October 1, 1993, we took off for the Channel coast. After more than a year in London, this was my first ride to the European Continent (it had been a hard course of study). Other than my brief time with Mother, a year earlier, I hadn't even gotten over; so I was excited to be starting a tour. Lots of time, a fair amount of money (basically, I had been paid to go to a year of grad school) and no set itinerary. Only fly in the traveling ointment: the European autumn weather, we could count on a lot of rain.