The Weary Traveler

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Part One.  (WIP)
As the sun licked the tops of the mountains I set about to find the most comfortable log or rock I could, along the side of the road, to sit on.  It was still very early, but I had made it my mission to be on the road before sunrise each and every day. My father’s instructions still rung in my ears “find your path, but watch your back”!
He had been a trader, now many years ago, through this same country.  It was a different time then. The natives were more your friends than enemies, and your enemies were those who had come to steal the skins you had worked so hard to harvest. Times had changed things.  Now, the natives looked at you almost as an outsider and in truth, they were about the only ones still out roaming the countryside.
Quite a few settlers had fled back to the bigger cities; Baltimore, Philadelphia and the like.

My own family had pulled up stakes from along the banks of the Potomac River, where their family had been for almost 100 years and headed to the proposed safety of Fort Frederick on the Appalachian frontier. My father,so very old now, had really not wanted to go. He told everyone to leave him there, his fate would be the land he had claimed, the friends he had known and the ones he couldn’t leave behind.
The story had been told so many times of how the young couple had set out into the wilderness, alone with only a friendly Indian guide to help them. My father had been born the year Lord Baltimore had all his troubles in Maryland (1660).
From as early as I could remember, our guide now  I knew only as “Chico”.  It was many years later before I learned his full name, Checochinican. It was many more years before his whole story and that of his family would finally come to light. Chico had come down to Baltimore from up North.  As far as I knew no one asked him why, but he seemed a man of some importance and know he wanted to head west for awhile. There was a family down the street from us who had the same plans and it seemed we all might go together. The boys were still very young and Mrs. Evarts thought they might wait a few years until they were a bit more grown.  Chico and my father seemed annoyed but not terribly upset by this bit of news. It meant fewer horses and provisions to acquire, but they still wanted to leave in very early spring.

My father had shopped around for maps and come across one from a Mr. George Alsop, but it really wasn’t very good, as far as I could tell. Then a man had come to the house on day saying he knew my father was looking for a map of the west, he had one that might be of interest to him. It was a much better map, the paper seemed a bit worn and the bearer a little more desperate than you might have hoped to sell it.  Still my father was able to acquire what he though an excellent map by Francis Lamb for a very good price. In my mind, my mother was never very comfortable with the idea of why the map had been such a bargain, but to her dying day, she never said a word, that I knew of)
Now with map in hand all my father had to do was wait out the end of winter. It had seemed, at least to me, the winters weren’t as cold as they had been. But at the tender age of 5 I can’t really say I remember much. I do know my father had heard from the Scot’s who would pass through that their times at home were getting tough. More and more seemed headed to these shores, especially south of where we were now. Everyday we tied another bundle, bagged more salted meat or I sat by the fire with Nana spinning yarn till the cat was dizzy.
Near the middle of March activity around the house seemed to pick up. Everyday someone new would stop by and with all our provisions I though we would need a dozen wagons to haul everything with us.

I woke early one Saturday morning and when I got downstairs the house was empty. Fear gripped me for a moment as I wondered aloud if they had all left without me. Quickly enough I heard my mothers footsteps in through the back door. The sensation of fear was shifted from solitude to exasperation as my mother grabbed me and a sack on corn in one fell swoop and swished us out the door into the morning sunshine. We were set unceremoniously with a plop in the back of a big, bulky wagon. My hair was soon tussled as I saw Chico and my father sitting on the bench, it seemed, just waiting for me.

This life’s adventure was about to begin.

Australian MX Nationals 2016

Here’s a “hats off” to our moto-friends down-under. Not only do they seem to realize the monetary importance of major motorsports, but they really seem to want to include everyone. It’s sad here in the US to see what has happened to the motorsport mindset over the past four decades. Seems we are much more focused on stick-and-ball anything than real sports. The “game” mentality is costing us millions of dollars, for what? We get to watch grown men and/or women chase a ball around for a couple hours, ohh, we are such a daring culture.
Some might be willing to draw a parallel between our sporting and societal culture’s. Fortunately, I didn’t have anywhere near enough education or schooling to attempt that. Although, I do believe common-sense would paint a pretty bleak picture of both.
Will it change? Yes, it might, but not in my lifetime. The daring generations of WWII and their children who survived it are moving on with their universal experience and leaving the rest of us to listen to mediocre; nee poor music, watch: reality TV, game shows and social media meme’s about how sad our lives are.
Seems great civilizations run in 250 year cycles, some say. Appears that history repeats itself thing is rearing its ugly head again.
Australian Motocross Nationals 2016

Bathurst 12 Hour 2016

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If you know, even a little bit about racing and motorsports the world over, then the name Bathurst conjures up images of perhaps one of the greatest race tracks in the world.

This weekend the annual 12 hour endurance event will take place around the Mount Panorama circuit.  There is so much legend and history there.  The 12 hour ran in the 90’s (1991-1994)  took a break and then began again in earnest in 2007.  I linked their website if you want to see stats and winners names, etc.  This is just a short intro into these events and why you should see them, if just one time in your life.

As an ex-racer, it is impossible to not be jealous of the competitor’s there this weekend, or at any event;  anywhere or anytime in the world!   That being said;  Bathurst and Mt. Panorama sit at the top of a very exclusive list, at least for me, of the world’s current premier race circuits.

In fairness there have been a lot of great racing circuits.  Sadly, some are no longer with us.  The focus here then should be about the current places you should add to your racing bucket list because they are just too awesome to miss.

I provide this in order of importance as I see it.  You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but see them just the same.

Next:  LeMans.  How can you not have this race and it’s rich heritage on your list?  For sheer magnitude and legacy this had to be included.

Truth be told, number one and two were easy!  The next races and facilities, well, not so much.

Number Three.  Nurburgring.  This iconic race track, the Nordshleife or “green hell” defines the very essence of road racing.  Much like the Mille Miglie or Carrera PanAmericana it’s not just a quick 3 mile lap.  At almost 21km or 13mi, for us non-metric folks, it is a challenge to race through the Eifel forrest each and ever circuit.

Number Four:  Spa.  Purist might say “Spa Francochamps”, but for most everyone, it’s just Spa.  They ran their first 24 hour race there in 1924.  In the Ardennes of Belgium it is one of the premier race circuits of the world.

Number One(again lol):  Bathurst (Mt. Panorama) I can think of quite a few reasons to go “down under”  this one is still the top of my list.  All you have to do is watch the 12hr or some V8 Supercar and you will understand why there is just not another race track like it anywhere.  Use caution, the youtube racing videos are addicting!

This list can go on and on.  I think for the sake of brevity, I’ll split it up a little.  But you can be sure on the list will be places like:  Daytona, Watkins Glen, Monaco, Sebring, Silverstone, Laguna Seca, and more.  So, stay-tuned, and happy racing!

 

 

 

Social Media for Adults :)

Now, I know, adult can be a very broad term.  I think I would like to limit it to those of us who have reached that level of maturity where we don’t really care what everyone or anyone else thinks.    It is so easy to get caught up in the river of rhetoric that flows through social media.  Seems everyone has an opinion.  Sometimes it is even difficult to tell the pudding from the propaganda, as they used to say.   It is the fate of our dearest friend , common sense, to sort things out.  But again, we find out there is really nothing common about that.    We are absolutely inundated with information.  I think it’s ok to be informed, but at what point do you say enough is enough?

I sometimes look back fondly on those days when the news came in the paper at the end of the day.  For world events, does it really matter to most of us whether we find out about something instantly or a day later?  I think not.  Granted for some disasters, time is of the essence;  here perhaps, we can be thankful for this instant gratification.  For so many other events….does it really matter to me?  In the scheme of things; for me, it does not.  Knowing about it and getting updated almost instantly is a waste of time,  when I should be doing something really productive.

The jokes abound about the  pictures of food, or cats, or sunsets that litter social media;  and in so many ways, they are just a little more than tongue in cheek.  However:  at this somewhat advanced age of 55,  I use Social Media to connect with those I would never see or possibly hear from again.  I have friends here now, that I knew 30+ years ago.  I see pictures of their families, their vacations, their lives….how would that happen without Social Media?  Maybe a postcard or a shared letter and pictures to a mother,  but I would never know.

I see the “younger” generations using it to share their thoughts and feelings about life, politics, sex, etc.  I admit to some jealousy that they have that luxury.  I know it is just a part of their life, let’s hope they use it wisely.  I wonder sometimes how we managed without a cell phone, or Google or social media growing up?  Then I remember;  we had friends and the library.  I think we did ok.  Could we have done better?  Maybe?  But then again; we walked on the moon, invented the cell phone, the search engine and the Hadron collider.

There are times during the day when I wish I was…younger.  I wish I could pick an age,   but when I think back, there were great memories across the board,  I feel I should continue making those memories now.  One of my favorite things about evolution is our and natures ability to change.

They used to say a rut is just a grave without ends.  If you ever raced motorcycles;  off-road, in the mud, you know all about ruts.  You have to be able to twist the throttle and know your innate talent, skills and abilities will carry you through any rut.  You just have to be willing to trust yourself enough to see where you are headed.

Social media is a tools for us to use.  We can either learn and live, or ignore and die.  For heaven sake, if you don’t know how to do it;   ask your daughter..you can be on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest,etc……in no time:)

A Place to Rest

River bank

The colors and the landscape call to me.

From a distance the forest is not so foreboding; I know I am painfully naive.

The rush of water to the shore, the leaves as they brush the ground,  all waiting for my footsteps.

It is the tranquility of this setting that makes you remember different times, different places, different faces.

The sounds, or is it the lack of sound, I can hear my every breath.

How can you not get caught-up in what you see?

It is a picture that repeats time and again, but do we see it now for the first time?

Or is it the images that flash through our minds that make this so special?

They say it’s never too late…so glad to have lived this.

Where will the tomorrow be?  Who knows?  Many guess, but none really know.

I know where it and I will be:  here,  remembering all the things I should

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Photographs by Susie Witt Will,  SEW Focused

Tommy Emmanuel It’s Never Too Late

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