A 7700-Mile Harley Centennial Journey
Harley-Davidson turned 100 years old in 2003. They had a magnificent party to celebrate it. I couldn't resist. I had to ride there. I began planning for it - and saving my time off - in 2000.
Lindy planned too. She had no intention of riding pillion for 1500 miles, walking and standing for four days, then riding 1500 miles back. She would take her car and follow me.
And then the trip expanded. Could we really go to Milwaukee and not visit any family? Well we could, but we'd've never heard the end of it, if only in the deafening silence of people not talking to us. So we replanned the trip as an enormous lasso-loop that touched down nearly everywhere we had family. Whoa! That made it a 7700-mile trip that would take five weeks!
The journey naturally divides itself into the trip to Milwaukee, the Celebration and Party (four parts) in Milwaukee, and the trip home. At least it does for narrative purposes.
We left Los Angeles 13 August 2003, and returned 17 September 2003. In those 36 days, I rode 7695 miles on my Harley-Davidson NightTrain, but Lindy drove 8500 miles in her 1985 Honda CRX - a wonderful little car that demonstrated many times over why she loves it. The discrepancy in our mileages occurred because we forgot our tickets to the Milwaukee events, and Lindy was kind enough to drive back to L.A. from Berkeley, then catch up with me in Portland.
Why so many miles? We extended our trip to include visits with the younger of my brothers, the older of my sons, and my daughter on our way to Milwaukee, and visits with Lindy's sisters and brother-in-law, with my parents and the older of my brothers, with my sister and her family, with my declared cousin, and with the younger of my sons on the way home. Oh! And we threw in the Grand Canyon as a bonus.
It was a wonderful trip! It was a grand trip! It was a trip not everyone would make, although a quarter-million of us Harley riders visited Milwaukee and had a magnificent time there. I hope you enjoy it with us.