Pair savor journey on Blue Ridge Parkway
“This is my daughter. We started in Staunton, Va., and we’re riding the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway — it’s our first father/daughter trip.”
I lost track of how many times my dad introduced me like this to fellow motorcyclists. Then, he invariably would add, “And she rode 500 miles her first day. She’d never been on the bike more than an hour.”
If only I’d known years ago that’s all it took to make my dad proud.
“Share the journey,” read my dad’s souvenir T-shirt. And that’s just what we did. We shared six days and the 469 miles of the splendor of the parkway, which winds through Virginia and North Carolina. We shared picnic meals on the side of the road wherever and whenever we felt like it. We shared tales of the adventures we’ve both experienced since I moved away from home, and my dad told me stories about his life I had never heard before.
Maybe it took the open road and silent wonder of the mist-cloaked mountains to make me listen.
I never anticipated how much I’d enjoy throwing my leather-clad leg across the big Honda Gold Wing 1800 touring bike each morning, looking forward to more roads curving through mountain and valley. I certainly didn’t expect that after the trip was over, I’d miss something like rising early to see my dad polishing the bike. In fact, I had wondered how I’d readjust to the role of daughter, and how my dad would respond to my insistence on making decisions.