Thursday, May 31, 2018

A tumultuous day......

I woke up this morning with a clear plan in mind. After being home from Maggie Valley for nine days, golfing several times, riding the bike and taking care of business, we would load the bike in the trailer tomorrow. We would then leave Saturday morning for the VROC Wolfman's Wandering Rally in Williams, Arizona followed by High Sierra VROC Redux in Topaz Lake, Nevada. On the way back, we would check out Beartooth Pass in Montana and spend a couple of days in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Sherm texted me early. He suggested that this run and Eureka Springs in the fall might be the last times he brought a bike on a road trip. We gather for the people and, while the bikes are nice, dragging them around can be a pain in the butt. As the conversation progressed, we decided that we both would both probably leave the bikes at home in September. Finally, looking at the upcoming 6,000 mile trip, considering the difference between 14 MP(US)G towing the trailer versus 25 MPG without, and further allowing for the falling Canadian dollar and rising fuel prices, I suggested that we not tow this trip, either. And that was it. No motorcycle towing. That was quick.

A few weeks ago, we towed the bike 2,000 miles to Maggie Valley, North Carolina and back. While we were there, we rode the bike a total of 75 miles. Some friends didn't bring their bikes at all and had a great time. I decided we can enjoy this trip, the scenery and especially the friends as four-wheel tourists. This may be the end of one era, but it may just as well be the beginning of a new one.

All was going well as I was planning to announce the change in plans to our friends when Washington announced that it would be implementing a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and Europe. This was, in my opinion, an outrage. It was a bully tactic to try to get us to agree to some outrageous terms in the NAFTA negotiations. But I was concerned that the USA would pull a stunt like this and then I would go south and spend several thousand dollars to benefit their economy.

I talked to Sandy and seriously considered cancelling the whole trip as a matter of principle. That is one of my quirks. I will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to make a symbolic statement, even when no one cares but me and it causes me great hardship. Cancelling would cause SSandyand I significant grief because we have been looking forward to this trip ever since last September.

I turned to Facebook and explained my dilemma to our friends. Some understood why I saw this as a problem. Others basically said that we should look after our own interests and not bother with the principle. The ones that resonated most were those who pointed out that we aren't getting any younger, friends are the most important thing and there will be other ways to take arms in the trade war. Decided. We will be leaving Saturday morning in the car without the bike.

Saturday night - Auburn, Indiana
Sunday night - Springfield, Missouri
Monday night - Amarillo, Texas
Tuesday night - Holbrook, Arizona

We will arrive at the Wolfman's Wandering rally in Willlams around midday Wednesday. After all the ups and downs, I am getting excited again.

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