Listen closely…Do you here it? Udn-udn! The motorcycle riders in this house are revving up for another trip. We don’t know when, but we have an idea where. It looks like we’ll be heading up to Virginia again, and around the same time we were there last year. Visions of some misery come to mind, due to not-so-great weather conditions last year. Don’t get me wrong. We had so much fun we didn’t want to come home, but there were some memories we brought home with us that were lessons learned. HH (Handsome Hubsand) has shared the splendor of the area of Virginia we will be visiting, because he was there only two weeks ago on business. Astounding mountain scenery to view. Astonishing vistas to share with friends. I can’t wait and am packing already, in my brain, at least.
I will, hopefully, be a little more prepared for weather extremes of the area, now that I know first-hand how extreme they can be. The Pink Panda will make a return appearance on this trip, I have no doubt. My new pink and black rain suit not only keeps me dry, y’all, it keeps me warm. Last year, I was neither warm nor dry, due to my former hunter-gear Frogg Toggs. Not to knock Frogg Toggs, but they are not great for motorcycle use, are meant for men, and not at all a fashion statement for a woman. That dreadful look of a muscular Michelin Man when wearing the Frogg Toggs filled with wind was a nightmare for this girl. HH now hauls this chick wearing some pink on the motorcycle-specific female rain suit, just to remind people that I am a girl.
During this year since our last trip to the Northeast, I have recalled and often repeated a desperate statement made by HH. While enduring a sudden rainstorm on an interstate (not our usual choice, but all to save time), he suddenly yelled into the microphone, “I can’t see!” And then again, “I can’t see!” What was I to do to help? My mind raced. Did he really expect me to fix this dilemma for him? And from the back of the motorcycle? Was I to instantly appear with mini goggle wipers for him? Perhaps reach my gloved hands around from behind him to smear his wet goggles? All I could do was to pray. So I did. (How do we get into these messes?) “Lord, please help HH and keep us safe.” And, miraculously, we soon came to an overpass to pull aside and be under protection from the rain. Thank you, Lord Jesus! You are Divine!
After wiping down wet, foggy goggles and puddled seats, settling shaky legs and nerves, we saddled up again as the rain slowed to an occasional drip. These days we laugh about the ludicrous situation of that day. Looking back, HH can hardly believe he actually said those words. The things we do when we’re in a jam! And, the remainder of the trip was all but uneventful as we found ourselves in more weather situations. After the interstate episode, we were cold and wet in the dark, trying to find our hotel in Maine. Two lane wet windy roads on a motorcycle are not my idea of a fine date on a dark moonless night. I think I prayed more on that trip, every day of that trip, than I had on any other!
A couple of days after the rain in Maine (we left that dreadful place quick, y’all), we headed toward Ohio on Hwy. 50 beginning in Winchester, Virginia. HH had reported sunny skies that morning, according to local news and weather. No need to put on every layer in my bag, because the sun would keep me warm. As usual, we started riding about 8 or 8:30 that morning, and it was a little cool, but that was OK. I could endure it for a short while.
Around 10:00 that morning, we were on this 2-lane Highway 50 coming out of a small town, approaching a small hill. I noticed a sign that said, “Mount Storm”. I looked at the “hill” we were approaching, noticed the small cloud hovering overhead, and chuckled to myself. Surely this was not a sign of what was ahead. Well, surely it was! Two and a half hours later, we were still on that thought-to-be-hill-that-really-was-a-huge-mountain-range, winding around mountain edges on that 2-lane curvy, wet, and foggy road, fearful that the next car coming around a bend would not be on their side of the road. I was cold! I was scared! I was mad!
It would take the entire day to get off that “hill”, y’all, and we were in for the duration, but we didn’t know it at the time. The mountain top range was filled with beautiful hay farms. How could they grow hay with no sun? We rode in the drizzly fog through multiple little towns, if you could call them that, with no gas pump, no eatery, no nothing. At 2:30 that afternoon, we finally came into a town with a McDonald’s. Yay! Real people! Real cars! Lots of cars, called real traffic! Civilization, y’all. And finally, warmth and comfort found in a McDonald’s caramel mocha latte! And a restroom for further relief. Lucky thing, too, because we didn’t get that range behind us until about 6 that evening. We slept real good that night!
People wonder why I agree to these trips with HH. It’s the adventure, y’all! And sometimes, it’s the misery. It is wonderful for your relationship when you can bend your microphone away from your mouth and scream at your husband. How dare he bring me on this trip! How dare he pass by that last place to eat, and I’m starving! Take me to the beach next time! Blah! Blah! Blah! Then, when I get over my little (or big) pitty party, I can turn that microphone back to my mouth and be normal and nice again. How many other times are we allowed to do that, y’all? Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have spilled that secret – not really sure HH knew about that. Well, he does now.
Seriously, I ride on these motorcycle trips because it is where my HH is the happiest. He’s away from life’s usual stresses, and we enjoy God’s beautiful creation together. It’s a time for worship, to set our minds free to wander and wonder, to meet fun and precious people along the way, and to be “just us” for several days. And when we’re with friends on these trips, we are “just us” many hours on the bike and at night. Meals and gas breaks are for sharing with our friends, and we have time for meaningful conversations with them. “Making memories,” as one rider-friend says, and we do! What a hoot!