Road Rookie: A Dilettante’s Journey from New York to Dallas – Pt. IV: Cleveland to Nashville

road-rookie-day-34

In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments. For earlier portions, go here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

For all of the previous day, I enjoyed the company of Lakes Erie and Ontario, whose oceanic scale is breathtaking in a way that almost restores integrity to the word. I have seen lakes and those are not lakes. They are planets. Like so many American utilities, their usefulness has dwindled over time. Before they were replaced by the rails that would be replaced by trucks, they were the ventricles to arterial canals, bearing up the materials of American livelihood. They still support commercial transport, if at a fraction of their former glory.

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Road Rookie: A Dilettante’s Journey from New York to Dallas – Pt. III: Cleveland

road-rookie-day-23

In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments. For earlier portions, go here: Part 1 Part 2

The morning air was cold and dewy, just as all camp mornings should be. I dressed, dropped my feet into untied boots and wandered to the shore for one look at Lake Ontario up close. The sun just peaked over the morning fog to my right. Not too far in front of me, though miles out of site, someone was having the inverse experience in Toronto.

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Road Rookie: A Dilettante’s Journey from New York to Dallas – Pt. II: Hamlin Beach State Park, NY

Road Rookie Day 1

In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments. For earlier portions, go here: part 1

Uncle Dick and I woke at the same time. I made breakfast for both of us: a few eggs, bacon and toast with margarine. How a veteran dairy farmer ever permitted himself to buy margarine, I will never know. As we sipped weak coffee, Uncle Dick asked me a few questions about the trip, how long it would take, what kind of route I had planned. I was hoping for a kind of folksy confidence from him, but with every question, he would pause to look up at me with a paternal worry. There is nothing quite as sobering as having your dread validated. Meanwhile, the motorcycle I still had not seen sat in the adjacent shed. Continue reading

Road Rookie: A Dilettante’s Journey from New York to Dallas – Pt. I: Edwards, NY

In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments.

I lay on my uncle’s couch, under a short blanket that barely reached my chest, tossing and turning with one restless thought in my head: “What the hell am I doing?” It was around ten at night. My uncle Dick had just gone to bed and I, his namesake, was dealing with the possibility that I might be dead within the next day. Continue reading