A family morning drinking tea and watching Top Gear is just what the Doctor ordered as Patrick get’s reacquainted with his niece and nephew.
There is still a good bit of buzz going on after Andy Murray’s epic win at Wimbledon and with a Brit in the Tour de France and England doing well at Cricket the energy is very positive. The Brits love their sports and their Royals, so with Princess Kate having a son it’s going to be a summer to remember.
Even the Queen is showing a softer and more humorous side after a couple of hundred years on the thrown.
We are making for Inverary today up over the Rest and be Thankful. It’s certain we are not going to win any Iron Butt awards for distance ridden on this trip, but it’s Patrick’s first big motorcycle journey and even these days involve a good few hours in the saddle. I would hazard a guess we are averaging around 20 mph at best on the minor roads we are traveling.
The road takes us over the Erskin Bridge, soaring hundreds of feet above the river Clyde where the brilliant light allows us to see far down the river to the ocean where it opens up. To our right, the sun lights the City of Glasgow and I’m singing inside my helmet as we turn north. The scenery through the thickly forested landscape is brilliant. Hazy lochs break through the trees, and distant mountains roll through the windshield growing larger and higher by the mile. The thick fir trees, which give a deep contrasting color to the almost luminous grass, give more tell tale signs of all the usual rain we have so fortunately dodged on this trip.
It was 2005 when I rode through here the last time with Dennis Gage and his son Sam filming our first episode of Trippin on Two Wheels. The memories flood back of all the fun and games we had and the luck we had with the weather on that trip also. Soon we are climbing to the Rest, and the road steepens and narrows as we ride up out of the Glen. Pausing at the top, the majestic views back behind us and ahead are both stunning and familiar in equal measures as we snap a few pictures to record the moment.
Pressing on we round another Loch and within a few miles are approaching Inverary. This small town perched on the edge of the Loch boasts an old jail and a couple of hotels to add to the normal assortment of shops.
We wander the town, take pictures at the harbor and while away some time in the beer garden before an early meal. My second nephew and his girlfriend show up on their way to a camping trip and we trade crazy stories for a while. Inverary is one of the most special places on earth for me, and I always seem to get lucky with the weather on my visits and am so pleased for Patrick to see his first real Scottish Loch up close and personal.
For the ride home my youngest nephew hops on the back of the GS, and as the sun burns the fields with the most stunning golden hue we drop south. Still not below the horizon as we approach the Erskin Bridge it appears as if the metal railings are on fire from the light and Cameron is excited to point it out to me. Cleary there is magic in the air today.
On a summer day there can be few more places on earth so beautiful, raw, and rugged as the Scottish countryside, and once more I feel the sense of elation I always feel at these moments where I realize I’ve pulled it off again, and spent an amazing day in the saddle of a motorcycle.
For our entertainment this evening my brother in law has lined us up with two hours of an uncensored version of a show called, “Mrs. Brown.” An Irish comedian/actor who dresses up like an old woman and performs skits on stage to a live audience. It’s not for the faint hearted with some of the foulest language and unsavory subjects you can imagine, but somehow the sight of man dressed up like an old housewife in stockings and apron seem to balance out the colorful language and we roar with laughter until our sides are about to split. The humor is just amazing and Patrick and I are now addicted to not only Top Gear, but Mrs. Brown.