Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

20 Loves, Part 10: Motorcycle Road Trips

It's How We Roll

There's nothing like a motorcycling road trip with trusted, compatible, good friends. I'm writing this blog from The Road with my buddies. Life is good.

The Four Amigas: Laurie, from North Bend, OR; Virginia, of Litttlerock, CA; and Sylvia and me, from Bakersfield, CA. We have clocked hundreds of hours and thousands of miles in the saddle over the years, riding nearly every region of the USA and across Canada.
We all can be assured of these things: "Clutches out at 7:00" means right then or a few minutes earlier. Our bikes will be road-worthy, in the best riding condition possible. We will ride as a unit, safely and within the law. We will look out for each other. There will be copious laughter and bushels of fun and community laundry.

Last spring when we began planning this summer's ride to Billings, MT, excitement and anticipation of another trip together began building. The emails flew as the route through Yellowstone and Cody, WY, and accommodations along the way were decided. July, when we'd depart for the Women on Wheels(R) International Ride-In, sure seemed a long way off.
As with all long-awaited events, the day finally arrived. Clutches out and we were rolling at 6:53 a.m. on July 5.
Over the next few days the passing scenery filled, and mostly delighted, our senses. A golden strobe light effect through the early morning sunlit trees along the Umpqua River. Scorched, leafless stalks with ashen branches like otter whiskers stood tall on the fire-blackened roadside. As we rode through farmland, distant cathedrals became granaries surounded by silos, and man-made rainbows sprang from irrigation pipe spray. Cattle, with reddish-brown rumps and spines huddled around mounds of fodder. Real cowboys, sleek horses, and mighty buffalo in pastures. The majesty of the Grand Tetons and the wonder of Yellowstone.
Fresh-cut hay, rain-dampened earth, feedlots, smoke, rivers and stagnant ponds, and the sweetness of flowers took turns assaulting and soothing our noses.
We passed through towns with unfamiliar names: Brogan, Vale, Hammett, Chubbuck, Rainey, and Waipiti.
And, we met the friendliest people at every stop. There was the young Latino family of five from Houston who were in line in front of us at The Bunnery in Jackson Hole. The woman from Madison, Wisconsin, who struck up a conversation as she left our motel this morning. Travis from Ohio, who was sent to Idaho Falls to liquidate the stock of a car dealership that was going out of business.
We talked with the owner of the combination gas station, market, and cafe in Hammett. He apologized when we couldn't get breakfast there. The cafe had been closed because of slow business since irrigation equipment had replaced the 50 laborers who'd moved the pipes by hand and the men and their families had left the area to look for work. The weather had been a factor, too, with the high winds making it impossible for fishing enthusiasts to get their boats out onto the nearby reservoir. Times were tough in Hammett, but it hadn't seemed to break his spirit.
Yellow, diamond-shaped road signs warned us of hazards. We needed to watch out for wildlife crossing, frequent high winds, icy roads and falling (and fallen) rocks, as well as vehicles towing trailers. You can bet money that a pick-up or large SUV in this part of the country will be pulling a trailer loaded with a boat, ATVs, or farming equipment. All this is important knowledge for motorcyclists, traveling on four-inch-wide tires
All across Idaho and into Wyoming, our constant friend, the Snake River, showed up no matter which direction we turned. Its branches and forks crossed our path and surrounded us. I had a sense of being on the river itself as the high winding road that we followed alongside the water mimicked the sweeping ribbon of the Snake.
Three riding days gone. The ride, the road, the countryside, the sights and smells, the destinations, the four amigas. It's the best.
~ xoA ~


  1. What an experience, Annis. I enjoyed every turn, every stop, every encounter. Otter whiskers, distant cathedrals, and the sweeping ribbon of the Snake capture the diversity and wonder of the the scenery. A beautiful expression of the love and companionship of devoted friends, the joy of and passion for the ride. Ride on!

    1. Thank you, Dennis. It's been an incredible trip. xoA

  2. Like Dennis, I was there with you taking in the scenery and the soothing and assaulting odors.

    My favorite "Scorched, leafless stalks with ashen branches like otter whiskers stood tall on the fire-blackened roadside." So descriptive, just like the rest of the post.

    Thanks for sharing all the details of the people along your path. Makes me want to travel cross country again.

    1. Thanks, Joan. There's nothing like a road trip. It makes one appreciate this great land. xoA

  3. By now, you've logged many more miles beyond this post! What a wonderful thing to do in the summer with people you love. My dad loved road trips, but, of course, we did them in the family car since my mom and I did not ride a motorcycle. Dad didn't either, but he dreamed of it. He never got one of his own, but he hit the road often enough and went far enough away from the Interstate that I don't think he minded too much.

    1. Yes, Kathleen, we're safe at home right now. Another motorcycle travel post is in the making. Thanks for sharing your story about your dad. The back roads are fantastic for removing us from the fast lane of life. xoA

  4. Glad you are back safely sister, but it sure was fun to experience the ride through your eyes. Yes, it does make one want to hit the road.
    I shall stay tuned for the rest of the adventure.
    Sister J

  5. Thanks so much, Jan. You are right -- more of the adventure to come. Love. xoA