By: Maryanne Erikson
One of the coolest things about any vacation/adventure while planning it, is the anticipation of the unknown. You can read about it, you can have your hopes and dreams about it, you can plan and plan and plan all the details – but in the end – you know deep down inside that there’s a whole world that will unfold when you actually “get there” – where ever “there” is. And that “there” will be something you could never have imagined!
I think we may be getting into that territory now on Day Three of this great adventure! We knew who we were going into this. And both Jen and I had different reasons for wanting to be here and do this trip – but we had NO idea who the folks were that we’d be traveling this road with. And that’s what’s happening now. We’re beginning to become ONE with the group!!! Last night when I went back out to our car to get something a bunch of the folks were hanging around their bikes talking and one of them said to me, “so in the morning, you’re going to have to come out and SOCIALIZE!!” Wow – he said it nicely, but I got it. We’ve been having a great time with these folks, but probably staying to ourselves a bit, because, hey – we’ve got work to do! How could we share all of this with all of you if we were out there bs-ing till all hours of the night? Anyway – nuf said – I got it!
So this morning we woke up bright and early to another super blue sky day with temps in the low 70′s. Just about as perfect as you could ask for for traveling the great old Mother Road through the hills of the “show me” state, Missouri – (where the heck did they get that name. Jen and I joked that every where you went they’d be flashing you – or we’d be flashing them.) Coffee in hand, everyone was buttoning up the bikes and getting ready for a glorious day.
Rodger presided over the meeting to tell us about the excitement today – we were going to be escorted by the police through the street of Springfield, Missouri – so we could all stay together in one big line – really make a show of it! Wow – we are now being considered something like a four-wheeled “bike” by them – they are accepting us!!! And yes, it was true – instead of being the last car behind them, we actually were about 2/3rds of the way in their line – it was such a special feeling to be nestled in with bikes and riders on all sides. We’re “blending” at last! And the rolling hills and lush greenery of the state of Missouri left me breathless. It was truly amazing to be “riding” with the pack through this beautiful landscape!
After this great adventure, we all headed down to Gay Parita’s Sinclair Gas Station – a great old replica of a classic Sinclair gas station about 25 miles south of Springfield – for a picnic lunch that he hosted. “He” being Gary Turner, the man who put this wonderful Route 66 tourist destination together decades ago for everyone to enjoy. He’s collected many vintage carrs and trucks that are strewn about the property and make for great fodder for photographers like me – so enjoy a few of my photos! Tonight we’re in Joplin, Missouri and tomorrow night we’re headed for Oklahoma City! I’m really excited – never been to OKC and my dear friend Mary Anna Goetz grew up there so I’m looking forward to seeing some of the local color that she’s recommended!
Good night all! See you tomorrow on Day Four. We’ll be traveling to Oklahoma City tomorrow – lots to discover!