This may well be one of my biggest and best weeks of the trip. Fitting, being my final one on the road with Yogi. Picking up where we left off last, staying with Felicia and Bob in Kentucky. After playing tourists on the Friday, Felicia and I drove to the Bowling Green race track to watch Bob compete in the final car races for the year.
It was a great day, right up my alley! I even attempted to get in on the action as pit crew, not sure if I made the cut but I had a great time doing it.
After his first race of the day, Bob squeezed me in for ride out on the track. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Ripping it up out there with a professional driver behind the wheel was great fun. After the adrenaline rush, I decided Felicia and I also needed to get in on the action and we took to the track in go karts 😂
Everyone had a great day together and it was capped off by attending the end of year presentation where Bob was awarded 2nd place in his category. An amazing achievement, especially since it was his rookie year.
It was wonderful to spend so much time with a friend from so many years ago. We caught up like we had just seen each other a week before. Felicia really made sure I got the most out of my time in Kentucky ticking all the important things off the list, homemade pie, bourbon, fried chicken and lots of laughs. Hopefully it won’t take another 12 years to catch up.
Heading off from Felicia’s in the pitch dark early the next morning, it was a great time to spend with Yogi. As we rode into the crimson sunrise, I was so emotional thinking about how little time we had left together.
I had been sad to miss seeing my other 2 Kentucky buddies earlier in the week, but it worked out we could all meet up on my way to Virginia for breakfast. Nick, KC and I met almost a year ago to the day in Nepal. I made a last minute decision just before my birthday to take a trip and landed in Kathmandu not knowing a soul.
Nepal was by far one of the hardest motorcycle adventures I have been on. It tested me in every way possible and it was the reason I decided to take on this massive adventure on my own. I knew after doing that, I could do anything. These two guys were like brothers to me in Nepal, both are exceptional riders and looked out for me along the way. From fist pumps for good luck, to helping me pick up the bike and rides on the back when I was scared.I don’t know what I would have done without them. It was an awesome way to start my final week, catching up with great friends and seeing them well and happy. Thanks punks!
One last stop by myself in Virginia as it was too far to ride to D.C in one day. I barely slept. Nerves and excitement had me up from 4am. Another early start to ensure I had the maximum amount of time to spend in Washington. This stop was to see yet another of my new friends made on this journey. You will all remember Holly I am sure, who I met in Russia aboard a rickety boat in the middle of Lake Biakall.
From this one meeting we had formed a great bond, two adventurers at heart. Holly had gone to great lengths to ensure the last day before I arrived in NYC was a special one. Starting with Processco on the rooftop over looking the city, she made a heart felt speech to toast my success. It was a really nice moment and cemented once again how incredibly fortunate I have been to meet such amazing people along the way.
From the rooftop to a walk to see the Congress building in a flash storm, to a side trip to the museum and onto the less than impressive white house. A delicious lunch in Holly’s favourite restaurant before we moved on to cocktails in an underground bar where no doubt many shady political deals have been done.
My other request had been to see Abe Lincoln in his giant chair. Arriving just on dusk it was a great time to look down on the pool of reflection. Abe didn’t disappoint and his imposing figure was quite impressive. Unfortunately our last second attempt to pose in front of him ended with both of us on the ground, with the realisation I need to go on a diet and Holly needs to go to the gym!!
Next stop was the longest running BnB in Washington, with a quaint lounge area where of course more celebratory drinks were had. Our dinner was equally as special in an old converted horse stable with the best gnocchi we had ever eaten. It had been an action packed 10 hours to say the least!
Thank you Holly for pulling out all the stops. It was a hilarious, informative and incredibly fun day and night. Cant wait to see you soon.
Packing up the next morning my stomach was filled with butterflies. I wasn’t nervous about riding into the big apple. It was more a case of not knowing what emotions were waiting for me. I knew for sure I wouldn’t be sad, it is time to come home and I have had a wonderful time.
As I thought I might be though I was very overwhelmed with immense gratitude, and a feeling of not being able to really believe we were almost there. For once, the weather was on our side and the sun beamed down on us with not a cloud in the sky. The trees in stunning autumn colours lined our route all the way into the city.
Riding through Jersey, I looked across and was taken by surprise with an amazing view of new york. It was a surreal moment, I could see the finish line. We were almost there.
Riding into the Lincoln tunnel, under the Hudson river to Manhattan, I chatted to Yogi. I was so bloody proud of him. For more than 40,000km he has been my one constant, I never once doubted he would make it. Giving him a pat on the tank to say thanks, the tears really started to fall. He really has done me proud.
I pulled over to message Laura, my housemate and amazing friend, who was there waiting for us. We had been coordinating all day so that she could capture the moment in real time. She was in place in times square, ready to see us come in. I had managed to stop crying until I saw her standing there in the middle of the city. It was every bit as amazing as I had imagined it would be. We had made it.
Laura got us on video, and as I parked Yogi I couldn’t believe where we were standing. Big hugs and tears all round before a few more victory photo’s. I enjoyed every second of weaving through the traffic of NYC, the best place to be on a motorcycle with standstill jams giving us all the space we needed to get through.
Laura was there waiting for me after I safely put Yogi in a garage for the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome, to have her there after all this time away from home was just incredible. A giant burger, cocktails, vodka shots (Russian style) and a rooftop and dive bar hop, made for the best post trip celebration out on the town.
Arriving the day before Halloween, we agreed over a cocktail to join the fun and found a party to go to. We chose well, a non-stop show of Madonna songs, dancing and performances. To ensure we fit in, our next day was spent shopping for important costumes and accessories, like blue eye shadow and blonde wigs 🤣
With Yogi still in the city we hatched a plan to take him right into times square whilst I wore my wonder woman outfit for a pic. Laura once again played photographer and somehow we got away with stopping for quite a while in the middle of Broadway.
Our Madonna party turned out to be so much fun and after 4 solid hours of drinking, dancing and singing (badly), it was time for 1am pizza and bed! What a great couple of days partying to start off my week here. See you at home soon!
Laura flies out today and my friend Louise flies in. After a month or so of joking around about catching up in New York, she made it a reality by buying a ticket back in April to be here. That is by far one of the most generous things anyone has done just for me, and knowing I had her coming to spend this next week, including my birthday, got me through some of the more difficult days in the past few weeks.
It is Lou’s first time here so it is my turn to play tour guide in one of my favourite places in the world. I can’t wait to show her the sights and enjoy my final few weeks with an amazing friend.
Yogi is now in transit to Kentucky where he will hang out with Felicia and Bob for a little bit. I am desperately hoping the Australian government grants approval to import him so I can get him on a boat and on his way back to me soon. He has been my super hero this entire time. Maybe I used up all my good luck finding him and had none left for the weather. If that is the case, I am more than alright with that. If he had not been the trooper he turned out to be, I may very well not of made it here.
I have a million thank you’s to do and I will get to them, trust me. Thankfully I get to do some of the most important ones in person, as I fly back around the world via Canada and England on my way home. But for now, this week I want to say thank you to everyone reading, messaging, calling or being with me this week, as you have all made me feel incredibly special. I am truly overwhelmed and think it will take quite a while for the enormity of it all to sink in. The coming together of so many of my favourite people this week has been beyond amazing and I have enjoyed every last second of it 🙂
Lots of love
Kylie and Yogi xx