CHAPTER “1”….2016 FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP!!!

THE FIVE W’s…….WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY

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Me on my 2009 Yamaha Tour Deluxe

WHO:  The “who” is pretty easy…..that would be ME!!  Oh, there will be a host of supporting characters that will unwittingly become a part of the following pages and you’ll meet them along the way.  It is, however, MY story and that means that I am the main person of interest….maybe not to anyone else.  At the time of this writing I am at the very tail end of my 67th year of life.  In fact before the final installment I will surpass of 68 complete trips around the sun.  In other words….I am OLD. I was born in Pontiac, Michigan, lived in Dallas for a few years, and as of this writing I live in the Daytona Beach, Florida area where I have had the pleasure of enjoying the World’s Most Famous Beach for 24 years.  I find ME very entertaining but I have found that one man’s entertainment is another man’s TOTAL boredom so I’ll leave the topic of “WHO” at this point.  I can assure you that there will be more to learn about the WHO in future pages….more than likely far more than you need (want) to know.

2015 Road Trip To Michigan (19)

WHAT: Ahhh….What? What is the what? The “What” is riding a motorcycle……that’s what!!! If you have never taken a trip on a motorcycle you won’t totally understand the excitement. I have often told people that once you take a trip on a motorcycle you will never be the same and I’m not just talking about the sensation of your butt going numb!! I have been riding motorcycles since 1970 and it truly is a passion that is hard to explain. Back then I would hop on my little 350cc Honda Scrambler and off I would go sometimes with the only destination in mind was “to ride”. There were many times I would get up at 5:00 in the morning, pick up a gal that lived a couple blocks from me, and we would ride the three hours or so to Cedar Pointe. Once there we would ride the rides all day long and then hop back on that little thing and ride the three hours back.   We would get hit by every bug known to man as we rode after dark along the Lake Erie shoreline on Ohio Route 2. I rode throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Later with my Honda 550 Four I did a 7 day ride over to upstate New York camping every night in state parks or KOA’s. Since those early 1970’s I have traipsed all over the country on a motorcycle……and I have the Hooter shirts to prove it!!! To be sure I also have driven a car on many trips and I have been known to hop a plane or two BUT given my druthers (I’m not exactly sure what a “druther” is but whatever it is… IF I were to give one it would be this…) I would ride a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle on a trip is exactly WHAT this is all about.

WHERE: I suppose that to be really honest I would have to say that the WHERE would actually be a whole slew of places. There will be several “WHERE’s” each and every day. However the main “WHERE” for our purpose in this case will be the final destinations…..of which there are TWO final destinations. The first final (oxymoron) destination will be Waterford, Michigan.20160717_170654.jpg This part of the Pontiac, Michigan area and that is where I grew up and lived from birth until middle age. This is where I went to school and where most all of my childhood acquaintances also lived. This community had the privilege to witness my growing up first hand.   OK, I will confess that there may be some persons out there that will accuse me of never actually growing up so for them I’ll add the disclaimer that “growing up” relates to a period of time and not necessarily a state of mind. There is always an emotional rush to go cruising in the old hood. I have done this many times and the nostalgic value is the same now as it was the first time I did a nostalgic run through my neighborhood. The final final destination will be back at my current “hood” in Florida. The ride to and from the first final destination and through to the final final destination will encompass about 3,500 miles, give or take. I have done this pilgrimage to “The Old Home Town” on a motorcycle 12 or 13 times and each and every time I was happy and thrilled with everything I see and do in first final destination of Waterford HOWEVER it is always good to pull into the driveway of the final final destination…..HOME. I am sure that the stories and memories that I intend to be sharing with you in the following posts will house far more joy and happiness than I deserve. I’ll reread the pages and I’ll smile, laugh, and maybe feel a tear or two. Still, it will be good to be home.

WHEN: Let’s see….the “WHEN” is kind of relative to the “WHEN” you read this. For our purposes here we’ll consider the “WHEN” in question to be the “WHEN” when I post this page.   Using that as my reference point we can (hopefully) safely say that the “WHEN” begins four weeks from today. Today is Monday July 18, 2016 and my estimated date of departure is Monday August 15, 2016.20160717_120227.png Based on the PLAN…..you gotta love plans…..I will now start putting things in order and getting the packing, mapping, things to doing, budgeting, and timings locked in…..so in 28 days I will be ready to pull out of my driveway. The “PLAN” is that I do that pulling out of the driveway at 4:00 AM on the aforementioned August 15 or for our purposes….the “WHEN”. I will spend the 19 days following that departure date traveling, visiting, ooo’ing & ahhhh’ing over the old homestead, and loving the world of two wheeling. Like trying to limit the “WHERE” to the two destinations that I named previously I can’t begin to tell you all of the “when’s” there will be. There will be nineteen periods of 24 hours that will be full of “WHENS” and each of those “WHENS” will contain multitude of mini “WHENS”. So keeping things in the same perspective the first “WHEN” will be 4:00 AM Monday August 15 when I pull out of my driveway and, God willing, the final “WHEN” will be as yet TBA time in the early evening on Friday September 2 when I pull back into my driveway. I guess you would call that whole scenario a “WHEN-WHEN situation”…ok, bad pun but it was the best I could come up in such a short time. Now is the time to mark your calendars…….Monday August 15, 2016.

WHY: I will bet that I get asked “WHY” more often than any of the other W’s. Like I previously mentioned it is something that a non-rider and specifically a non-trip non-rider won’t totally understand the “WHY” even though I will spell it out. There are two main type of WHY answers with a few sub-type of WHY answers. The first main is on the act of motorcycling riding itself. The sense of freedom, the feeling of doing what others long to do but are quick to come up with reasons or excuses to not do it, the act of accomplishment in a solo platform, the mystical feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day AND YET be totally ready to do it again the next day, and all the activities and instant gratifications ALL your senses….sight, hearing, smell, touch, and even taste….experience as you ride through the miles. I will admit that there have been a few times as I motored away in the driving rain or the frigid cold….or both….when I had a hard time remembering the WHY but at the end of the day the WHY is always there. There is the thrill of being at one with the nature that I am traveling through. There are some out there that think that I do it because of the monetary savings. Sure the mileage is a bit better on a motorcycle than in a car BUT this is not 1950 where people took off across the country paying 25 cents a gallon for gas and could pull off the road a hundred feet and set up camp. First of all it is 2016 and it isn’t wise to just pull off the road and sack out on a roadside picnic table. More importantly as I mentioned before I am flirting with 70 years of age…..and I’m sorry…I WANT A BED!!! I can’t live on peanut butter and jelly……after a 300-500 mile day my body screams for nourishment (and banana cream pie). I don’t know how it is where you are but most of the restaurants I go to actually charge me to eat. So it isn’t the monetary savings. There are, however, those solitary spans of cruising. Sometimes I’m thinking, sometimes I’m talking to God (when I ride I find that I “talk” to Him more than I “pray”), sometimes I sing (when you add the element of the rushing wind….I sound pretty good), sometimes I am saving Marcia Brady from kidnapping pirates, and sometimes I’m solving all the world’s problems. Wherever my mind takes me between each gas stop it is entertaining, edifying, emotional, or all of the above. The other “WHY” is a little more on the tangible side of things. First and foremost my three kids and nine grandkids are at that first final destination. I will get to see all or most of them during the trip. That alone is “WHY” enough for any trip. Since I grew up in Waterford, Michigan I will also see many other friends and family that have been a part of my life for DECADES. Speaking of DECADES I have an additional “WHY” (you gotta love the segue). I will also be attending my class reunion. It is the class reunion that will be celebrating the passing of 5 of those decades. Yep, this year will witness the 50th (gulp) class reunion for Waterford Township High School. The reunion will be witness to a weekend of events. For starters there will be a golf outing follow by an evening “meet & greet”. The following evening will be the actual reunion celebration. The last morning there will be a goodbye brunch. So you can see that there are reasons on top of reasons on top of more reasons for the “WHY” of this trip.

One last bit to that I would like to add to the “WHY”.   Although this trip was planned before his death I would like to dedicate this trip to the memory of my friend John Yates who passed away earlier this year.

2014 Georgia Road Trip With John and Sherry (11)
One of the BEST riding buddies EVER…John Yates

Originally we were going to do this trip together and go through his hometown in Tennessee where I would meet his friends and family. We would continue on to Michigan where he would meet my friends and family. I have tens of thousands of miles logged with John riding along with me. So I dedicate this trip to him and hope that he is again riding with me as a TRUE wing man.

 

I hope that you enjoy my trip as you read along with my traveling. Don’t forget that anytime you might feel it appropriate you may “Like” or “Share” this or any of the posts on social media which would, of course, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You can also drop me a line or leave me a comment. You can write to me at donandlisabova@msn.com using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/don.bova also because I will generally have more pictures and comments over there. Also you can read the blog about my 2015 road trip from Florida to Michigan at www.donbovaroadtrips.wordpress.com.  Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at www.gotyourpic.com/Vacation.

Enjoy and I’ll talk atcha again in just a few days!!!

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