa Rosa, thru Las Vegas NM, thru the Mora Valley into Taos was really spectacular, as well. I went through a mountain pass area where there's a ski lodge, which apparently gets pretty busy in winter. Not much wildlife seen around today. Chipmunks are very cool little critters, though. They're everywhere there's forest, and they always make me smile.
Keep the messages coming, Team. Love y'all...
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I've been warped by the rain, driven by the snowDrunk and dirty, don't you know, and I'm still...willin'.
And I was out on the road, late at night,Seen my pretty Alice, in every headlight...Alice.Dallas Alice.
And I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari,Tahachapi to Tournapaw.I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made.Driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed.
And if you give me...Weed, whites and wine.And you show me a sign.I'll be willin', to be movin'
Kicked by the wind, dropped by the sleet,Had my head stove in, but I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,In a whole lot of trouble.
Smuggled some smokes, some folks from Mexico,Baked by the sun, every time I go to MexicoAnd I'm still...
And I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari,Tahachapi to Tournapaw.I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made.Driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed.
And if you give me...Weed, whites and wine.And you show me a sign.I'll be willin', to be movin'
Well Max called from a pay phone (figures)
She has requested that I tell you all she is fine and in Tucumcari New Mexico. Also she will be having a hard time calling anyone. The call was short because there was a nasty Thunderstom approaching and she needed to get about 1/2 mile back to her room on foot.
She is expecting to not be able to be on line to write here on this blog as well, so you get me translating from Kiwi to Yankee, to what ever it is your dilect happens to be.. LOL
As she needs I will relate what ever she has to say.. Mac
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
This is a picture of Kathy and Red Dog, my hosts for the last couple of days. I wanted everyone to see this picture as I think it shows them in their true light - happy and doing what they love best. THANK YOU, guys for the angels that you are and the other angels around you that you shared with me. My life has been enriched by spending time with you and your friends and family, and the hospitality extended to me by all of you has been extraordinary. I look forward to seeing you in New Zealand, and having the opportunity to reciprocate! Don't leave it too long!!!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
I got cleaned up, hit the road, then a few hours later, in rolls number three... one of my leather saddlebags caught fire and ended up totalled at the side of the freeway, along with its contents, which luckily didn't amount to more than a few items of clothing etc. The saddlebag hadn't been sitting on the exhaust but a few inches above it, and as I'd come very many miles already with no drama on that score, it never occurred to me that any oil would have sprayed up onto the underside of it, after the episode with the bung. It did, of course, and acted as a heating agent, as oil tends to do. The saddlebag would have got progressively hotter until the contents ignited, which was inevitable, as some of it was synthetic flamable fabric. A car overtook me with a woman gesticulating wildly at me, but they didn't stop. They simply carried on and left me to it, so I pulled over onto the hard shoulder and noticed the bag smouldering away with flames licking out of the bottom of the bag. After a few seconds where I felt suspended in a stunned state of disbelief, I acted quickly to take off the frame pack that sat on top of the saddle bags' interlacing straps, and unlaced the bags, whipped off the burning one, and laid it on the side of the road to smoulder away from the bike and the rest of my gear. That was a task straightforward enough, and I felt a lot better after I'd made sure the fire couldn't spread. The big problem was trying to get ANYONE to stop and help me! I'd used up all the water I 'd started out with, to keep me hydrated as I was riding. I tried to get at least two dozen cars to stop, but nobody would, even though they could all clearly see what was happening. I thought if someone stopped quickly with some water, I could maybe save some of what was in the bag. It felt like a nightmare, trying to get anyone to stop. I was just beyond a slip-road too, and cars were slowing right down to pull off, but still none of them came to help. Just as I was shrugging my shoulders, and resigning myself to having to write off the entire contents of the bag and figure out how to repack everything to continue, Kind Stranger number two did an illegal u-turn on the freeway and pulled up behind me. He leapt out of his truck and used lemonade to put out the fire. I was game enough to open the bag at that point, and I managed to rescue just a couple of things, but we came to the conclusion that the bag itself and most of what was inside it was toast (so to speak!). He helped me to repack my remaining stuff safely back onto the bike, made sure I was ok, and waited until I set off before he did another illegal u-turn to resume his own journey. He was from Arkansas. Not Tennessee. Nobody from Tennessee would stop, which I found incredible, but he was from Arkansas, and he did, and he wasn't surprised that nobody else did. He told me that there's a lot of crime in the area where I'd stopped, and people are just too suspicious of others to want to help them. I was disgusted about that, and incredibly grateful to him for stopping and helping in the most practical ways possible. I pulled away and left the saddlebag on the freeway grass verge, with the contents wrecked beyond saving, rode with relief out of what had started to feel like a pretty hostile Tennessee, across the border into Missouri. I was philosophical about the loss, apart from mourning the demise of my beloved black and gold paisley velvet and lace dress that scrunches into a tight ball and always comes out of a bag looking shiny and gleaming and fabulous. Not this time, it didn't. It was a tangled, melted lump of smoking, holey, blackened fabric. Its an irreplaceable item, and I was totally gutted. But, mindful of the fact that it could all have been horribly, hideously worse, I just resolved to keep my eye out for something similar in the future, and put the whole experience behind me. I did actually laugh, when I remembered dragging out several pairs of lacy undies in pretty much the the same condition.
And did things get better? Not immediately, no. Gas stations off the freeway in that part of Missouri are few and far between. I picked up a signpost to a gas station, left the freeway to look for it, and when I found it, several precious reserve-tank miles away from anywhere else I could get help, it was derelict and boarded up. U-turn, on the last thimble-full of fuel, to cough up to a farmhouse, where the third Kind Stranger of the day gave me water and gas. I'd called in there to ask directions, because I was pretty disoriented at that point, with no clue where the nearest gas station could possibly be that I could make it to, and she refused to take any money. Instead, she plonked me into a knackered old golf cart and drove me around the back of the farmhouse to the gasoline tank, filled a container, and drove me back down the long driveway back to my bike, with two bottles of water as well.
Luckily, this was one rare place where I could get mobile phone coverage, so I called Red Dog and Kathy to let them know what had been happening. I made it to their place in Arkansas after dark, having been met 100 miles down the road by Jay, Red Dog's mate on his beauuuutiful bright yellow beamer and escorted back. As I rolled up the driveway, splattered with bugs and with wobbly knees after negotiating their gravel driveway in the dark (me and gravel aren't best buddies, even in daylight!), and quite traumatized by a long day of thoroughly surreal experiences, a bunch of people there in the driveway were leaping up and down, waving, cheering and holding out their arms to me. I got off the bike to huge hugs, an ice cold beer, a garage area for Cherry and a hot bowl of spaghetti - the first thing I'd eaten all day. That welcome was extraordinary, and much appreciated. All those beaming faces, with every single person just waiting to hug me, is something I won't forget. I had to pinch myself toconvince myself I'd actually made it! Today is Sunday. I'm doing very little today, apart from letting Jay check the bike over, resting the ankle, and hanging out with these nice people at this lovely house, where Red Dog has been known to stroll out of the den into the carport and shoot a venison dinner without having to go any further. There's a small lake on the property that is stuffed with fish (Kathy is a keen fisherwoman), and there's a cold tub in the garden! During the week they call Dog Days here - the hottest of the year - what a blessing that tub is. I'm headed there right now!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
It was great to see Nan, and I wasn't at my best, (read - on the verge of exhausted hysteria at the prospect of having to ride any further) but she hugged me anyway and escorted me home, where I collapsed in an uncommunicative heap. I dredged up enough energy to unpack the bike, had a bath and a half hour chat with Nan before I literally lost the ability to function and crawled off to bed. I'm going to be here for a few days, just to recharge, rest the little ankle - which isn't swollen but throbs like an SOB - and give the bike the once-over before continuing on to Arkansas. I've been promised a shopping day with Nan and her daughters. Mental note to injured little self - remain sitting down while trying on shoes!