Responsibilities are never-ending. If we continued to work until everything is done, we’d never have a chance to recharge our mental batteries. This is something I am intimately aware of. I spent 20 years working in an industry that zapped every ounce of energy I had throughout my 20’s. Today, I work just as hard or even harder as a small business owner, but I’ve learned how to take the moments I need to refresh my mind, body and spirit all at the same time.
If we don’t take time to socialize with people who give us energy, we’ll slowly wither and die unfulfilled. I am fortunate to have found my tribe and take as many opportunities as possible to gather with them and enjoy this beautiful life we’re all living. We get so caught up in all of the things we need to do that sometimes we forget to stop and look at the beauty that surrounds us. Yes, we all have to work to live, but when does working take over our life? In a blink of an eye, we’re too worn out to enjoy what we’ve worked so hard to get.
All summer I have struggled with getting back to the bench to do work after a very long 4 1/2 years of graduate school. Then, I’d feel guilty for not getting anything done and it would kill any drive or motivation I may have mustered overnight. I finally decided that enough was enough. I reached out to my motorcycle “big brothers” and we began planning our second motorcycle camping trip of the summer. This would most likely be the last trip of the summer, but we wanted to make it a good one!
The plan was to start the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee, NC, then camp each night at a new site until we reached the end of the Parkway in Virginia. The week before the trip, we all serviced and maintenanced our motorcycles, gathered our camping gear and made plans for stops along the route, what we would cook at the campsite and how we’d get to our next location in plenty of time to set up camp again.
With our gear packed, we met at our designated meet site and off we went. Day one was started and everything seemed to be going well until…. I felt a wobble, then a shimmie and CRAP! A flat rear tire. This was halfway to our scheduled destination and I felt awful that we were going to be delayed because of me. In true tribe fashion, my “brothers” said, “hey, at least you’re safe and nothing bad happened! We can find a place to camp, get the tire fixed and start fresh tomorrow” This is the best thing ever! No one was mad or upset that we didn’t make our planned destination and everyone still enjoyed the rest of the day.
We got a tow for my bike to a local motorcycle repair shop (by the way Knuckleheads in Rosman, NC, is the bomb!), I hopped on the back of another bike and off we went to find a campground. We found the perfect spot at the “Lazy J Campground” off of highway 215 just north of highway 64. I highly recommend this site to anyone camping. The price is more than reasonable, the amenities were great and the people were amazing.
Anyway, the days that followed were not on our original agenda, but I can say we found the best way to make this trip work. We were actually more concerned with enjoying the roads, seeing the forest and spending quality time with each other than we were about the exact destination. This, to me, is the best way to spend time. We laughed so much and had such a wonderful time that we’re going to try to squeeze in another trip before the weather gets too cold.
Every day we looked at the map, pointed to a road and started our motors and were off to find that spot. The ride to each was phenomenal and all I could think about was how beautiful this country is. There were even a few moments where I got tears in my eyes because of the beauty I was surrounded by and it just made me thankful to have such a wonderful bunch of people to share this time with.
NOTE: No chickens were harmed during this camping trip - we fed them plenty!
Here are a few more photos of the amazing places we saw during this trip. I can’t wait to go back and explore some more.
So… I had my fun-filled motorcycle trip with the best friends I could ask for, the most beautiful sights in nature and all the while I was recharging my mind, my body and most importantly my SOUL. I feel so much joy from this trip and I look forward to many more.
Work hard, but remember, playing with your friends and exploring like you did when you were 10 years old is just as important. You get back to your fun and all other things will follow. Get back to your childhood, tease your friends, enjoy the peace of nature and always go with the road. You will never be disappointed and when you have to return to work, your worries about the challenges ahead will be history!