First of all, a tremendous “Hey!” to all of our followers and a hearty “Welcome to Adventure Trio!” for all of our newbie’s.  I promise you won’t be disappointed but just in case you are, you’re not reading it properly.   Try again but this time with an open mind and a promise to keep reading.  This site is meant to inform, entertain and get you off your bum and outta the house.  There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored by YOU.  All you have to do is put down the remote and take that first step.  But now, back to our story…

As has become our tradition, we picked Jack up from his last day of school with bikes loaded and ready to depart.  They do look a bit out of place in the teacher parking lot, but isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Don’t blend; shake with conviction.  And as usual, we had a crowd of people completely flabbergasted, mouths agape (honestly), as they pondered the idea of riding a motorcycle from Davis, California, all the way to Chicago, Illinois.  I mean, truly shocked.  Awesome.  (A huge “Thank you” to Valerie for taking our departing pictures and Jack’s backpack!)   As Jack suited up, he was approached by many of his friends and even more acquaintances asking where he was going, was he really riding a motorcycle, the list goes on.  He was proud, very proud…so are we.  On the bikes we hopped and away we rode.  Our first night’s destination – Reno!  Yes, Circus, Circus beckoned for a night of games, toys and celebrating the end of 3rd grade.  Hey, you have to celebrate these milestones in style, right?  The kid had a ball!  And what did he want to do the most?  Video games with mom and dad!  I mean, he has the whole circus floor to himself, but he’d rather be entertained with Air Hockey and driving games.  And speaking of Air Hockey, I CRUSHED Terry 5 games in a row.  Sorry, honey, but I had to share.

So, who out there has actually stayed at a Circus, Circus?  I mean, seriously, even Buddy the Elf would’ve been on “purpley” overload in this room!  I wanted gaudy and I got Barney.  Nice.  Perfect.  Jack dug the view (top floor) and we dug watching him and spending time together.  And did I mention that I won $20 within 2 minutes at the slot machine?  I really don’t like to gamble.  If I’m going to spend/lose money, I want a receipt.  But, when in Rome, I make $20 my max to lose.  I giggled with glee knowing that I just covered gas money for the next day.

One very good night’s sleep later and we were earnestly checking for updates on our third night’s destination, Park City, Utah.  What do you MEAN it’s supposed to rain, thunder and snow?!?  Is it not June?  Does Mother Nature have a hangover?  Yikes, dude!  With the third day destination on shaky ground, we continued on our original day two plan of heading east on Highway 50, The Loneliest Highway.  Loneliest my big ol’ white butt!  Motorhomes, motorcycles, tractor trailers, you name it, and all were heading west, except for us.  And once we were east of Fallon, the wind gusts began.  I hate the wind.  I loathe the wind.  Not a fan.  We literally rode sideways across Nevada.  No joke!  I’d see Terry get hit with a gust sending him 3 feet to the right and not a split second later I, too, was feeling the pain.  Every bike we passed had the same tilted look as they rode on by, still waving, but holding on, awaiting the next blast.  We did stop at “The Shoe Tree” for a bite and a stretch.  The Shoe Tree, you say quizzically?  Why, yes!  It literally is a large tree COVERED in layers of old shoes.  Years worth of foot fungus tossed high above, some even scattered along the ground below when their laces could no longer hold the weight.  It was stellar!  And man, there were some nice shoes up there!  Had I remembered to bring them, I would’ve added Jack’s old moto boots into the mix.  Ah, hindsight.  We did meet some pretty cool gents from Utah who were making their way to the Tahoe area for several days of dirt and street riding.  Very nice ex-Air Force men yearning for dirt and speed.  Ride on, gentlemen!

From the tree, we still had at least another 3 hours to get to Ely, Nevada, to stop for the night.  But, the ride was not without a damp moment or two.  Seriously, is it not June?  What the hell!  When we rode through Austin (a very cool old mining town I highly recommend), we were hit not just with rain but snow!  SNOW!  And yes, I need to say it again…SNOW!  Alrighty then.  Is this going to be a trip that we cover ALL of nature’s elements?  Guess so!  But guess what, I’m ready for the challenge as are the rest of the Adventure Trio.  Jack, especially, was delighted with the snow.  A stop in Eureka and another 60 miles finally found us at a hotel in Ely.  And how perfect of a place can you get – indoor room entry, indoor pool and hot tub, a smattering of older slot machines (my favorite was the Enchanted Unicorn), bar, restaurant, we were covered!  Remember when you were a kid how much a pool at a hotel meant?  It was freedom, it was making friends, a tad bit o’ heaven.  We literally could see him in the pool from our door.  Hey, a shot of Jagger, a hot tub and an entertained child makes for a fabulous evening.  But, what could make it even better?  How about winning $90 dollars within one minute of the first press of the spin button.  Yes, I really mean one minute!  Do you know how hard I was laughing when I cashed in and headed to the room?  All three of us were rolling with laughter.  In between trips to the pool, Jack kept himself busy writing in his journal about his adventure thus far.  I gotta tell ya, he’s really taken to chronicling events as of late.  Think how cool it will be for him to read his journal years down the road, reliving his experiences, hopefully with a desire to continue.

After another night of great sleep, we awoke to yet another rainstorm complete with gusty wind and freezing temps.  In the words of Ace Ventura, “Alrighty then.”  Not much we could do.  We packed our gear, covered the backpacks with plastic and added another layer onto Jack’s guitar, just in case.  We made sure to layer our own bodies, knowing that the day was going to hold pretty much all the elements that this planet has to offer.  There was no way around it and we needed to get east, hoping for Zion but knowing that we may have to stop in Cedar City, Utah.  The storm broke just as we were rolling out, around 10AM.  Jack was ready for anything the skies had to offer, and Terry and I were thankful that we had a kid ready to conquer the roads.  LOVE this kid!  There was a smattering of storms on either side of us just waiting to saturate all as we rolled down Highway 93, but we only saw rain from one of them.  There was NO WAY we were heading through Great Basin.  It was maybe 37 degrees out and the mountain wore a halo of black.  Not an ideal situation.  We continued to head south on 93.  It was a beautiful valley, mountain ranges on either side, the ground covered in bright yellow flowers and sage.  The smells were incredible!  It’s amazing how a fresh rain will bring out the scents of the high desert.  About 100 miles in, we decided to eat and explore a small town called Pioche.  Pioche?  Hell, yes!  We were only looking to stay about an hour (remember, we had to stay ahead of impending weather), but ended up staying almost three.  Why?  You want to talk about a town with history; Pioche fits the bill to a T.  We visited the museum, a place just FILLED with old mining gear, clothing, appliances, rocks and gems, everything!  They even boasted a black and white picture of a doctor amputating the leg of an indian that was injured in a mining accident.  Dude, no anesthesia and done right on the mountaintop.  Are you fucking kidding me?!?  The second picture taken included said amputated leg propped up against the table.  Wild, wild, wild.  I love small towns and their stories.  And speaking of stories, we were told that we needed to visit the old courthouse and jail.  Jack was all over it!  We hiked around the corner and met Jane, the courthouse museum’s historian and all around nice lady.  I told her that we heard about the jail we could walk into, and she immediately led us up the original stairway, past the DA’s office, through the courtroom set up with “dummies” as the jury and judge, and out the back door to the jail.  Oh, the stories this woman had!  It was all original, very dark and cold, and boasted a “drunk” loft for the guys to sleep it off.  Jane told us that at one time, Pioche was home to around 75 bars and 58 brothels.  Nice!  It was THEE mining spot in the late 1800’s.  This place was so wild there was at least one murder a day.  The Earp brother’s passed through thinking they were going to stay a while…they left the next day.  In its heyday, the town held around 10,000 people.  Now, it has maybe 1,000 full timers.  I’m telling you, this is the reason we’re on this trip – meeting people, visiting small towns and swapping stories.  Thanks, Jane, for a great tour.

Suiting up to leave Pioche, I noticed a not-so-friendly sky awaiting our arrival.  It was coming in from ALL sides with no escaping.  Fine.  Whatever.  We headed down the road about 15 miles and stopped for gas outside of a town whose name escapes me.  The road leading us east towards Utah was lined on both sides with storms, some of them offering a chance of thunder.  I took a few pictures, checked the rain-proofed items, and away we rolled towards the gates of hell.  We were 9 miles in when a bolt of lightening flashed over my right shoulder.  A scream came over the mic but was quickly drowned out by the clap of thunder that shook not only the ground but moved Terry’s bike a few feet left.  Terry immediately keyed up on the radio and asked, “So, do we turn around?”  I screamed back with, “Fuck no!  Put the hammer down and let’s get the fuck outta here!”  Turning back meant putting ourselves in the eye of 2 storms.  Moving forward at a high rate of speed meant putting it behind us, hoping now for Cedar City in a timely manner.  We had about 100 miles to go.  The rain finally stopped, but the barrage of storms continued to chase us east.  Fuck.  It took Terry about 1/2 hour to get Jack off the ledge.  Poor kid got spooked just as much as the rest of us.  What would happen if we hit another thunderstorm?  We pressed on, upping our speed when the pavement was dry, slowing 10-15 MPH when we hit rain.  I kept one eye north as a major, MAJOR storm cloud surrounded the mountain range.  It was doing its best to catch up with us.  We managed to stay ahead of it but did have to skirt around the eastern edge of it.  I was scared.  I’ve never felt so vulnerable in such an ominous situation.  Jack, thankfully, didn’t know any better, so I wasn’t worried about him.  (And for you you naysayers, we’d never put Jack in a situation that would threaten his safety or life.  Nuff said.)  The goal was Utah by 5PM; we had no choice.  We had about another 45 minutes and found ourselves heading straight into yet another dark cloud.  It surrounded the mountains and promised a damp ride.  Well, it was damp.  Too damp!  Water immediately started running into both boots.  My lined gloves were now rendered useless as was my riding suit.  The sound of hail against the helmet was not comforting, but at least there was no thunder and lightening.  Jack and Terry were dry and warm.  That’s all a momma could ask for at that moment.  We arrived safely in Cedar City by 5PM.  I, unfortunately, had water up to my ankles in both boots and a wicked case of the shivering shakes.  Poor Jack kept asking Terry, “Is momma going to get hypothermia?”  Almost, buddy, but the warm room and hot tub at the Holiday Inn Express helped keep me from going over the edge.  Time for laundry…ugh…

So there you have it, folks, a brief summary of our first 3 days on the road.  They were something now, weren’t they?  I know some (a lot?) of you are wondering why we do this, why we allow ourselves to go through such situations.  “Why not take the car?   You can still visit all the same places; you’ll be warm and dry!”  Because it’s just not the same!  So many of us go through life in comfort, never wanting to put ourselves in vulnerable situations.  These experiences are not only grand for Terry and I, but Jack is getting an experience that not many his age share.  He’s learning to push forward, never giving up.  He’s meeting people that would never have approached us if we were in a car.  Everyone does the car thing, but we’re an anomaly.  I like that.  Jack likes it, too.  If he didn’t want to go, he’d let us know, trust me.  We’d never force him into a situation he doesn’t want to experience.  This kid has such a bounce in his step every time we pull into a new place!   How can I NOT give him these memories?  Like Terry and I have said, we wished our families had done this for us when we were his age.

So, away we ride once again bound for Escalante, Utah.  I shall return later with more stories and anecdotes.  Till then, put down the remote, grab your family, and get out there!  There’s so much beauty to see, I promise.