Made it to Base! I’ve driven through Alabama, Mississippi. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, and of course Georgia.
My ears hurt from wearing ear plugs, my hearing is muffled, my butt is sore, really sore and my hands are numb. I tip my hat to fellow riders that really go the distance.
Would I do it again? Maybe, under the right circumstances, but for now it was an experiment that I needed to experience. Been there, done that.
There is a risk in everything we do. But there is certainly RISK in riding a motorcycle. Going 90 down the highway, you can’t help to be a little afraid that:
- The semi truck you are passing does not have a blow out.
- A deer doesn’t decide to cross the road. Or bird fly into you.
- The idiot next to you decides to change lanes.
- There is not piece of debris which you fail to see.
- You don’t get a flat or your chain decides to break.
- Your brakes decide to fail.
- And, lately to add to the list, that a wind doesn’t blow you over
So why ride?
There is something magical about a motorbike – the rush, the thrill, the awaking of the senses. There is something that about a motorcycle that is unexplainably addictive, seductive and therapeutic, despite the risk. In the perfect world, we would all ride motorcycles and cars/trucks driven by idiots would be the exception.
Life on the line, there’s no better way to have a good.
All my life there has been an emptiness that I can’t seem to fill. A reflection that is blurry, a gap in time, a blind spot in my mind, a black hole in my soul, a piece of me is missing and it takes a toll. All my life I have been looking, searching for something to fill the emptiness. I’ve tried conventional and unconventional methods; people, things, places, but nothing seems to do the trick and leaves me feeling sick.
It’s not religion. Deep inside of me I know that there is more to it than meets the eye, but I don’t fantasize about a bearded men in the sky or believe in a gospel tainted by the hand of men. I guess when it comes down to it, if I had to believe, I would believe in love and all of its manifestations that surrounds us. As evident in nature and the life force that drives it, regardless of its brutality. Evident in the cosmos and how it’s reflected in the atoms. Evident in our ecology, biology and geology.
It’s not the love of a parent. Or luck that is missing. It’s not health or wealth. Although I could use more of the latter, but I know that’s not what matters. Something is missing which I can’t seem to find and I know that I am running out of time. I have a strong conviction that something is there but I don’t know where, and it has me running scared. Somethings is astray and its got me frayed. Something is missing in my life and I’m not sure that I will find it before I expire.
Rode 350+ miles today, Missouri back roads, Illinois and Kentucky highways. Big traffic pile up in Kentucky so I pulled off at Fort Campbell for the night. I am 280 miles from base so if all goes well I should be there tomorrow.
The days started off with a few minor upsets:
- The water bladder in my jacket was not closed properly so it leaked all over my butt 1 mile into my ride.
- I almost ran out of gas in the backroads of Missouri, thanks to a local who pointed me to a little convenient store that had a 1950’s single pump (I would have totally missed it if I did not ask because there were no signs).
- I lost my motorcycle key at a quick trip (fortunately somebody turned it in). I panicked but I have a spare.
- My iPhone charger which I have mounted on the bike died and I did not noticed until the iPhone died in the backroads of Missouri- fortunately, once I found a cell signal, the broken iPad came to the rescue.
- I stuck the iPhone on my tank bag and tried charging it with the other charge I have for the tanks bag, but the iPhone overheated and did not take a charge. I finally retired chargers and got the iPhone charged.
- Finally, I ran into a big traffic jam in highway 24,I rode the median for a bit and pulled off for the night.
Sometimes I feel like I’m cursed but at least it’s all silly stuff.
Pulled into a Days Inn in Fort Campbell around 3:30 local time. Ordered Royale with Cheese from Mickey Ds across the street and bought a six pack of beer from the gas station next door. I will probably have 3 or 4 (we’ll see if that’s true).
P.S. It was high 80’s all the way in.
P.S.S In Missouri they don’t even bother naming the back roads. They just label them A, B, C, etc.
There is a lot of land in this country, most of it filled with farms and forest and not people – as we might presume. Lots of little towns with signs announcing population of 200 or 300 – I cannot imagine it, but it they exist.
What is life like in a little town like that where the nearest big town might be a 100 miles away?
What do you do for a living? Farming I guess?
What’s your escape?
Yesterday I met St. Joseph. He was in his late 60s, short, scruffy beard, tattooed, with a high pitched smokers voice which was loud and unique.
Joseph was at the lobby of the hotel drinking a beer with the intent of getting drunk. He planned to hitch-hike to Denver but only made it 39 miles from his home. Joseph was however, very helpful and he ran in to grab blanket when a little old lady pulled up on the middle of the storm. He also did other good deeds in the short time that we talked.
in the end, Joseph helped me pick up my bike and invited me for a beer, but I turned him down.
I wish Joseph the best of luck and I hope his old lady, like he called her, but had been in love with her for 35 years, let’s him get the bike he wants.
We need more Josephs in this world. Too bad we judge people by their appearance. He was a borderline homeless looking old hippy with a heart of gold. Probably what Jesus looked like and not what we picture him like.
Good luck St. Joseph and I hope you make it to Denver soon.
Not much to report. Drove straight through Kansas, outran a thunderstorm and saw a mountain lion in the median that spilts I-70. Covered 585 miles which is a record for this trip.
Booked a room thro Priceline which was straight out of a horror scene. http://www.hotellexihill.com The place had been closed for three years and this Indian family just purchased it and are remodeling it, but they have a long way to go. The parking lot is full of pot holes, some of the room windows are still boarded, etc. Since I was the only guest in the whole place, I decided to leave before redrum appeared on the wall.
the last 400 miles felt like I had a knife stuck in my left upper back.