Egads, it’s already Thursday morning, and I haven’t written since Saturday. Something always got in the way, still finding the rhythm. Lots has happened, almost too much to recount, but here goes…

Ladies have arrived from all corners of North America to participate. Ladies fulfilling a lifelong dream. Ladies absolutely over 60. Ladies with long flowing hair and Harleys. Ladies geared up with the latest moto-technology. Ladies sporting “JESUS” on the back of their jackets. Ladies riding small bikes. Ladies riding big bikes. Ladies as passengers. Ladies with stories to tell. Ladies with 1,000 years of combined moto-wisdom.

…And a few good men.

Riding out of NYC was epic, and strangely easy. Because who in NYC wakes up at 7AM on the Fourth of July? Only us, apparently. Going through the Bklyn Battery Tunnel felt like arriving on Mars through a Get Smart-level air lock. Something clicked for me on the Taconic, I felt one with the bike, my hips pushing it this way and that, gleefully. Tearing up mountainous back roads in the Berkshires, a teenage black bear galloped across the road directly in front of us. That was a first! 

At the first riders meeting with everyone in Springfield, each participant stood up and introduced themselves. There were teary moments, it was intense and beautiful. The next day we did a lot of city riding (good practice for me, as my “oh shit a right-angle turn is ahead” response is starting to chillllll), checking out the exhibition on the sisters at the Wood Museum of Springfield History. We have all mixed and mingled and had many many photo ops. Cousin Dan observed that Sofie looks like Adeline, and I look like Augusta, and hence there was much posing in front of historical portraits. “The Van Buren Family” has had our moment of deference, keepers of history. The event earned a second proclamation (the first from the Bklyn Borough President) from the Springfield mayor. We also went to check out Westover Airforce Base and had a nice reception there with some kind folks. I learned that my Uncle John was stationed there. He gave me an abbreviated history of his time serving during Vietnam as we strode over the hot asphalt towards a looming C5, the heat beating down on us.

Yesterday was our first push west, finally out of my zone. Back through the Berkshires (stopping at the Jacob’s Ladder rock cairn), across the Hudson and into the Mohawk Valley. Schoharie county spread out in front of us in all directions, the sun somewhat punishing. We stopped for lunch at a “cute” place that was part mom-black-hole gift shop and part insane pie shop. I kept taking a  wrong turn, getting lost in the Yankee Candle room.

Now I’m sitting in a chair in the Best Western in Sayre, PA. We are riding to Greensburg, PA today, almost clear on the other side of the state. 

I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on all this stuff. Including motorcycles and the people here. AGH SO MUCH TO SAY MORE SOON…