I always enjoy your columns. Yours and the Blue Dog Diaries are the two “must reads” every time I get a hold of a Thunder Press.
Your “Arguing Alone” piece this month really hit home for me. I lost my best friend, riding partner and soul mate of 30 years three years ago. We had done numerous road trips through the years and shared countless adventures. But since losing him, my road trips have been solo. I rode to Arkansas the first time to spread some of his ashes. I rode to Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Maine the second time. This past summer I ventured up to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Each time I have people ask why I ride alone.
I have a lady friend who also rides and is a very experienced rider. She’s a nice lady and her and I have had many fun day rides. When I was planning the Arkansas trip, she asked if she could come and I said yes. That was in the early spring. As the days ticked down, one day we were talking about things in general and she said, “You know that all gay people are pedophiles.” This started what almost became a heated discussion between us until, thankfully, her cell phone rang and at the end of her telephone call, the discussion had been forgotten. (I personally know several gay people and none of them are pedophiles…) A few weeks later I informed her that I would prefer to spread my husband’s ashes alone. I realized that to spend numerous days (and nights) on the road with somebody else would probably be difficult for me. At least for a while. Because my husband and I had been so in tuned to each other, so perfectly fitted to be together, the road trips were never a chore. And because, as your piece stated, people are so polarized that there are no longer discussions, only arguments and neither side is willing to consider any other position but theirs.
And so, I too, ride solo. This summer my plan is to run south from Ohio to West Virginia, Kentucky, down to Alabama, Georgia and work my way back home through the Carolinas and Virginia. Do some couch surfing with acquaintances at a couple of stops and seeing things I never got to share with my best friend. His ashes are in an urn on my handle bars, so he is with me as I venture on alone.
Thanks for your columns! Peace to you. (BTW, I blog my trips for family and friends if you want to check it out: www.bobbiyum.blogspot.com– the blogs go as far back at 2008 but they’re not real polished. If you get to the bottom of a page and want to see more, look for the “older posts” button. And if you aren’t inclined to check it out, that’s cool too. Keep the rubber side down.)
—Robin (aka Bobbi to my friends)
When I write a column I never know who it will hit and what it will say to them. I am glad “Arguing Alone” invoked pleasant memories and you were able to relate.
Good luck with your travels and see you on the road.
—Slippery Sam Jones