Gypsy, tramp, nomad…

With a 2,300 mile ride coming up on Wednesday morning, I’m starting to get a little edgy to get on the road. To take my mind of the fact that the trip is still three days away, I’ve been prepping the bike. Nothing serious, of course, since I believe it to be well-maintained by yours truly:

  • cleaning and oiling the air filter;
  • draining the carb;
  • checking primary chain and drive belt tension;
  • taking a look at tires and tire pressure;
  • checking my route on a map.

How I love maps. Even if not going anywhere, I can pour over an atlas for hours at a time. In East Africa I had the only map of the area — a Michelin road map, believe it or not, that showed no actual roads, but only trails. To this very day my faith in their maps remains inviolate, particularly as their accuracy pertains to that part of the world.

Occasionally in a book store I’ll pull out the most recent version of that old Michelin map, open it up and discover that the old routes haven’t changed any. They’re still marked as trails, and trails they were, heading mostly north and south and plied by camel caravans and nomads on foot migrating from point to point depending on the season and passing by our campsite, stopping only for water.

I miss those old and still-familiar days as though they were only a yesterday away.

3 thoughts on “Gypsy, tramp, nomad…

  1. Thanks, darlin’. I’m headed east this year to D.C. and Virginia and coming back north through Canada. We’ll see how it goes. Currently there’s a big wind out in the Atlantic. I hope that wind doesn’t find its way ashore while I’m in the vicinity because it’ll sure put a damper on things.

    I’ll definitely get in touch if I’m down your way. Which reminds me, I owe you an email.

  2. Well sounds like you have a great ride ahead of you, you lucky lucky man. I get to maybe hit the road like that once every 4 years if I pick the right idiot…LOL If you happen to traverse thru Nebraska pop me a line, might meet up with ya for a coffee or a beer or whatever!!! Take care and drive safe Darlin’, watch for stupid cage drivers and enjoy the sights….I will be here…envying the heck outta you!!!~~Charlie~~

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