Savannah, Georgia, 1790 Inn, Ghosts, Sauntering through History, Craic, and Mindfulness on a Motorcycle Sojourn, Pascal.

I had a couple of days off for Fall break and so I decided to head to Savannah. Savannah is featured in my last two and latest book – The Adventures of Sid- novels and I wanted to make the scene locations as accurate and vivid as possible. You can check out all of my novels here: https://www.genepowers.org/ . The biggest anticipatory problem with driving to Savannah from Rome, Georgia is that it’s pretty much 330 miles and you have to go through downtown Atlanta. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Big Red, my 2004 Harley Road King cruised along beautifully, except for the red warning light about my battery that appeared and disappeared at random. I figured it was the regulator. I also figured that on a Sunday morning there wasn’t much I could do about it other than keep riding. After meeting with my buddy Joe and his family at Starbucks in Macon the battery light went to sleep for the rest of the trip.

I decided to stay at the 1790 Inn again because it’s in the center of town, where I can walk everywhere and because part of it was built by my great grandfather who lived there with his family for years. Supposedly there are ghosts there, but there’s no extra charge for that. The hospitality is always wonderful at the Inn which is probably why the ghosts like to hang around.

Not much I can say about Savannah that hasn’t been said before. My favorite bar is Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub and I have been visiting there for over thirty years. Irish beer on tap, Irish music seven night a week and no televisions or gaming machines. In 2016 it was voted the Most Authentic Irish Pub in the World, even beating out entries from Ireland, which is bizarre when you think about it. Some of my favorite places to eat are the Crystal Beer Parlor, Hilliards, the Pink House, and the Pirate’s House, which even gets a mention in the book Treasure Island!

But what I love most is simply walking around the historic district, through the squares filled with majestic live oak trees and swaying Spanish moss. And traipsing down the cobblestone ramps to River Street.

The historic area is not a great place to ride a motorcycle in, because of all of the stop and go traffic, the blind spots, pedestrian walkways, and the cobblestone roads down to River Street. Better to park the bike and walk. Save your riding for the beautiful trip along the marsh, palm trees and oleanders down to Tybee Island.

Before I headed home I spent a couple of hours in the Inn’s bar. Nice comfy place with a lot of folks I could tell were regulars. However, every 15 minutes or so a wave of people flooded the place, having been dropped off for a drink by one of the Ghost Tour Operators. It was fun talking with some of them and hearing their thoughts on Savannah and on whether they’d seen any ghosts. None had so far and they didn’t seem to care. They were just enjoying the craic, as they would say in Ireland, the fun of it all.

I spent about six hours each way on the bike and although it was all interstate I enjoyed it. Personally, I don’t listen to music. One of my favorite philosophers, Pascal, once said: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” I just enjoy thinking and meditating, riding with awareness, mindfulness and gratitude, especially gratitude. Pascal also said: “In difficult carry something beautiful in your heart.”

How Do You Describe a Motorcycle Ride: Part Two

I don’t do music when I ride. Now I respect every biker’s choice in the matter but personally, I don’t do earphones or have a stereo system. I also don’t do blue tooth wireless transmitters that allow people to phone you or allow the passenger behind you to talk with you. Just communicate the old fashioned way, tap me on the shoulder. I like the silence, the natural and the man- made sounds of the world we drive, walk and ride through. The trains, the lawnmowers, the church bells, the sounds of a small town at a four way stop. Good time to remember the Four Way Test of the Rotarians:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
How much better our society would be if we simply asked ourselves those questions about what we say and do. It would close down many news broadcasts completely and send most of the politicians packing their bags. I’d make less mistakes, that’s for sure.
We could also use Kant’s Categorical Imperative to guide us but that’s for another blog.
I also like the sounds I can get from Big Red’s engine, My Harley Road King: accelerating as fast as I can up to the speed limit (safely!), running at high revs (safely!) in a gear, the sound of gearing down. From the open throttle scream, to the throaty grumble, to the muffled roar, to the torque”y” confidence and swagger. I love to listen to them. And I don’t want to be distracted in case some thing or someone falls of the back. (For the record no one has fallen off my bike –yet!)
When I finally settle into a gear I like to gather my thoughts, and believe me those rascals run everywhere. Past, present, future. The usual: Why in God’s name did I do that? What did she mean when she told me that? I wish to hell I’d said that to them! The French have a phrase for that last one – “Esprit de l’escalier (es-pree der less-kal-lay) — A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs.” From “In Other Words: A Language Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World” by Christopher J. Moore (Levenger Press, Walker and Co., New York, 2004).Let’s have a show of hands – we’ve all had those reflective thoughts!
After giving up on trying to herd the cats of my thoughts I finally try to meditate, watch my breath, be aware of things around me, do my “Be here Now” thing. It helps give me a quiet frontier where I can cultivate awareness, pray for folks and give thanks. I’ve come to love the silences. The long silences of cross country trips have affected me off the bike as well. I no longer listen to music or the radio in my Jeep, or as background noise in my house. But hey, that’s just me. Still, unless you try hard it’s difficult to keep the silence going when you’re back into your demanding and sound crowded life.
I made a list of other things I want to write about in this series of: How do you describe a motorcycle ride?
Roads, conditions and especially back roads, people you meet, new places, other riders, bars, restaurants and entertainment, and adjusting to life off the road

I hope they sound okay to you. Let me know if you want me to comment on anything else. But I’ve got to hit the road now because, dang it, I just thought of something I really wish I’d said to her!