Thursday, July 16, 2009

7/15/09 Final Days of the Trip, Blazing Across the States and Reflecting Back

Sitting in my parents house in LaPlata , MD and thinking back on all the shit that went down the past 4 months. Did I really do all that stuff? It feels like it happened so long ago, almost dreamlike when I look at the photos. A lifetime of memories and experiences crammed into such a relatively short period of time. I spend a week or so in Texas visiting good friends in Austin, Houston and Dallas. I'm dead tired all the time and just spend a lot of time sleeping and recovering from the physical exertions of 4 months in C.A. In Austin at my friend John's house we spend the evening giving the bike some much needed TLC and it's looking and running smooth as silk. I still have a hard time believing I made it back to the US after the engine had been ripped apart, the piston rings cleaned off and reused, and having the engine being thrown back and gasketed together as a fix. I have only a 4 days or so before I need to be back in NYC to move back into my place while the subletters move out. It's 867 miles to Louisville, KY where my sister has just moved to start her residency in pediatrics. I head out at night to beat the heat and just keep going, going, going. Watch the sun rise and am starting to get sleepy but I slam a Red Bull and it's enough to get me to my sister's place without stopping at a motel. Kentucky is wonderful to me, all clean and neat and stuff with bearable summer temperatures. It's great to see my sister in her new role as Doctor as well, I am very proud of her. After a day of enjoying more AC, good food and relaxing by the pool I ride another 750 miles to NYC. Blaze across Kentucky and enter Ohio. Man, it was just several months ago that I would go to Ohio and she would come and see me as much as possible. As I pass by a couple of hours south of where she lives, I can't help remembering the relationship and wonder if she even lives there anymore. Leave Ohio, enter Pennsylvania. Enter New Jersey at daybreak and I'm only 80 miles from NYC. Home at last. After a couple of days of resettling in my apartment, I can do nothing for a few days but read, watch movies, and venture out of the house twice a day to eat. I'm just too fatigued mentally and physically to do anything else. It's the first time I really have the chance to be alone in a long time with no obligations or deadlines to meet. No logistics to figure out anymore, no packing and unpacking the bike and taking care of mechanical necessities. No wondering where I'm going to end up that night or where I need to be in a day or three. A few days later and I ride down to Maryland which feels like it's just around the corner. I see my family and visit a lot of old friends. And now I'm sitting here writing about the mixed emotions I'm feeling. I am loving the cleanliness and general order of the States. Not to mention the mandatory AC, smooth asphalt on the roads, lack of speed bumps EVERYWHERE, overpasses, credit card acceptance, a language I speak fluently, good quality gasoline, lack of mosquitos and especially all the food and drink that my American ass is just plain used to and hates to do without. That being said, I know I will be back in that other-worldly place and can't wait to re-immerse myself in the unique culture, history, chaos, landscape, and natural beauty of Central America. I'll especially remember all the people I met on this trip, both the locals and travellers. Although this 10, 000 mile motorcycle journey was not my longest, it was definitely the richest. I'll be starting law school in a month or so and I'm sure as I am sitting in class my mind will wander back to the recent memories of this journey and all that has happened. The hardships already seem like just part of the adventure and I'm sure I will be daydreaming about when and how I'll return.