It was Christmas 2012. I was home bored out of my mind, but at least I had a trip planned for New Year’s in St. Augustine, Florida. Even though I would be “caging it,” I was still looking forward to it. By this time, Anny and I had been dating for about three months and she loved riding with me. Prior to that, she had never ridden a motorcycle.
“Want to take a ride to Snake Road?” I asked.
Snake Road is off I-75 westbound heading towards Naples, Florida. It is twisties south Florida style, but nonetheless, a great winding road and very isolated. Halfway through we stopped to enjoy the moment. The sun was gently setting behind us, a perfect opportunity for Anny to capture photos with her new camera; her Christmas present.
It was her first ride on Snake Road. The simplicity of the moment was perfect. “Let’s keep riding,” I suggested. “Till we figure out where to stop and spend the night.” I didn’t have to twist her arm.
An impromptu motorcycle ride is always great, but the only thing better is a spur of the moment ride that leads to an overnight stay with no maps, no supplies, or essentials.” I had my wallet; that was more than enough.
After riding another 125 miles through small towns like La Belle and empty back roads, we reached downtown Fort Myers. Eventually, we found a gas station that was open and we were able to buy some essentials like a hairbrush and contact lenses solution. Now we had to find a hotel. I came across a Best Western overlooking the bay.
“Yes sir. We have one room left. It is a room with a king bed and a view —-.”
“I’ll take it.”
We jumped backed on the bike after unloading, so that took all of ten seconds, and returned to downtown to find a restaurant that was open on Christmas. Only one bar/restaurant was open. It will have to do.
Since it was a cool night, we chose to eat outside. A few patrons were inside drinking and the bartender was handling all the drink and food orders. The only thing worse than the service was the food. We ate whatever was brought to us without complaining even though our order was wrong. Beggars cannot be choosers.
Yet, looking back, I would rank this as my favorite Christmas and I would not have changed a thing. The next morning, sipping my hot coffee as I watched the sun rise from the bay, complimented the perfection of the last twenty-four hours.
Since then, we have duplicated that route and day every year, including eating at the same restaurant. Road trips are always exciting, but nothing beats a ride with the one you love with nothing more than the clothes on your back, the memories that await you, as you ride into the sunset. “Because I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride.”
If I have to explain, you would never understand.