The first day of my adventure. It was a good one.
I traveled for two hours on roads that weren’t new to me. I have grown to love the roads here in Northern Minnesota. Twisty windy things with trees hugging on either side. A haven for deer, but also a thrill for motorcycles. The route I rode took me from Grand Rapids, MN to Bemidji by way of Walker. It is one of the most beautiful routes I have found here in Northern Minnesota.
Before that I spent the morning doing the mundane. Starting with the completion of packing. I then moved onto the bike, and Little Wing got a once over, followed up with a sponge bath. Myself, an old rag, Dawn dishsoap, and Little Wing.
Cleaning ones bike is a beautiful ritual and makes for a close intamacy that just riding and parking doesn’t provide. My whole life is packed on the back of Little Wing for the next few months, so being close and personal with the two wheeled Savage will only benifit us. I was able to look over all the nuts and bolts, examine the seals. I spent extra time on the dirtier spots which always begs the question of why they are so much dirtier (oil leak? Fork seal leak?). In the time that one shines up the spot the whole manual can be running through ones head. Problems are easily detected and the bike comes to be aesthetically pleasing.
After tying, strapping, and shining, I moved on to errands.. the really mundane stuff. I did make two pit stops during that time. The first was at the location of a large mural I painted this summer and the second was at a coffee shop where I did a large mosaic. Both inspired me and reminded me that I am accomplished, and not foriegn to large crazy endeavors. It was a good reminder. I made peace with the art and the amazing stable life I have been leading, and then told it I would see it in a year.
After that I finally headed out.
I had a new tire put on Tuesday so that meant 100 miles of easy riding to break the tire in. So, I did that. Careful riding the whole way through the windy roads.
I stopped at a gas station and changed into a more comfortable shirt (what had started out as a cool day moved it’s way up to 80 fairly quickly). I met a very nice 72 year old woman there. She asked me about my bike and where I was coming from. I assumed she saw the bags and realized I was traveling. I was only fifteen miles out of Grand Rapids at the time though so when I told her where I was from I immediately told her where I was going as well – across the U.S. on Little Wing. She found that fascinating, so there by the pumps we had a discussion about traveling, life, and riding without a license (something she had done quite a bit with the trike her and her husband had).
I didn’t get her name, nor she mine, but isn’t that the beauty of it? What a beautiful encounter.
When I got to Bemidji I met up with my bike fixing buddy and we gave Little Wing more than a once over. A lovely evening filled with wrenches and garage smells.
The first day of my adventure was comfortable. The second day I slept in and then wrote up a blog.
Time to go eat some miles. My next stop is only an hour and a half away on twisty windy roads.