Today is the sixteenth day of my five month RV journey. This annual pilgrimage to cooler lands started in 1994 on a vintage Harley Davidson, switching to a new 1997 Goldwing for a venture into Canada. I cruised north to Calgary for the world famous Stampede Rodeo. Then on to Banff and Lake Louise where on the seventh day of July it snowed, as Texas sweltered in triple digits.
Long time friend Bob Watts and his partner, Phil Phillips, met me in Idaho City on the way back, at a local watering hole. The town of less than 400 (including cats and dogs) had six bars. It resembled a western movie set; plank sidewalks, dirt streets and rowdy characters.
Bob and Phil were mining gold in the nearby mountains. We stored my new motorcycle in the bar owner’s garage. Glad I did; Phil’s 4WD Jeep barely made it up the narrow gravel trail. We told stories by the campfire, losing the cap to a bottle of Makers Mark forced us to finish it off. Couldn’t let it spill, evaporate or a bear get a hold of it. We wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.
The next day, Bob and I shoveled aggregate from the creek bed into a slushier that separated gold from sand and gravel. At lunch, Phil measured our gold. I can’t remember the weight; it had a value of about $35 then. Bob gave me his share; which I kept as a memento of my gold mining experience.
I cherish the memories of my cycling days, a tent and sleeping bag strapped behind me, the wind in my face. It ended October 24, 1998, when a careless driver ran a stop sign. I watch with envy, when I see a motorcycle on the highway, and say a prayer for the rider, and wonder why they aren’t wearing a helmet.
With our home towed behind us, Daisy, Lulubelle and I enjoy traveling the open road, listening to Willie sing; “on the road again, seeing places we have never been, and places we may never see again.”