Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Long Ride, A "Forty-Niner," Begins

Back in 1992 when Jesse and I were returning from our two-up trip to The Black Hills and Boulder, Colorado on my Suzuki, we stopped in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts to pay respects to my old friend and former motorcycle dealer Eino Hokkanen.  We found him at home, on his deathbed, having lost a leg to his ailment, and in the care of a nurse, who answered the door, and then asked Eino if he wanted to see us.  From the first-floor bedroom I heard Eino's always-gruff voice, "Duncan McDougall?  Bring him in!"  When Eino heard of the mission we were then just shy of completing, he said, "Oh, yes.  I used to take the long ride myself, when I could find the time."

Alaska is the target of my long ride this year.  AK will be the 49th state that I'll have visited in my life.  It was the 49th state admitted to the Union.  I got my first two-wheeled motor vehicle in June of 1963, 49 years ago this month, a Harley Topper scooter in Phoenix, Arizona.  That December I bought my first motorcycle, a 1957 BMW R50.  (Eino serviced it for me, which is how I'd met him.  I later bought three motorcycles from him, two of which I still own.)

Memory Dump: Half Way in a Week.

Thursday, 14 June:

Rode to Boston for an appointment at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, where I am having three implants done.  Following my appointment,  I rode out to Westboro and spent a pleasant evening and night with Joan and Dick Cichowski, Shirl's sister and her husband.  While there, I thought to check Rocinante's air filter, and found it thick with the fuzz of too many miles and too many years.  This is a thirty year-old motorcuycle I am riding.  Its air filter is not stocked anymore at auto parts stores, nor at Honda dealers.  So, I vacuumed it out as best I could, and lived with it (all the way to Omaha, as it turned out).   Highlight: Dick cooked us a dynamite meatloaf dinner.

Friday, 15 June:

Rode 430 miles to the Patapsco Valley State Park, Hilton Camping Area, only about 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore, where I was to spend Saturday at the ACBSP Annual Conference.  This proved to be an excellent facility for tent camping, with a decent shower, shaded woody sites, and pleasant people.  Pitched the big tent, because I was to spend two nights here.  I was so bushed from the ride that I skipped going for dinner, ate a Slim Jim and a Snickers from my tank bag, showered, then slept well on my thin foam pad, no doubt largely because of having dug a hip groove under the tent.  (Right, Jesse?)

Saturday, 16 June:

Arose early, dressed in my ACBSP golf shirt, khakis and street shoes, and headed for Baltimore, where I spent a full hour trying to find the Marriott Waterfront.  Once there, I met with Prof. Bell and Dean Booth of Alabama State University, for whose College of Business Administration I am serving as reaffirmation mentor. 
Prof. Bell and Dean Booth
After lunch, I went onto the 5th-floor poolside balcony to watch The Blue Angels perform in honor of Baltimore's Sailabration, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the firing on Fort McHenry by British warships during the War of 1812, and from which the poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," emerged from the pen of Francis Scott Key.

Then, at the end of the afternoon, I attended the meeting of the ACBSP's Baccalaureate / Graduate Commission.  Among the people introduced at this meeting was Prof. J. Philip, President of XIME, Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, in Bangalore, India.  At the close of the meeting, I happened to meet Prof. Philip, and as we were chatting, I was invited to come to visit that Institute late in August.  Needless to say, I accepted, and have added a ten-day trip to India to my 2012 travel plans. 

Next, as I was headed for the elevator to the parking garage, I was stopped by a young woman from EAN in Bogata, Colombia.  She told me that she had explicit instructions from their dean to invite me to come there to teach.  I expressed my pleasure to do so, and asked to discuss times and topics following this long ride, perhaps in August.

It was quite a gratifying day.  I was glad that I had started "South to Alaska."

So much for the first three days.  The non-coincidences started on Sunday. 
(I am now in Billings, Montana, a hundred or so miles past the half-way point of the road to Fairbanks.  Already this morning I rode 260 miles from Moorcroft, Wyoming.  I am at the Billings public library, where the reference librarian has already kindly extended my allowed "guest hour."  So, the non-coincidences will have to wait for the next opportunity to post.  I am headed for Great Falls, another 220 miles up the road.  Tomorrow I will be joined there by Bert Kemp, my fellow PGR member, now living in Arizona.  We're making the rest to the ride North together.  Please stay tuned for pictures and more stories.  So, goodbye for now ...  .)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please use no profanity in your comments. My granddaughter and other young people will be reading this blog. Thank you.