April 14, 2011


On February 16, the four of us crammed ourselves and our luggage into a small cab for the 21 mile ride to Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini Ezeiza (EZE).  We were fashionably early for our flights (we were scheduled to leave about four hours after Jean and Ross) so we sat down and had a late lunch.  After rehashing bits and pieces of our now ending adventure, we said our good-byes and wandered off in different directions for our flights to North America.

Our nine hour flight to Miami was uneventful; after clearing customs and immigration, we went to the shipping office to start the process of retrieving our bikes.  It only took about an hour to get all the paperwork done with customs and the shipping company and about two hours to unpack the bikes, hook up the batteries, and reload the saddlebags.   Off we went to visit a friend for a few days in Jupiter, noting how “easy” it was to navigate and ride in the moderate expressway traffic.  I guess all those miles in Central and South  America prepared us well!

We spent the next three weeks visiting friends and family in Florida as we slowly worked our way north enjoying the warm temperatures and watching for a “weather window” that would allow us to ride the bikes all the way back to Wisconsin.  We were able to witness the last launch of the space shuttle Discovery on February 24th; an impressive sight!  Don’t ask about the crush of traffic getting to and away from Titusville--yuk.  We met up with Jean and Ross in Jacksonville, FL, at the Iron Butt Association Daytona Dinner.  It was fun to see them again, and we spent several hours yakking about our time in South America.  Bob Higdon, a well known moto journalist and million mile BMW rider, saw us at breakfast and wondered how it was that we were still talking to each other after our several month journey together.  I guess it was a statement that indicates the friendship that we have with Jean and Ross that Jean wrote about in her last post.

We left the Jacksonville area on March 12th  and headed north for home.  We waited out a twelve hour rain in Birmingham, AL, after visiting the incredible Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.  New rear tires in Nashville, TN, allowed us to stop worrying about running down the interstate at 70 mph.

We pulled into our  moto driveway mid-afternoon on March 17, riding between the snow banks to the garage.  Home safe and sound with a little over 18000 miles on the bikes since we left on October 3rd, 2010.  We gave each other a long hug and then unpacked the bikes, started sorting through 5 ½ months of mail, and started to settle into the routine of living in our own home.  The cats came back a few days later, just before we were buried under 18” of snow!!  As I write this, RuthAnn is in New York retrieving Francis, our beloved Corgi.  In a couple of weeks I will ride RuthAnn’s bike to Erie, PA, to deliver it to its new owner (one of RA’s former students and new rider) and catch a ride home in the Volvo. 

I’ll be publishing a “looking back” post in the near future before the warm weather and riding season get into full swing.

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