I hate mini-vans.  I will never own a mini-van.  To me, a mini-van is a representation of giving up on a life filled with adventure and excitement.  Driving a mini-van is a surrendering of life on the edge for life in the slow, satisfied lane.  It’s an outward statement of being content with life just happening, happily along.

I recently spent 6 days in the 3rd row seat of a mini-van.  With every stop, I clumsily unfolded myself out of the back seat and then squished myself back in when it was time to continue.  We drove along like every day was Sunday because that’s just what you do in a mini-van.

It would have been so much simpler had I just been able to throw my leg over a bike.  I would have preferred that I was living life behind bars for this trip… the bars of my Street Glide.  No more sitting in the 3rd row!  I’d have the front row seat with a beautiful 360 degree view… exposed to the elements and truly experiencing each mile.

This is where I must retract the path I’m taking you down… for what I could not experience on my motorcycle, I could only experience while traveling in the back seat of a mini-van.  What I haven’t told you is that this was a family trip to the Grand Canyon.  The best part of the experience was not how we were traveling but why we were traveling.  My kids, along with their grandparents, wanted to see the Grand Canyon.

Our typical seating arrangement was my husband taking the wheel, Grandpa as copilot, Dalton and Grandma in the middle seats, and Lauren and I taking up the rear.  The mini-van was our home base filled with empty candy wrappers, tourist brochures, park maps, and the many souvenirs we acquired along the way.  Our home-away-from-home…

It was in the mini-van that we studied the map of the South Rim to determine our next exploration site.

It was in the mini-van that we played Grand Canyon Trivia so the kids got real-life education while missing school.

It was in the mini-van that we laughed about how grandma and grandpa hiked back up the South Kaibab trail.

It was in the mini-van where we shared our stories and got warmed up for our next hiking adventure.  We never could have done that if traveling by motorcycle.

Every once in awhile we would come up on a group of motorcyclists and I would yearn for their method of transportation… to feel what they were feeling and see what they were seeing.  But I would not have given up this trip in the 3rd seat of a mini-van for 1000 perfect miles on my motorcycle.