This is actually The End post, but it’s a post full of the good things (and the baddest of the bad things, which means the awesome things) that came about despite all the problems.
+ Dad and I had an excellent visit. It’s been a long time since we had a couple days for just the two of us to hang out together, and it was nice to get to talk about writing and monsters and traveling and his adventures in the army and as a truck driver and during his pilot training, etc.
+ After the brand new replacement start went out after approximately 130 miles, we had to do another rolling start. This time, instead of me pushing it with him driving, he backed his trike up to mine and pushed it that way, until the engine turned over and I popped the clutch. That sort of simple trick driving was AWESOME and made me feel like a complete badass. I want to do it again!
+ After one day of driving northwest, I can officially drive a manual transmission. More than that, I love it; the power of it, the control. I admitted that Dad was right, I really loved it, and he laughed and told me of course I did, I was a control freak, more control while driving is better.
+ On the final leg of the trip home, after the cavalry (one of my sisters and a friend) showed up to tow my trike back (after smoke started pouring out of the engine), I ended up riding as a passenger on Dad’s trike. This allowed me to lean back and watch some of the Perseids. There is nothing better than cool wind in your face and shooting stars overhead.
+ While we were still in Nebraska, I watched the stars from the back of the trike. The first night was cloudy, but the second clear, and it was such a small town, the sky stretched on forever, blue-black and filled with stars. I saw the Milky Way for the first time in ages. The stars stole my breath and I was reminded, again, of how much else is out there, worlds and galaxies and universes. This is why I have a constellation tattooed on my right leg, to remind me there is so much more than just this life.
+ I did manage to make small talk with a number of people, from a nice couple on a Harley who stopped to make sure we were okay when they saw the engine trouble to adorable servers at a pizza restaurant to lots of people interested in the trikes. So being more like my father on the trip, engaging with people, that goal is completed.
+ We made it home safely and today is Friday the 13th, typically a lucky day for me. I’m writing a lot and trying to relax and then I will figure out my next great adventure. Hopefully that one will go better.