Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gold Through the Rockies

Living in a big city, kind of makes you move along at the same pace as everyone else. It is easy to forget to take time to slow down and do things for yourself. The perfect cure for that is a trip through the majestic Colorado Mountains.

Most of you that know me realize that if you were traveling in my car you would most likely be listening to R&B or Hip Hop. The more "gangsta" the music is, the better. I like to cruise to new stars like 50 cent, Eminem or jam out to classic gangsta rap like NWA, Ice T, or Public Enemy. If you wanted to go out of the gangsta genre, then we could listen to more soft-core artists like Sir Mix a Lot or Vanilla Ice. As long as it's rap, I'll go along with it. Seriously, those of you in the know realize how I roll.

However, when I get on my 20th anniversary, 1995, candy apple red, Honda Goldwing that all changes. There is something about hopping on my motorcycle and taking off across the desert that brings me back to my rural Iowa redneck roots. Without thinking, I find myself tuning into the country radio stations. I guess it is the freedom of the open road that makes me want to slow down and take things a little more slowly and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smell of the open road.

In fact, I would encourage each of you to start finding things to do outside of the city. Pick a destination out in the country or possibly a lake. Why not visit one of the national parks that dot the country in every corner of the nation. I promise it will help start to put things in perspective. So the next time you, your friends, or your family have some time why not head out to the mountains, the country, or lake and head out for a nice heart healthy hike? Or if you are fat like me and allergic to everything from bug bites to dust mites-- grap your epipen, lather up with Off, grab a lawn chair and watch somebody else go for a hike. At least you will be outside and away from the city.

I owe my love of motorcycling to my parents. They had a Goldwing when I was growing up and I remember them going on little weekend trips. When I was 14 my father and I took off across Nebraska and into Missouri. He was on his Goldwing and I was following along with a learner's permit driving my Honda 400 CMT. I think my parents were pleasantly surprised, if not proud, when I began riding again. I think they enjoy hearing of my adventures and thinking about me heading down some of the same roads they may have traveled so many years ago.

I recently spent a few days touring part of the Rocky Mountains on my cycle. And as I listened to country music while driving down the Million Dollar Highway, it seemed like the lyrics were speaking directly to me.

One song in particular jumped out at me. The song was sung by Tim McGraw and is titled "My Next 30 Years". A few years ago, that song might not have meant very much to me. But at 34, I've started to realize that life isn't forever. The song made so much sense to me. I felt like some of the lyrics could have been written for me, or about me.

For instance, Tim sings, "My next thirty years will be the best years of my life, Raise a little family and hang out with my wife, Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear, Make up for lost time here ,In my next thirty years". As many of you know, I got married on my 30th birthday. So you can see the importance of those lyrics to me. Then on my 33rd birthday we found out that my wife was pregnant. Another memorable birthday for sure. Those lyrics really hit home and made sense to me.

The song also says, "Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight, Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late, Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers, Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years". I could certainly get behind this advice. My vegetarian wife would like to see me eat a few more salads and maybe get rid of some of this non vegetarian belly. As an insomniac, I SHOULD get some more sleep. But I especially feel like this last line would fit especially well for me, "Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers". I think I can really get behind this. Of course, it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that I'm going to substitute Countrytime Lemonade with Mike's Hard Lemonade.

After all, I am my father's son. That's the view as I see it.


Osbeck said...

Enjoy those thirtysomethings. As I moved into the fiftysomethings this year, we are now looking at RV's to experience the great wonders of the countryside in "an easier on the bones" method.
We look forward to spending our vacations on the rode again.

Michele said...

Greg, I can not ever see me on a bike, but I would love to jump from a plane.
What does your "gang" call themselves?