Day One Adventures
Well, we survived the first day of our trip, though it was touch and go at times. Started innocently enough. I was 13 minutes late getting to the rendezvous point – Jim’s family restaurant in Summerville. Then I spilled some cream on the menu. Jeff raised his right eyebrow at me and gave me that worried look. We had a great breakfast and we talked about women and relationships. He’s for them. I’m not so sure. I like this Buddhist non-attachment thing.
Sausage, scrambled eggs, grits, buttermilk biscuits and coffee.
Then we took off riding the smooth back roads of Georgia into the crazy roads of Alabama.
In all we covered over 400 miles today, in about 10 hours. Not great time but we had to make a few stops. Jeff’s travel case popped open while we were riding. He had to get new chaps at the Natchez Trail Harley Davidson store. Jeff had to smoke a cigarette or four. He had to put his rain clothes on; take them off. I, of course, was a sterling lad on best behavior. We rode through the states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. One time change.
We had the normal occurrences such as cars pulling out in front us, cutting into our lane too quickly. Jeff was almost hit by a turkey vulture and I had the incident with the barrel. He was a good ways in front of me when it happened. I like to keep my distance. I think I was laughing about the turkey vulture almost smacking him when suddenly a big plastic barrel flew out of a truck ahead of me and careened down the road. I slowed so the barrel could cross the road which it did but then it started spinning back toward the road and me. Fortunately it got trapped in some grass by the roadside. A later situation with Jeff was worse. He hit a bump on the interstate coming out of Memphis and went airborne for a few seconds. He’s a skilled rider, far better than I and managed it well, but he was spooked. I’d have been terrified.
So we had rain and no rain (Nice Taoist balance), kindergarten blue skies and leaden ones, sudden gusty cross winds through Alabama (I hate cross winds.), road gators (parts of tires from semi-trucks), and potholes aplenty. Slightly disconcerting was the, still very much appreciated, overhead sign on the Memphis bypass which said: “Look Twice for Motorcycles: 27 fatalities”. That last bit had me wondering: 27 since the road opened? 27 since the new year started? 27 today?!!
By the time we got to the motel we were plum tuckered, felt rode hard and put up wet. Now I have a beer, a Dos Equis Amber, and I’m sitting by the air-conditioner typing. Jeff is complaining about the room I booked while he is booking ours for tomorrow night. You can guess what I’m saying now; will say tomorrow! Law of Karma. Actually, I won’t say anything bad about his choice, tomorrow. I know how these cycles can go.
Dodging in and out today were feelings of remembering past events, of painful memories and of letting go. But especially feelings of thankfulness for my pal and gratitude to God for this journey.