View from the Back Seat
Sometimes it seems that a ten-day motorcycle trip is not long enough when you want to see and do everything on the way to wherever you are going. Our ultimate goal this year was two-fold: tour Upper Michigan and visit the Mackinac Island and take a ferry ride across Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of Harley Davidson Motorcycles! Since we haven’t been to Milwaukee, it was highly anticipated.
Although we had a slow start on the first day of our vacation, we arrived at our hotel in Waterloo, Iowa around 5:00 PM. It had been a very warm day, but the ride through the heart of corn country was beautiful. Rows of corn covered the countryside; the only change in scenery was the change in crops – soybeans!
Later that evening after everyone had unpacked and freshened up, we walked across the hotel’s parking lot to the Highway 63 Diner. Twenty eight people from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska who had ties with Topeka Harley Davidson ate dinner together and then celebrated the birthdays of two people on the trip. With the appropriate group sing of “Happy Birthday”, the honorees indulged in chocolate cake (with candles).
In the last twelve years, this year was the first time anyone had an accident on the Great American Adventure sponsored by Topeka Harley Davidson. Every motorcyclist shudders when they hear that word. Early Saturday morning, three couples from Topeka were on their motorcycles traveling on Interstate 70. Just east of Cameron, Missouri, the rear tire of one of the bikes had a blow out. The rider was able to pull the bike onto the shoulder of the highway. They had slowed down to 15 miles an hour when the bike flipped, tossing the riders into the ditch. Both were shaken up badly, bruised and scraped up a little, but the passenger (wife) broke two bones in her hand. The ambulance arrived an hour later and took them to a hospital in Liberty, Missouri where she had emergency surgery. The other couples stayed with them and then returned to Topeka later that evening.
We shared the news with the remaining twenty eight motorcyclists that evening. It was a solemn reminder that “There, but for the grace of God, go I” (John Bradford, 15th century martyr). Until next time, may God bless you and your family during this beautiful fall season. Vicky