It was every bit an epic experience as I had expected it would be. We travelled through nearly 12 straight hours of rain on the return trip, we were hit by endless hundreds of bugs, Ray found himself remixing songs in his head to occupy the time of relative quiet inside his helmet, and I had a bat hit me in the face hard enough to bust my lip.
You start to tune out the drone of the bike after a while and then you are left with nothing but your thoughts and the whistle of the wind. It's hard not to wax philosophical about a trip of this length because after Hour 10 or so you transcend the mundanity of riding and start to stare off into the distance and ponder the countryside, the bike, the scenery, and the imminent demise of small town America. The trip becomes defined by a oneness with the road that you simply do not experience in a vehicle with doors and fenders. You identify with the country you are travelling through in a way that you cannot on the interstate highway system. The endless miles of cornfields tell you something about the way of life of the crop producers of America. The wind farms of Northern Indiana have a certain graceful beauty that gives you hope for the future at the same time as their bladed components intimidate with their sheer size. And the small town courthouse squares make you appreciate a style of living that we seldom experience anymore.
Was it hard to ride for that long? Yes. Was it tiring? Yes. Would we do it again? We sure would. We're already trying to decide where to go next.
We faced the open road, we stared down traffic, we survived Gary, Indiana, and we were still alert enough after the return ride to get in some moving immediately after we got home. Yes, we actually started moving my belongings to my new house before we even got to sleep.
Nobody ever said we were sane.