I need to start the same way I’ve started almost all my conversations this week…I’m okay.
Promptings and guardian angels play a huge role in my life. It’s interesting that my first blog of this journey was about a prayer, it was written on a plaque with guardian angels surrounding it and hung near my bed my entire childhood.
On Friday June 21 I awoke super early and took some sunrise pictures over Indian Lake in MI…I went back to sleep for a few hours…packed my gear and got rolling.
Highway 2 was fast paced that morning with consistent traffic and it seemed like forever before I found a place to stop and eat at. I enjoyed a nice conversation with other people eating at the locally run diner, checked my equipment and got back on the road.
I struggled with being tired and pulled off a number of times before hitting the corner changing highways. I met Rick…riding a brand new BMW bike. He was a former math teacher and summer house painter, he still paints. He was meeting his boys who were coming from various directions and they were headed East in the UP.
I again checked my gear, got on the bike and took off for the last leg of the day. About an hour into the ride I actually thought ‘I really wish I would have given Eric the title to the bike…”I don’t think it’s coming back to NY with me.” And “Wow…I really feel great right now…I’m cruising at 65mph with no problem and the weather is fantastic.” I wasn’t thinking that the bike would be destroyed…I think I was hoping that I would find a Bergman 650 on route.
Then I saw lights flashing behind me an a car with arms waving out of both sides passing me yelling “Get over… you’re on FIRE!”
I pulled over, parked, took out the keys, got off, looked at the bike, saw that the muffler and the gear above it (which looked like it had just started on fire) was indeed in flames. I opened the trunk, threw the extra fuel can as far as I could and proceeded to empty the trunk quickly. All the while they were yelling “Get away from it…it could blow!”
I eventually did as I watched my bike and camping gear melt into a puddle of molton black gook.
A police officer appeared and offered a place to sit if I needed, a guy in a mechanic truck pulled over and tried to get his extinguisher to work…not sure he did (guess he now knows it needs to be replaced) and another man showed up in his personal truck from the fire department. Eventually a fire truck came, used their equipment and the frame of the bike remained.
It was definitely not the tank I was on my way to replace on Monday…the quarter tank of gas flowed out onto the road when the flatbed tipped it over as it pulled it onto the truck.
The police officer (Zach) told me not to obsess over trying to figure it out since I’ll never know. The road angels said they saw black smoke coming from the muffler. “It could have simply over heated and a wire could have sparked.” I tried to lighten my own mood by saying “well you probably don’t see this very often” to which I was surprised to hear… “every week… between trucks, cars, motorcycles and ATVs our fire department wouldn’t have anything to do if they didn’t burn up.”
When he asked if I knew anyone up there it only took me a few minutes to remember a friend who had commented just that morning about the lake picture that I was in her back yard. I then remembered that her parents lived in the next town. The police officer gave me a ride and I had enough time to take a shower and discover that every important piece of equipment for the wedding and my personal life had been packed into my Osprey Backpack that day instead of the side bags like every day prior to that.
A friend who was meeting me to camp for the weekend at the wedding location diverted his GPS to get me and I photographed the rehearsal dinner as if nothing happened.
With only a few superficial burns on my hands and toes (the outside of the boots look fine but you can feel where the inside liner melted blistering my feet) I am fine.
I will ride again…but for now I’m in a car.
Enjoy the ride!