My Dad / Uncle Chris thought it would be a good change of pace to hand the blog writing reigns over to Casey and I. He thinks he’s doing US a favor. However, after last night’s 2:00am comedy show, his whiskey hangover might be an underlying influence. NONETHELESS, we appreciate the opportunity to recap the ride, and provide some insight on an outsider’s perspective on how Chris and Cheryl are living day to day, stop to stop, ride to ride.
Day 43 (Day 2 for Us):
The first stress of motorhome living, is routine. Waking up in a hotel, eating a continental breakfast is a far cry from their ride routine. After launching from Big Rock RV Campground, getting back on the bike was a much-needed sense of normalcy. Saturday’s ride picked up right where Friday’s ride left off -- sun was shining, roads were smooth, and cornfields as far as the eyes could see. Little did we know, we we’re kicking off our 5 hours cultural endeavor through various Chicago suburbs. We got a full breath of Chicago, riding through affluent suburbs followed by poverty stricken South Side of Chicago. Fortunately, we had both bases covered with Casey and Chris in Red, and Kyle in Blue.
The long day of riding concluded at beautiful Purdue University Northwest – not to be confused with the Boilermakers main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana – the satellite campus in Hammond, Indiana. Nevertheless, we were glad to be done riding and back in the Ram 2500 Big Horn with Cheryl. With the ride complete, time to trade simple South Dakota living, for the bright city lights of the Chicago metropolis. Cheryl’s first time in Chicago, and Chris’ first return in 50 years. We were greeted by a classic Midwest cloudburst. A torrential downpour, flooding the streets causing for a healthy traffic delay. No raining on our parade as we sipped road beers and adored the skyscrapers. I could hear Chris and Cheryl from the back “Where’s the John Hancock? Whats the Sears tower called now? How big is the Michigan OCEAN?” Love it when the parents get liquored up! After dinner, drinks, and a late-night comedy show, all in all made for a great day! Wanting to keep the daily recap short, it’s time to take a peek under the hood. Pun intended; however, this wound is still fresh as the RV sits in the repair shop.
As much as we were looking forward to experiencing life in the motorhome, the audible in plans has put a unique strain on Chris and Cheryl and they are handling the challenging logistics wonderfully. No solutions are off the table. We’ve legitimately considered renting an RV or purchasing bootleg parts and fixing it ourselves in the parking lot. We knew the severity of the situation when we jokingly mentioned purchasing a new RV, and Chris googled directions to the nearest RV dealership. Above all else, the ride must go on.
We’ve gone from stressing routine, to stressing flexibility. This change in mindset is a testament to how they’ve handled this unfortunate situation with such grace.
As we sit in this bustling Chicago coffee shop reminiscing back to beers on April 20th when this whole adventure was merely a dream, this was not an opportunity we were going to let pass by. Now being here, in the thick of it, the time we’ve spent has far exceeded our expectations. Looking at what Chris and Cheryl have accomplished and have yet to overcome, we are filled with gratitude and pride. We are grateful to share the road, create memories, and help write a short chapter in their long adventure. We’re proud of how far they’ve come, their ability to overcome obstacles, and once again, being examples of model partners, parents, and humans.