When I first came up with this idea of a moto-camping trip, I was all psyched up. I just knew it would be awesome. Well, time for a reality check.
The beginning of the trip was plagued by the usual getting-into-the-groove clashes and mishaps. Nothing particularly exciting. Just 5 people, 3 vehicles, and a dog learning to be in close quarters and finding our pace. Granted, there were things we knew were going to be problematic, such as
our health, which we tried to make allowances for.
I'm not at liberty to discuss the crew's health in a public forum such as this, except for two: YoManBob's, because that little critter has had no major health problems...ever. And me, because I've got enough to share. So let's take a peek at what it took for me to make this trip.
Although not many know it, I have several fairly major health problems that I must deal with on a daily basis. Most of the time, I can schedule my life around my body's needs. But on this trip, I was not sure what to expect. I did take some precautions, such as see my chiropractor and masseuse just before leaving. I also made sure I carried enough of each medication with me for at least 3 weeks and made arrangements for a friend to mail me the refills. I also considered the very real possibility that I would not be able to see this trip through, especially on a bike, and had alternate home-bound transportation arranged, just in case.
Of the medical problems I have, two take precedence: my head and my back. These two problems are a constant part of my life. If any of you suffer from either - or both -, you know what I mean. When a migraine strikes, I literally cannot function, let alone ride a bike. The same holds true for my back. In fact, I had recently paid a visit to the emergency room because of the back pain being so severe. So, how did I do on this trip?
Here's where I admit it: not so well. In fact, out of the 30-some days we were "moto-camping", less than half were spent actually camping. The majority of nights found us at a motel. When I was in higher than my "normal" pain, we would basically waste a day or two at a hotel. I do have pain medication that provides decent relief, but riding while on heavy medications is idiotic. So, when back pain, headache, or both would start, it was time to stop.
Don't get me wrong. It was not a bad time, per se. The girls got to swim at the motel pools until nightfall and Dennis didn't have to pitch a tent. I knew they were still having fun so my "time outs" were not a big deal for them. However, one of the main reasons we cut the trip short was not the dead bike. It was my body telling me I needed to slow down. A lot. So we shortened the trip and focused on what we could do, not what we couldn't.
We also changed the miles we expected to cover in one day. Originally, we wanted to do 250 miles a day. After the first day, we knew we should shoot for 150 and be thrilled if we did 200. How much ground we covered was not the important part. For motorcyclists, it's not the destination that matters. It's the journey.
I strongly suspect that when I get home I'll be laid up for a while. Even as I write this, from a comfy bed in a motel, I feel my back aching more and more and I know I'm in for some weeks of therapy before I get back to my "normal" level of pain.
I have not written this post in order to scare anyone off of taking a chance on a trip like this. On the contrary, I'm admitting to all these aching days because I want others to know that, with good planning and adaptability, the majority of us can make a possibly once-in-a-lifetime trip come true.