Thursday, July 05, 2007


I've just concluded a 3200 mile motorcycle trip with my brother-in-law. It was only the two of us and our love for touring the country on our Iron Horses. I'm reminded of a tee-shirt whose caption read "If you have to ask why, you wouldn't understand if I told you." Truer words could not be spoken.

But my thoughts on this magnificent trip are many and varied. If you're interested in such personal stuff read on. If not, now is the time to click off and focus in on another blog somewhere. You would be subject to abject boredom and life is too short for that wouldn't you agree?

The trip was made in incredibly beautiful territory. We toured the Blue Ridge Parkway from the southern entrance at Cherokee North Carolina to the northern entrance near Waynesboro Virginia a total of 469.1 miles. Add to that the Skyline Ridge beginning at Waynesboro and ending at Royal Front Virginia some 200 miles long and you have nearly 700 miles of Parkway riding. The pictures that I hope to eventually post will give some sense of what it was about.

The weather was excellent including the two hour downpour [you gotta understand riding] we rode through going into Washington DC to rest a day or so at the home of friends. Rest we did and ate and slept. A welcome respite it was for two guys who, by this time, were genuine members of the IB Club. [Iron Butt Club] Those before mentioned pictures will testify to the sheer delight in being so close to the handiwork of a Great God who is so personal His presense was enjoyed and praised every step of the way. It really is true that the heavens declare, as does every other part of creation, His Glory.

One of the amazing things that I'm reminded of each trip my brother-in-law and I take is how two people so different can enjoy a trip where we are genuinely forced to practice "close communion." We are different. Really different. I am spontaneous. I am lacking in respect for details. I am an act first and think later kind of guy. I am a push forward to settle a difficult situation like being in the wrong lane to make a needed right turn. My answer to the problem is to gun it and get in front of the guy who is in the lane to my right [who hasn't a clue as to my need or intentions] and make my needed right turn...on time and with my way of thinking. Sounds reasonable to me. I stop for gas, punch the "no" to the impending receipt for the purchase, and I'm good to go, gassed, and gone within... say....three minutes of arriving at the pump. No use being slow about it all.

My brother-in-law is different. Really different. He is methodical. He is not one to pass up a single detail. He is a ponder first and choose an appropriate action kind of guy. He is a pull back to settle a difficult situation like being in a wrong lane to make a needed right turn. His answer to the problem is to fall back behind the guy who is in the lane to his right [who hasn't a clue as to his need or intentions] and make the needed right turn...on time and with his way of thinking. Sounds reasonable to him. He stops for gas, punches the "yes" to the impending receipt for the purchase, and he's good to go... after he writes down the amount of gas, mileage and money in a little book he carries just for that purpose. Then he's really good to go, gassed and gone within...say...ten minutes of arriving at the pump. No use not taking care of important details.

Well, it looks like we're two guys who would need to go our own way or at least get with our own kind for a trip of this nature to be enjoyable, productive, not to mention possible with two different personalities and patterns of behavior that are housed in the two of us. Friends..yes...but different. The proverbial pepper and salt, ice and fire, night and day and who is which is up for grabs within itself. It won't work for a trip like this. Will it? Well it did. For that matter, it has worked for seven years and multiple trips covering thousands of miles to Canada, Mexico, Southern California, over thirty states and thousands of miles and now the east coast as well.

How? How is it possible? Is there a secret? What's going on here? I believe, notwithstanding it being two brothers-in-law for crying out loud, it is possible. It can work and, in fact, has several times. What makes it work will be the subject of my further musings on the next post or two. You would expect a preacher of over fifty years of ministry to find something to say and teach from it all wouldn't you? Well, rather than discovering something new, it is that I've seen confirmed something I've been learning and been teaching about people in relationships for several years now. You won't be surprised to hear me make application of it all to other human relationships like marriage, parenting, church membership or even denominational leadership will you? Don't be. Relationship principles have a universal quality them for good reason. You'll see. Next time.

Suffice it to say now, Fred, [my brother-in-law] you and I high-fived it again didn't we. Next year maybe Glacier National Park...again....or somewhere else...maybe Alaska where we've never been...what do you say?



Kevin Bussey said...


That looks like fun. Unfortunately my family doesn't like to travel like I do.

Paul Burleson said...


It was. I guess I'm getting where being home is AS much fun as traveling, but I sure do love seeing/being new places/ people. A guy better like new places when you're a traveling preacher like I am hadn't he. :)