Every time we turn around another motorcycle event or gathering has been postponed until 2021. The latest was news on the Horizons Unlimited Newfoundland, https://www.horizonsunlimited.com/events/newfoundland-2020 , meeting in August. We were going to spend three months on the road in Canada and make a couple presentations at the event. Now also postponed until 2021. As the United States, and parts of the world, slowly gather steam again and reopen from the CoVid-19 scare, we are hit with another disaster.
The year 2020 is an election year in the US. We seem to be experiencing one “disaster” after another. I understand that good news doesn’t make money. In the past three years the US has experienced a Russia crisis, an impeachment, a world CoVid-19 epidemic, and now widespread protests, rioting, looting and killings, seemingly staged, due to the senseless murder of a black man by four non-black cops. Either we are really being manipulated or very lucky that the disasters only occurred on to follow the other instead of all at once.
Thanks to the internet, many of us have been able to gather “virtually” using Zoom and other social media platforms. These virtual pub nights and gatherings have kept many of us mentally intact and not feeling so isolated. In many countries the CoVid lock-down is severe and movement is very restricted. Many of us were in the midst of long distance and multi-country travels when this pandemic paralyzed the world. Some were lucky enough to get back to their own countries, some just stayed put and some could never leave. As the so called curve began to flatten, the world started to open and economies to slowly recover. Then we are told that this will rebound and many more will die. But, we still have to open. There will be tough times ahead leading up to November.
Melanie and I have been lucky in that we don’t have a home anymore so have no place we have to stay. We have been limited to camping and being outdoors most of the time. Maybe we’ve been exposed the the virus in small doses and have the antibodies, maybe not. As the world recovers, countries will be deciding what is needed for them to stay safe. This could mean just restricting travel all the way to needing a CoVid vaccination latter or proof of a positive antibody test to enter. Whatever it is, it will be different to all who travel with it being especially different/difficult for the independent traveler.
The past couple weeks we have been riding the motorcycle on the many back roads/fire roads in the area. One of our on-line virtual groups, the Horizons Unlimited USA SE, had a few people campout at the Cherohala Mountain Trails Campground. This is a fantastic campground near Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Many people were around for the weekend, (all practicing proper protocols, of course), riding the many roads and trails in the area. One night we showed a movie, “Where The Road Ends”, an adventure documentary by world traveler, Dylan Wickrama. The movie is available to rent or purchase at https://www.journeyman.tv/film/7775 .
A good thing about staying in one place has been being with family. Two weeks ago our youngest son, Dallas, married his best friend, Jess Wade. Due to the restrictions on gatherings, a small family wedding was planned in their backyard. They have a beautiful, enclosed bar area with a deck and outside fireplace. As family gathered on the deck, the small processional made their way down the stone-lined path to the deck. Dallas’s best man was his 8 year-old son, Caleb and the flower girl was Dallas’s niece, Lucy. Kristy Campbell was Jess’s maid-of-honor. Dallas’s brother Rick, and wife Kelly, were also in attendance from Florida. Jess was led down the path by her cousin, Doug, with her Dad in virtual attendance via instant messenger from Florida. I preformed the ceremony in which they had both written their own vows. Both of the vows were beautiful and sentimental, luckily with a couple funny parts, as everyone was in tears. The next couple days we all just hung out, smoked meat and drank beer. Their honeymoon to France has also been postponed to 2021 but their did get out for a few days, renting a cabin in the smoky mountains.
While they were on their abbreviated honeymoon, we got to take our grandson, Caleb, for a couple days. Riding around earlier in the week, we came across a river rafting company that would allow an 8 year-old to be on the water.The Hiwassee River is a dam controlled river offering good water flow for certain hours of the day. Piling into the back of an open-baked truck with our raft, we were transported 5 and a half miles upstream. The run would take us about 3 hours through swift running water, including a couple class-3 rapids. Caleb even got to “drive” the raft, paddling from the back and attempting to keep us from being capsized.
What’s next for us? I wish we knew. First, establish residency in Florida and get new health insurance. Next is Melanie’s follow up to her eye surgery, and probable cataract surgery, a post benefit of having retina surgery. Then, when possible, back to Portugal to pick up Yellow Donkey (our trusty old VStrom 1000). We will try to get to Morocco, then hopefully make it to Eastern Europe. In between now and then, stay tuned…
Cheers and positive attitudes,