When it is time for a human to learn to walk, it is a gradual process. They are allowed to slowly progress through the stages of locomotion until walking is achieved. Baby birds are given no such accommodation when it is time for them to learn to fly. They are thrust from the nest and must relay on instant instinct to avoid a crash……….I’m kind of feeling like a baby bird right now.
And we’re off!
The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. Figuring out how to balance my travelling with reporting on my travelling is going to be a work in progress. Time to get caught up:
I left Norfolk in the morning, heading North to my Grandma’s farm just outside of Wausa, NE. On the way I stopped by the cemetery where 3 of my grandparents and countless other relatives are buried. It is a special place.
My Grandma is amazing. At 93 years old she still lives out on the farm which has been in the family for over 100 years. She maintains a pristine garden and still travels all over the continent visiting family. I hope I am still half as capable when I am half of her age.
My parents arrived shortly after I did and we hit the road. I now have a chase vehicle:
We are an intimidating crew as we go barreling down the road 🙂
The first day on the road was a long one. We logged about 500 miles, despite getting a fairly late start to the day. Many motorcycle riders take a lot of pride in logging lots of miles each day, but that’s not the reason I ride. I like to take my time, hop off the bike often and take fun looking roads that are maybe not the most direct.
The drive through the Dakotas was pretty uniform. Flat, straight roads. I’ll refrain from calling it boring and use the word efficient instead. It was a very uneventful ride, which is fine by me.
Quick stop by the Corn Palace in Mitchell:
For those unfamiliar with motorcycle riding, I’ll maybe give a brief explanation of “motorcycle butt.” When riding for a long time, the backside goes through various stages of discomfort which culminate with a strange mixture of numbness and pain. I have found no preparations which mitigate this effect. It just takes time. For me, I get used to it after about a week in the saddle, so the feeling should subside soon.
Travelling with my family is really nice. For now, it still feels like I am on a vacation. They do crazily extravagant things like eat at restaurants and stay at places which have roofs. It is an opulent lifestyle.
We stopped at a motel in New Rockford, ND.
I will be sending the state of North Dakota a bill for my services as an exterminator.
Time to check the first place off of my list. It was just a short drive to Devil’s Lake, ND
We got kind of a late start to the day, as I’m still trying to figure out my morning procedures. I had a few supplies I still needed, so that caused some delays as well. When we got to the border we were able to stop at the International Peace Gardens, which spans across the US-Canada border.
Upon exiting the gardens, it was time for my first border crossing. The officer asked if I had any tobacco, alcohol or firearms. At that moment I realized that there were at least three things that I neglected to pack :-). He was really chill and I crossed with no issue.
The US-Canada border does not offer an immediate contrast, either geographically or culturally. But as we progressed further north, the scenery got progressively north-er (yes, that’s a word).
Around 8pm we arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Norquay, Saskatchewan.
I have always wanted to visit them, so it is great to be here along with a dozen or so other family members. I get to sleep in a really nice 5th wheel trailer and Annie gets a spot in the garage.
I will be here for a few days, during which I hope to make some decisions about repacking the bike. I’m a little worried about both my weight and its distribution.
Sorry for delay in update. Thanks for reading! Only 92 places remain!