On our way to Bonnaroo and just left Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana. Traveling into Kentucky on some roads that had an eerie resemblance to some roads we were on twenty years ago. Driving down two-lane country roads that were barely wide enough for the RV, Suzy stated, “I’m feeling anxious.” Strange, because I also had an uneasy feeling about the road. Going by each corner I became obsessed with looking for the tobacco field on the south followed by the large barn and home on a hill above the road on the north side of the road. The way the trees shaded parts of the road bringing with it the sensation of a strobe light. Those flashes of light followed by near darkness of the shade began to feed images of the memories of nearly twenty years ago.
There was a definite reason why we both had an uneasy feeling about these roads, we were both waiting for something bad to occur around each corner. It was the first time we had been on the backroads of Kentucky after that nearly fatal day. We were on our way to the Blues Cruze in New Orleans, where we would celebrate our first anniversary along the way with thousands of other Harley riders. Instead, we celebrated our anniversary a few weeks later with pizza and beer in a nursing home. Those memories of that day in Kentucky are burnt into my head. It wasn’t just the backroads that brought back those memories, for me it was also the trip down Highway 75 toward Lexington where a kind stranger offered to drive me to the University of Kentucky Hospital while Suzy was being transported by helicopter. She clearly knew that the trip on my motorcycle would be too dangerous with what we had just experienced. That kind stranger was the daughter of the farmers that lived in that house on the hill, overlooking their tobacco fields where our motorcycles would be stored.
I certainly did not intend to bring back those memories. In fact I wasn’t even thinking about it when planning the trip via Google maps. I just followed the directions from Google along the way. Journeys don’t just bring us to new places, journeys can transport us back through our memories. Whether the memories are positive or negative, they are a part of our lives and they define us in many ways.