And so it begins. My own year of magical thinking. Not exactly like Joan Didion's memoir, but yes, grief is a part of it. I don't think you ever get to the middle of any story worth reading without encountering some degree of conflict, some measure of pain, some leggy seedlings of wistful regret.
But this isn't a time for nurturing regrets. It's a time for putting the past in perspective, and then leaving it where it belongs. I'm typing this on a plane, about to land in Madrid, the first of a series of major travel adventures I am set to embark on this year.
Two weeks in Spain kicks it off nicely. Two weeks based in Madrid and exploring the country, this is my only adventure that will take place on foot (and by train/bus/metro).
Next month I'll be renting a motorcycle and exploring the hill country in Texas, then in May I will be on my own Harley exploring Oregon's 51 covered bridges. June puts me in a loop around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with my friend Ally, as well as a side trip to Mt Ranier National Park. In July I'm considering riding the last leg of the Sisters Centennial Ride from Carson City, Nevada into San Francisco.
August is The Dream Roll at Mt Adams, WA as well as a 10 day Canadian adventure with my friend Shannon. That trip will take us from Portland, Oregon up through Kelowna BC and across into Alberta where we will stop in Jasper, Banff, and Calgary, coming back down through Glacier National Park before turning west back toward Portland. In September it's back to New Orleans and Texas to be a part of Lace, Grace and Gears, a women's motorcycle event where we are trying to gather 5000 women and break the world record for the most females on motorcycles gathered in one place.
In October I will fly to Las Vegas and rent a bike to go down to Southern California and Joshua Tree National Park for Babes Ride Out, adding in a jaunt to the Grand Canyon because…well, because I've never been there and I will already be on a bike so why not?
By November I will be ready to hole up at the coast for NaNoWriMo and start putting together the book I will have spent the year researching. I want to write about women and motorcycles, profiling many of the women I meet in my travels. How they came to ride, what they ride, and more importantly, why they ride.
I'm just putting the finishing touches on Belle to get her ready to ride all those miles – I've added a detachable wind shield, leather saddle bags, a luggage rack, a Bluetooth for my helmet and a cruise control / throttle lock option to combat hand cramps and numbness. I've bought tons of lightweight camping gear and will be testing it all out and reviewing it on my motorcycle adventure pages. The trips are booked, the gear is bought – so now it's just a matter of doing it!