|Indian Land, SC USA
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After much hoopla, lots of agonizing planning, and numerous problems getting paperwork completed, it’s time to star the journey, and to live life a little differently for the next 120 days.
That said, before we talk about today, we need to talk about how we got here, and how all of this is even possible.
At 60, it’s easy to think of yourself as being on the slow, methodical march towards your golden years. It’s easy to imagine that your best years are behind you, and that you’re simply trying to squeeze in a few great days, among all of the others, most of which are the equivelant of poking yourself in the chest, and laughing at your goals. But, I’m taking a different approach.
I don’t know how long I’ll live, but I’m committed to trying to live the remaining years to their fullest. To attack every day like I was a young man. To look at every experience like a child. To meet new people with a feeling of awe and wonder. That’s who I want to be; The question is, how to get there.
For sure, to have a feeling like I’ve described, you must be fit, and strong. And, for the past year, I’ve been attending classes at Indianlandcrossfit.com, usually 5-6 days each week. Crossfit is the kind of thing that sneaks up on you slowly. Your first day at the gym, you wonder how you’ll survive, and by day 365, you’re thinking, how do I crush this thing, and make it my bitch.
After 12 months of Crossfit, I’ve increased dead-lift weights to almost 300 lbs, and increased bench press strength to about 225 lbs. I don’t offer these weights as a measurement of manhood, oh no, that’s not it. I offer them because about 1 year ago, I was able to lift only about half this weight, for these very same exercises. And so, I want to acknowledge Eric, the owner of ILCF with being a sort of spiritual advisor, always showing me the light, while pushing me through the darkness.
On day 1, we left the house at 6:30, and traveled about 318 miles, and arrived at the hotel by 1:30.
The bike is running perfectly
As the departure date approached, and against my better judgement, I decided to do a number of upgrades, and install several new systems. But, the skills and knowledge needed to install the Innovv K2 camera demanded that I know how to dissemble the entire top half of the motorcycle, giving me access to the wiring channel that runs from front-to-back on the bike, and in which all of the bike’s control wires are routed.
While I’ve got confidence, I managed to, once again, get myself in a bit of trouble, so I opted to transport the bike back to the dealer, and let a pro run the wires, and clean up a mess of wires that had resulted from numerous add-on systems.
Clinton, the dealer’s BMW tech did a great job, and cleaned up the whole mess, and finished the camera install. So, at the end of the day, last Friday, the bike was reassembled, and running perfectly.
My departure this morning allowed me to ride this remarkable bike, running in tip/top form. What a day, and what a joy it was to crack the throttle, and watch the bike rocket forward.
Departure this morning started with a short selfie video, that set the stage.
Charlottesville was chosen as the first stop as a way of breaking up the first day’s riding. The original plan was to depart on July 11, and travel almost 500 miles, before arriving in Gettysburg, but this seemed like the wrong way to start a trip like this. So, I decided to leave one day earlier, and start on day one with only 320 miles.
I’ve known Ralph a long time, perhaps as long as 20 years. But, I’ve known Lee for about 45 years, and I’ve known Chuck since I was about 9 years old. So, it’s a real joy to be able to see old friends, and enjoy a meal.
Rather than planning the meal myself, I asked Lee to take this role on, and he did not disappoint us. We visited Monsoon Siam, a great Thai restaurant, where we ate too much, and laughed for hours.
So, what about tomorrow?
Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave the hotel by 8AM, perhaps earlier, and expect to arrive at the hotel by 11AM. We’ll park the bike, and I’ll change out of the riding gear into light hiking gear, and we’ll head to Gettysburg, where we’ll spend two days learning all about the Civil War, and the Lincoln presidency.