Here I am again apologizing for being invisible! I hate when work gets in the way of living. Lately, my job has required traveling midweek and it amazes me just how much a mid week three day trip disrupts the entire week! I'm not just being dramatic. That's what's been happening and zapping my energy to do more than exist. Enough.
My last ride was approximately two weeks ago. The weather here has been moody, with some warm days (58F). But those days have been foggy and damp with pavement even tricky to walk on let alone ride a motorcycle. On such days, I've seriously been tempted to ride but my left brain prevailed. I did, however, venture out late one night. With temps in the mid 50s, at 8pm, I couldn't help myself. It was a short but oh, so sweet ride.
The streets were devoid of any significant traffic. As I passed by the most brilliant Michigan Avenue lights, I felt as if I were being given a massive B12 injection. Although a tad tired when I headed out, my spirits lifted as I pushed through the gentle head wind. I could feel new energy course through me and fill up my drained and depleted self. You've seen those commercials where the wilted sunflower is all bent and dropped and when given water and placed in direct sunlight, it literally unfolds and is rekindled. That's how I felt by the time I returned home.
Now, I accept that the riding season has come to an end, at least for me. I thought of prolonging it by investing in winter gear. Until March of 2008, my work demands are not going to improve much and riding one day a week--if I'm lucky--is not going to be enough to keep Queenie running well throughout the winter. I'd rather put her away, end the denial and find a satisfying winter activity.
Checked my files and discovered several unposted trip reports and miscellaneous entries that may never see the light of day. Oh well, I vow to do better. I've been thinking of what to do with this space over the winter and I think I've figured it out. So, stay tuned to some new Sojourner Tales...
In wrapping up the season, I did not reach the 10,000 miles I had hoped for. Had I completed the SaddleSore, (SS) there is little doubt that I would have closed the season with over 10,000. Thus far, it looks like I logged closer to 9,000. The SS would have been around 1,050 or so miles...Oh well... I realize that it's not the goal that's the real fun part, it's planning the rides that in the end becomes the real important part.I'm ending the season also re-evaluating my motorcycle needs for next season. Still drooling over the BMW F800ST but right now, the urgency I felt earlier in the season has settled. If I get the bike next season GREAT; if I don't, I've got a great bike now that needs a heap of riding still.
FUN NEW TRAVEL TOY
I must share this news (a more detailed review is forthcoming). I've been looking for a great travel digital camera, something small, one that would eliminate the need to take multiple lenses, which my Nikon N80 and Olympus OM-1 both require. I wanted a camera that would transcend my compact digital Casio Exilim Z750, 7.2 megapixel--a great camera that I love-- but getting to its manual features requires digging deep inside multiple screens. I started eyeing the bigger DSLR, like the Olympus Evolt-510 and the Nikon D80. Yet, I didn't want the heft and bulk or dealing with multiple lenses on the road. I want easily accessibly full manual control features in a small package. Well, after long and considered research, I've found this little baby: The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18K. I adore this little thing. It sports a 18X optical zoom aspherical 28 to 504mm lens (35mm equivalent). This "ultra zoom" has a Leica lens that is sharp as a tack! All the pictures posted here are with the new camera--I'm still learning its features so the mediocre work is my fault alone. Again, review forthcoming.
THE NEW YEAR PROJECT
January 1, 2008 I will official start the Bessie Stringfield project. I have a file folder of materials on her that need fleshing out. In case you don't know...she's the African American woman who served in WWII as a military dispatch rider for the army. Not much is written about Bessie and I hope to change that. I have a trip planned to Miami in the winter to interview some folks who may have known Stringfield.
Finally, I'm dusting off some reviews I've either never finished or simply never got around to posting on gear, books, and websites. Doing so should keep me busy over the winter.
A NOD AT 2008 TRIPS
Planning for next season's big trips has commenced! Novi Scotia still #1 on the list with a trip around one of the Great Lakes and return detour jaunt to southern Vermont.