Does anyone remember...

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Re: Does anyone remember...

Post by JestUs » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:15 pm


I used to work for a medical oxygen company as a “Service Coordinator”. That’s just a fancy name for Delivery Guy, though I did contact all my patients and get orders every week for their particular O2 needs, that’s where the “Coordinator” part comes in. I had 130 patients in four counties.

One of my patients was in his 90’s and wanted his daughter to drive him to Alaska in an RV. Not impossible, but certainly would take some planning. I do not know what ever happened with his plans. Whereas, my plans were interrupted by cancer surgery and, three months later, three herniated discs which took me out of my job. (I decided to retire as I was nearing the end of my convalescence.) Lots of life’s plans changed after that.

That’s when I bought the Ural. My wife wasn’t able to ride pillion after the 2013 motorcycle accident that broke her femur. But she and the dog have since enjoyed local camping trips with the Ural. Each was a fine adventure without need of pushing the envelope to adversity. We even rode the shore road to Hoodsport and well beyond.

I have dreamed of some big adventure or another all of my life, and I have thought, “how would that be possible?” The money involved, the time, the effort. But if you look into the background of these “adventurers” you would find that everyone has a backstory. Many are simply young and seeking their path. Some are privileged and have few obligations. Many are wealthy or come from wealth. Others have been “adventurers” or “soldiers of fortune” for their entire lives. A person may have a unique skill or profession which enables them to travel and work in “exotic” locations (I think of Doctors Without Borders). Someone else might have writing skills that allow them to share their adventures with others not so enabled (Paul Theroux for example).

These adventurer’s are extraordinary people. They may not think so, as many live mostly ordinary lives and are quite humble. But they are blessed with something, a “gift” that sets them apart from the general masses. They are all embodied with the lure of wanderlust that millions of humans have, but they have a gift that enables that wanderlust to germinate and grow. The gift may be opportunity, wealth, special skills or a daring nature. And the timing has to be right, as well.

Most of the adventures of which we read did not occur all at once. Some were absolute, out of their control circumstances, like lost in the woods, or at sea, or in the midst of conflict such as war or natural disaster. Most ‘round the world adventures were done piecemeal, a section at a time, often many years apart with great sacrifices in the interim. Many sacrificed family life or a career to follow their dream.

I have a friend who has kayaked around Great Britain, Iceland and New Zealand and rowed the North Atlantic. He didn’t do it all at once. Indeed, very few of these adventurers can do that. He also can write well, and has written several books and lectured extensively about his endeavors. What does he do in his non-adventure time? He works his butt off as a carpenter. But what about his backstory. Was he just a carpenter, that one day decided to take on these adventures? I tend to think he was born with a gene few are born with, an extraordinary gene.

Ever seen the movie, “Men of Honor”. It’s a story of a remarkable man, Carl Brashear. He is an example of EXTRA-extraordinary. He was extraordinary in that he was a Navy hard hat diver. Kinda like a working man’s version of a Navy Seal. Just to go through the training is beyond most human’s ability, never mind the route to get there or the EXTRA circumstances of Mr. Brashear’s experience.

I have the privilege of knowing two hard hat divers. Very humble guys, leading seemingly ordinary lives. Both work as carpenters, both are what I call quiet Renaissance men. One of them is the kayaker I described above.

The rest of us marvel at their expertise, their opportunities, their adventures. But EVERYBODY is different. And I believe we are all given what we can handle and our job is to learn from that life. We don’t all have the extraordinary gene, but we all have the ability to see the joy and the “adventure” in our daily lives. There’s no time like the present, to stop and smell the roses.

When I was younger and serving in the Coast Guard, I owned an R90/6 BMW. And my “adventure”, besides my duties in the CG, was to regularly take a ride (often at high speed) down along the snake-like western shore of Hood Canal to the village of Hoodsport. There was a cafe there at the time with strong coffee and good apple pie, a good repast for the turnaround point.

Adventure is what you make it. And pushing it past that point becomes adversity.

Kliff, you might try a short day adventure. It would be within your reach and it would put a huge smile on your face.

A few months after getting my Ural, in 2016, a friend (on his DR650] and I ventured out to explore an overgrown logging road in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. I have a cT, so it is only one wheel drive. We had a hoot of a day. Gravel roads. Overgrown two track covered by salal. Gorgeous vistas and cliff edge trails. We were finally blocked by a small, car-sized stump that had tumbled down a hillside. On the return leg, I delighted in drifting the rig around corners until a reverse camber, right hander got the better of my front tire and I rolled the rig in a ditch. What a hoot!

Mr. DR650 promptly responded to my helmet intercom request. I was lying on my back holding the upside-down Ural off me with an extended leg, my foot bracing on the seat. My buddy righted the rig. Not a drop of fuel had spilled though some oil dribbled from a breather hole. Bent handlebars, misaligned fork, bent fender (brute force fixed that a few days later) and some minor scrapes on the underbody. It took us over half an hour to dig it out with the Ural tire irons and to build a ramp for the sidecar wheel, before I could drive it out in reverse.

AND THEN... we went for PIE and COFFEE at the Blackberry Cafe before driving the remaining 20 miles home. it was two days before I realized my right wrist was broken. What a hoot! All in a day trip 35 miles from home! If that had happened a few hundred miles from home it would have crossed over the thin line to adversity.

And you want to go cross-country off pavement? Were you in the Navy? :lol:

You can have a helluva lot of adventure to test your mettle and satisfy your hunger, without driving to Seattle via dirt roads.

I understand the weight of your current health issues. The trick is to see just how much fun you CAN have without creating adversity. Off road riding is very taxing. Take it in small manageable bites that make for happy accomplishments!

Be of good cheer and do your best each day. Life is worth it!

Newest stablemate! 2015 Yamaha XT250. 326 miles, lotsa little dents and bent things, otherwise fine. Dropped a tooth on the front sprocket and added sticky trials tires. Just right for a single track steed under a 69 yr. old.
Old, 2002 Scorpa SY250 w/Long Ride option. "Yoga on a motorcycle" (J.R.)
2015 Ural cT. She's no longer a virgin.
2005 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
2006 (test bed :lol: ) Royal Enfield DIY mechanics course.
Prior: 3 BMW, 2 MG, 3 Yam, 1 Korean scooter and a Bultaco Frontera.

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Re: Does anyone remember...

Post by Kliff » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:48 pm

JestUs wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:15 pm

You can have a helluva lot of adventure to test your mettle and satisfy your hunger, without driving to Seattle via dirt roads.

I understand the weight of your current health issues. The trick is to see just how much fun you CAN have without creating adversity. Off road riding is very taxing. Take it in small manageable bites that make for happy accomplishments!

Be of good cheer and do your best each day. Life is worth it!

Sage advice, to be sure.
Many thanks for the reality check.
'20 Gear Up
'15 Gear Up
Pleasant memories:
'05 Gear Up
'04 Tourist
'12 Spyder
VW Trike (2)
2002 Suzuki DR600 w/ home made hack
4...KLR 650's
And about 30 additional, Harleys, Honda's, Kawasakis, Triumps, Nortons and Suzukis, spanning 53 years of riding...
Retired H-D Parts Manager
Martinez, GA

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