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hope on two wheels

August 8, 2011

A week ago, as Jude and I were preparing to send her son Nathan back into the

wilds of urban California, we met a young couple from England.  Nick and Ivanka

are riding a 1150 cc BMW motorcycle about as far as possible in one direction. 

They started in northern Alaska and plan to go as far south in Argentina as they

can.  They’re chronicling their adventure by blog, which I’ve added to my blogroll. 

Please check it out.

They had come to our green and non-sceptered isle on a whim and asked our

neighbour Jerry if he knew of anywhere they could pitch a tent.  He knew that 

we are trying to develop part of our farm as a primitive campground, so he gave

us a call.  Ten minutes later the intrepid travelers ventured down our driveway.

They were tired, they’d had a trying day and it was getting dark, so we didn’t talk

long.  We agreed to get better acquainted the next day.  They set up camp and

prepared supper on the picnic table.  Then slept well, I trust.


In the morning we sat in the kitchen and, as Ivanka said in their blog, put “the

world to rights over a good cup of coffee.”  It was heartening to meet two people

willing to take such a monumental risk.  My son and I had taken a similar trip

with our dear friend Bill, and part of the exhilaration of touring by bike is the

inconsideration of others in larger vehicles.  Driving on the interstate through

Albuquerque with cars and trucks a few yards behind us was one of the most

terrifying times of my life.  Nick and Ivanka said people still do that.


It wasn’t easy putting the world to rights that morning.  The Tea Party, which

considers being uncompromising an admirable quality, was holding its breath

to get its way — and succeeding.  But talking to our new friends buoyed my hope.

To hear young folks from a distant land talk of world problems and solutions re-

minded me that we need individuals of all faiths, political parties, nationalities,

and ethnicities to right our global ship.  You know, compromising people.


It’s already been suggested by others.  Our planet could use a group dedicated to

countering the hysteria, venality and xenophobia that masquerades as acceptable

behaviour: an international coffee klatch.  It’ll require a massive table, but there

are multitudes of construction workers available.

  1. Charlotte Wales permalink
    August 8, 2011 1:52 pm

    Sign me up – – – oh, yeah, I’m ALREADY signed up! and hard at work every day to stop the crazies like the tea party, repugnicans, corporations, supreme court toadies, zealots pretending to be “religious”, etc. – it’s a hard job, but we can do it, working together worldwide!!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    August 9, 2011 7:13 am

    Checked out Nick and Ivanka’s blog. Says nice things about hospitality — Allen and Jude’s but also the entire community’s. To someone here near the head of the beast in DC — okay, the mouth of the beast — who wonders what would happen if I asked someone here if I could camp in their backyard for the night, just the two blogs together recounting the event does a lot to put the world to rights. I also wish for true patriots here as committed as the two I know who moved to Canada. Save a spot for me in the backyard.

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