When One Door Closes

I first noticed the feeling when we made it to Durango. It felt like I’d been playing catch-up all day: moving too slowly, hurrying too often, always bringing up the rear, everything seemed harder.

GaneshaAt dinner that night, after one-martini-too-many, I waxed melancholy about the prospect of being “left behind” when we could no longer keep up. I felt the door slowly inching shut.

In the morning, I was thrilled to see Ganesha painted on a dumpster in the alley beside the bikes. (he is the Hindu god of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles) I took it as a good sign.

We’ve looked forward to returning for the July 4th parade in Telluride  ever since our trip there in 2004. We expected it to be the same town; with just enough people for a good party and everyone in town participating in their parade.  In that eleven years, our “Mayberry” had turned into Disneyland! There were about 70,000 people there – literally everyone and their dog, and all of their cute kids.

We waited in a queue for the gondola into town for more than an hour.
Then waded through crowds to meet the guys at the Last Dollar Saloon.
Afterwards, we waited for almost 45 minutes for lunch, then waited for a table at which to eat.
We abandoned the idea of window-shopping and fell in line to wait in a blocks-long queue for the gondola back up the mountain. The clouds rolled in, dark and menacing. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped drastically. Just when the sky finally opened up, we miraculously hailed a van that took us home for a hefty fee.
Worth. Every. Dollar.

Antler RanchIn the morning we headed to gorgeous Antler Ranch, where our rooms were right on the Rio Grande.  Beautiful cabins, great beds, and an amazing dinner awaited us. We sat on the porch and relaxed as the river raced by. I could have used a few more days in that place. We saw that they have parking for RVs, so we asked about rates while checking out.

On our way home we chose an empty restaurant thinking we’d get breakfast quickly and stay ahead of the rain. We waited, impatiently, almost an hour for breakfast. Later, standing beside our bikes in the pouring rain, partially sheltered by an awning, we wondered if it would have been any different if we hadn’t waited that long for breakfast.

When it became obvious that the storm was parked over us, we decided to head back to a restaurant we’d passed earlier and wait out the rain. Turk and I lagged behind again, then catching a couple of lights, lost sight of the Doorsgroup. As we headed up the road in the downpour, unsure we were going the right way, we saw our friend coming back to find us. I appreciated the gesture so much that I began to cry.

We’ve talked about the trip a lot since returning home. The paced seemed harder than ever. I felt weighed-down the whole trip. We both had moments of feeling left behind, although our group had waited patiently and pulled us along.

Big love. Much appreciated.

They are planning bigger rides next year, but after much soul-searching we’ve decided to close that door. We’ve begun looking for a motor home, our next frontier.

When one door closes, a new one opens.
XO Donna





The Objective:  To organize and pack all of the clothes, shoes, and toiletries needed for a 6 night motorcycle trip that includes San Francisco, Carmel, Cambria, and Napa.

The Suitcase:  A 13″ x 20″ x 7″ saddlebag on a Honda Goldwing. Yes…just one for me.  And, it’s about 6″ bigger than this grocery bag.image

The Packing List: Since a picture is worth a thousand words, what you see below has got to fit in what you see above. Except the boots, I’m wearing them on the plane. Each time we do this, I try to be a little more Zen, a bit more ascetic. I get all “Martha Stewart” on my suitcase. But I know there’s always a tiny piece of real estate in a corner of the saddlebag, or top-box, that I can claim. (Full disclosure: We have a large suitcase to check that contains our riding jackets, rain-gear, my chaps and helmet, and his boots.)image

The Emotional Baggage:  My perfectionistic desire to pack the “right clothes” haunts me. I lie awake at night worried that I will forget something important. Or that I’m being too practical, too simple, and not feminine enough. Then I remind myself that we are going to be on motorcycles…not front row at New York Fashion Week. I also worry that I won’t get enough rest…it’s hard to keep up with this bunch!

The Mission: This ride is to celebrate a couple of Big Birthdays in our group. It’s spending time with 5 other couples who are good friends. Taking time to wine-and-dine, to ride amazing roads, and all enjoy a full-on sensory experience. We’ll be creating memories and great stories to laugh about and tell, and retell, later on.image

The Big Question Mark: Lots of people have asked me, “Don’t you worry about everyone getting along?” I’d have to say no, not really. Our “gang” has been together for 15 years. We’ve (almost) all taken turns playing the fool, but ultimately we know it’s important for us to support each other.

I’ve noticed that when something comes up, men handle it quickly – they call each other on it. Women have more trouble doing this. Our feelings get hurt. This is the only time I’d agree with Dr. Doolittle’s query, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”  Well, that, and when we’re out in the middle of nowhere and really need a restroom!

In less than 48 hours we will all be meeting-up in San Francisco. I have to get my packing zipped-up by tonight. If I didn’t know that I’d done this last year, I’d be really stressed out about it. But, I got this.

XO Donna

P.S. – No blog next week while I’m on the road.