10:45 am, June 9, 2009
Monday morning began slowly and comfortably.Â I had to finish dealing with some lingering details and pack, but there was no rush.Â By 10:45 I was packed, had rigged my bicycle panniers to the motorcycle with bungee cords and optimism, and was ready to ride.
After hitting the road, I quickly stopped after less than 10 minutes as the pannier bags were about to fall off the back of the bike.Â I fundamentally changed the way that they were fastened to the bike, and was finally confident that it would hold.Â Then, I hit the road for a longâ€¦almost out of gas.Â Okay, so I stopped to get gas.Â Then.Â Then I was off to the open road.Â Just me and my 1982 Honda Nighthawk 650 and two firmly fastened bicycle pannier bags.Â Dressed in a leather jacket with body armor and full face helmet, I was determined to safe, and to enjoy the long ride ahead of me.Â The sober reality of my trip hit me when I glanced over at 20-25 motorcycle riders assembled together on the other side of the road.Â Was there a convention?Â Were they a gang?Â Was it a party?Â Then I noticed where they were.Â A funeral home.Â Okay, be careful on the bike.Â I get it.
Finally, I cleared Indianapolis and Greenwood, and was out on the open road.Â No highways for me.Â Too scary and fast.Â Just the backroad of US 31 south all the way to my destination in Kentucky.Â About an hour into the ride it hit me.Â I was free.Â Free from all responsibilities.Â Work, parenting, chores, everything.Â I didnâ€™t have to do anything!Â This was the beginning of my sabbatical.Â I smiled.Â Then I laughed.Â I mean really laughed out loud.Â It felt good, and I was happy.
I stopped for lunch in Scottsburg, IN at a small Mexican restaurant, Sante Fe.Â It was authentic and tasty, and I was there long enough for the Mexican music to loop.Â I need the time to rest and stretch.Â I had underestimated how difficult a 4-hour ride can be on such a small motorcycle.Â But I pressed on and arrived well before dinner.
I unpacked and took pictures of the grounds and my room.Â I read my Isaiah 50 and 55 excerpts a few times, then went to dinner, orientation, and Compline.Â It is a silent retreat, so you rarely hear anyone speaking, except for time in the chapel, such as Compline, which was mostly sung by the monks.Â I ended up heading back to my room after, and went straight to bed.Â I woke up 5 different times, but still slept about 10 hours.