Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
The beginning of August brought an adventure unlike any other for me. Now that I’ve gotten better at packing, me and my carry-on bag hopped a plane to Denver where I met up with the Tall Texan and three other couples. From Denver we caravanned north into Wyoming then east into South Dakota. Once settled in to Spearfish, South Dakota, we spent the next 7 days exploring the Black Hills National Forest by motorcycle.
My experience with motorcycles is limited to the dirt bikes my brothers used to ride in the woods behind our house when we were growing up, and the street bike my dad bought while in the throes of his mid-life crisis. Neither experience found me ever actually driving one, but as the occasional passenger, I developed a healthy regard for their power and the necessary precautionary measures.
Donned in my helmet, boots, gloves and riding jacket, our first ride took us through the winding roads of Spearfish Canyon.
I was a little worried that things were going to look like this:
But… it was nothing short of exhilarating. Carving our way on the narrow road between the rocks and the trees, it’s such a profoundly different way to experience the beauty of the landscape. All of my senses were magnified. I felt every nuance of weather. Sunshine. Clouds. Moisture. Everything. As we dipped further into the canyon, I could feel that 2, 4 or 8 degree temperature drop, and it made me smile.
We saw tiny towns:
And majestic mountains:
And sacred spaces:
Our days started with crisp mornings:
And ended with chilly nights:
I got to feel like a biker chick:
And embrace my inner cowgirl:
Most surprisingly, I didn’t take a single food photo. Not even one. As a person with celiac whose food choices are at the core of my very being and therefore oft photographed, this is out of character. But the fresh air, the camaraderie, and the landscape nourished my soul and allowed me to lean in to the beauty of the trip. Two wheels will do that.