Passing the Torch – Not Quite Yet

For years I have planned group travel, family trips, and solo excursions. This time all the planning was done by my son Spencer and what a magnificent job he did. We spent 7 days circling Lake Michigan, touching Lake Superior, and enjoying some really fun motorcycling roads through Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It was great to sit back and enjoy the trip while he put his plans into action. All I had to do was follow along. Does that mean I am ready to pass the planning “torch” to him? Not quite yet. I have a couple more already in the works.

Our final day turned into a 402 mile ride from Traverse City Michigan to our homes in central Indiana. We were both up early, packed, and rolling our motorcycles out of the parking lot by 7:02 AM. It was great to avoid the traffic in Traverse City – the biggest event of their calendar had started (the Cherry Festival). Once we made the left turn onto US-31 then US-131 we were in good shape. Just to be safe we made a gas stop before leaving civilization.

As usual, breakfast was at a local establishment – Moe Z Inn in Morley Michigan. The food was really good. The service was fantastic even if we had to sit at the bar (the place was packed). It turned out that Morley was 100 miles from Traverse City so I was good and hungry by the time we sat down to eat.

We hadn’t planned for many waypoints along the route so it was a matter of twisting the throttle and keeping it rolling. If you’ve followed this blog the last several days, you know that in 1999 Spencer and I made a similar trip in my 1941 Chevy street rod. As a surprise to me, Spencer located a site that we had visited on that trip – Rosie’s Diner in Rockford, Michigan. He went so far as to try to duplicate a picture we took on the trip some 22 years ago down to parking in the exact same spot we used. Unfortunately, Rosie’s has been closed for several years and we were unable to eat there.

After leaving Rosie’s it was just a matter of a couple of gas stops, a blast down US-131, a couple of jogs to get to US-33, and blasting down Interstate 69 the last 70 or so miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana to home. Interstate travel is not high on either of our lists but is a necessary evil sometimes.

My haul included additions to my hat pin collection and a few smashed pennies for the penny passport.

The biggest “haul” of the trip for me was precious time with my son. In this day and age, time with loved ones is the most valuable gift anyone can receive. I got to spend 7 uninterrupted days with Spencer. He showed that he is a very confident, capable motorcycle rider. We were able to share some feelings that we just don’t seem to get to talk about in our normal daily routines. Words can’t describe the incredible love and pride I have for my son. I’m just not ready to give up the trip planning torch quite yet. We’ll just say that the fire is burning bright in him for travel and I can’t imagine a better Keeper of the Flame.

Post trip observations:

Weather forecasts are mere guesses by some people with fancy equipment but without a crystal ball.

Iron grate bridges are worse than I remember.

Always check the event calendar in towns you plan on staying the night in.

A 4 hour ferry ride across Lake Michigan is 1000 times more enjoyable than driving anywhere near Chicago.

My son is the greatest trip planner and riding companion a father could ask for.

Thanks for reading and riding along. Spend time with your loved ones and look for some magic in your life – you may just find it.

2 thoughts on “Passing the Torch – Not Quite Yet

  1. Ron. The truly best gift as we get older is the gift of our family’s time. What a blessing you had with your son. Thanks for sharing it with us. Red.

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