Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Into the West

The title above is also the latest tweet from younger son who left today on his post-graduation motorcycle trip to California. He describes his general plan here. He will visit 20 states and, if all goes according to plan, stand on the highest point in nine of them. He expects to be home sometime between June 18 and 20, but for tonight he should be in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Am I nervous? Of course, but he's 21 and has planned this trip more carefully than I planned the solo European jaunt I did when I was 19. Would I feel more comfortable if he were with someone as opposed to making a solo trip? Perhaps, but then sometimes two people end up goading each other on and get in more trouble than one person would. He took a test ride of about 500 miles and back two weeks ago, so he knows what a full day riding a full bike will be like. He did what appeared to be a good job packing everything securely, in two saddlebags, one backpack, and a magnetic map case. He may send things back once he no longer needs them, which would give him some room to pick up a souvenir or two.

He's prepared for bad weather; in fact, he practiced riding in the rain on his test drive to the Kentucky Derby. Having checked the forecast for today's ride, he donned his rain suit before leaving this morning from our family breakfast at one of our favorite local dives. And while I didn't cry after watching him ride off, I will admit that I came close. It's been a bittersweet couple of days here watching him graduate from college and head out on his own personal grand adventure. I feel very old and somewhat no longer needed, as if I should say, "My work here is done," take a bow, and sit down. He was a good kid, and now he's a good man. Have a good trip, okay? And here's lookin' at you!


Anonymous said...

Agreed, it's tough sending your youngest off, but you've done your job. Now you have to sit back, but also get on with your own life.

Wishing him good weather and grand adventures!

I wasn't so worried sending G off cross country and back when he was 21 -- he was in a car. ;-) (fender bender in Chicago traffic, too)

Janet (:>

Mo said...

Sounds like great adventure. He has lots of 'aunts' around the country if he should need us when he is our area. Feel free to give him my phone number. Wishing him a fulfilling adventure and a safe trip. N-i-N

Debi said...

I am soooo envious!!! (Oh him, not you. In this instance.) Seriously, what an awesome adventure he's set out on. Hope he has the time of his life!!!

Terri said...

I know how you feel. My boy Matt had his grand adventure when he was 18. He left Australia to live in the UK for 2 years. I couldn't look at him without tearing up in the lead up to his departure. I didn't cry at the airport but cried the whole way home and for hours after. You are a stronger woman than I! Love you!

Va said...

I remember when he was born - in far away Holland - when he started to learn from his folks how to get the most out of life. Just like you, he will keep his eye on the sparrow for all he is worth!