Riding a motorcycle could be considered risky, scary, or dangerous, or just plain crazy, however, it can also be considered Two-Wheel Therapy for those who love to ride. You can see so much from the back of the motorcycle. Your senses are more aware of the sights, sound and smells of the outdoors. You’re also exposed to the elements of mother nature, the good and the bad.
Our vacation travels for many years have been on our Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Limited. It’s a touring motorcycle, therefore, it’s very comfortable especially on a long trip, riding 400+ miles per day. We’ve taken several trips out West, to New York and Canada, logging as many as 5,000+ miles over a 17 day period. The trips I have loved the most are to Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Niagra Falls (Canadian side) and my favorite trip, touring Colorado. We’ve traveled through and stayed overnight in so many states. It might be easier to list the states we haven’t ridden in than to list those we have.
I keep a journal of each trip so I can reflect back and revisit each trip. The journal also helps me with my picture taking. A lot of the pictures I take are from the back of the Harley, so the dates on the pictures match up with my journal entries as to the location traveled on that date.
As I said, one of my favorite trips was to Colorado. The scenery was beautiful. Our Colorado trip consisted of riding the Million Dollar Highway (71 miles at 11,018 feet and 165 turns); Independence Pass; Loveland Pass; Rocky Mountain National Park; Garden of the Gods; and Pikes Peak.
We stopped at many, and I mean many, Harley Dealerships, one of which was very interesting. We stopped at Thunder Mountain Harley in Greely, CO and saw “Big Kenny” of Big and Rich. He was talking to everyone in the store. That was a big surprise, I don’t get to see many celebrities in person. The states we traveled to get to Colorado were: Beginning in Georgetown, KY, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas…and then back home.
We have ridden in temperatures as low as 32 degrees and as hot as 102 degrees. We’ve ridden in rain, hail, sleet and snow. Not by choice…..sometimes you just get caught out in it. We get to a safe place and wait it out. When traveling in the mountains or out West, we have come across some extreme weather changes very quickly. We’ve been through road construction…literally, they tore the road up completely and we were riding on gravel for miles.
When you pack, you must pack light (tour pack and saddle bag space is limited), but be sure to take the most important clothing items you will need. We always wear our helmets, therefore…no worry about what states require a helmet (not all do). Outerwear is important; always wear a riding jacket, boots, long pants (jeans), and gloves. Always carry your raingear, some extra warm clothing, especially long underwear (depending on location of your trip).
Keeping busy on the road
I have been known to read on the back of motorcycle, some paperbacks, and also from a Nook and a Kindle (I prefer these over the paperback books). I’ve also been known to take a nap. I know, that sounds crazy…but I won’t fall off, or haven’t so far! I also pray before and during each ride. I pray for our safety and the safety of everyone on our ride.
If you ride, be safe and I’ll say a prayer for you. Keep your wheels on the payment and your face to the sky. Lovin’ that Two-Wheel therapy!
About the author
Nancy Stacy lives in Georgetown, Ky and has been married to Harold for 40 years. She retired in 2004 from Lexington City Government and currently works at Trinity Baptist Church. When not riding, you’ll find her working in the yard on her flower beds.
All pictures were taken by Nancy Stacy and are used with permission.