I’m heading out for a week-long road trip on my motorcycle in the morning. I’m heading to just outside of Loveland, Colorado, to where I lived when I was 13 years old.
My dad owned and operated a restaurant on Highway 34 in Big Thompson Canyon called The Covered Wagon, and we lived in the house next door. I moved out here to California with my mom and siblings in June of 1976, so I wasn’t there for my dad’s birthday on July 31st, so he and his girlfriend went camping on his birthday. And on that night that we weren’t there, a huge flood ripped through the canyon and destroyed everything and killed everyone at the restaurant. I’ve written about it here and here.
This happened on my dad’s birthday, and his best friend Martin and Martin’s family were all killed. I think my dad blamed himself for that. I don’t think he ever forgave himself. I think he always thought it should have been him in that river. So now that he’s gone, we’re going to make it happen. We’re going to spread his ashes in the river where the restaurant was, and we’re doing it on his birthday, July 31. I think he’d like that.
I’m riding out there to meet my half-sisters Charlene and Christine and whoever else from my dad’s life in Colorado shows up. I’m the only one of his California family who’s coming, which is pretty much par for the course.
My original plan was to leave at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning (in about 4 hours, in other words), but instead I’m sitting here writing an entry. So I may be off to a late start, but I will be on the road at some point in the morning. The bike is packed and ready to go and I’m pretty much finished with my preparations and just need to sleep for a few hours.
My plans are specific yet fluid. I need to be in Loveland by Monday night. I need to be back here by next Sunday. In between I’m going to ride where it looks good and see the sights. Possible waypoints include Zion National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Four Corners Monument, and anything that looks interesting in between. I’m planning to do some camping if I feel hard core about it, and stay in motels if I don’t. I’ll be taking pictures and writing entries as I go, and if I’m in motels I’ll upload them. I’m aiming for St. George, UT tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes from there.
This is going to be good.